Yesterday the House took up 17 homeland security related bills under the suspension of rules process and passed all of them. Of these, three are probably of interest to readers of this blog:
• HR 437, the Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act;
• HR 612, the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2017; and
• HR 677, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017.
HR 437 passed by a voice vote after less than 10 minutes of ‘debate’; no one spoke in opposition to the bill.
HR 612 passed by a voice vote after about 16 minutes of ‘debate’; no one spoke in opposition to the bill.
HR 677 passed by a voice vote after about 5 minutes of ‘debate’; no one spoke in opposition to the bill.
All three of these bills would almost certainly pass in the Senate if they make it to the floor for consideration. Since earlier versions of all three of these bills passed in the House in the 114th Congress, but were not taken up by the Senate, it is obvious that consideration by the Senate is not a given.
With these bills being passed in the first 30-days of the 115th Congress, time constraints will not be a factor in whether or not they make it to the floor. What matters is whether or not there is a champion in the Senate with enough political influence with the leadership to bring them to the floor. If any of these bills are considered, they will most likely be considered under the Senate’s unanimous consent procedure with no debate and no actual vote. A single Senator can block a bill under this procedure.