December 1, 2022

Improving Federal Hiring Processes, Foreign Election Influence and Natural Disaster Protections

Disaster Resiliency Planning Act (S 3510) – Introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on Jan. 13,this Act details guidelines for federal agencies to incorporate natural disaster resilience with regard to real property asset management and investment decisions. The bill passed in the Senate on June 22, in the House on Nov. 14 and is awaiting signature by President Biden.

Disclosing Foreign Influence in Lobbying Act (S 4254) – This Act is designed to combat attempts of foreign adversaries, such as Russia and China, from trying to influence U.S. political elections. Specifically, the bill closes a loophole used to conceal lobbying efforts frequently used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).The bill was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on May 18 and passed in the Senate on Sept. 29. It is currently under consideration in the House.

Chance to Compete Act of 2022 (HR 6967) – This legislation was introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) on Jan. 25, 2021. The bipartisan bill attempts to improve the federal civil service hiring process by waiving education degree requirements. The focus would shift to an evaluation of skills, aptitude and experience. Furthermore, the bill would enable agencies to share applicant assessments and permit interviewing by subject matter experts. The bill passed in the House on Sept. 29 and is now being reviewed in the Senate.

A bill to allow for alternatives to animal testing for purposes of drug and biological product applications (S 5002) – This bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Sept. 29, 2021, and was passed in the Senate on the same day. The legislation requires that certain alternatives be utilized in animal testing in order to receive an exemption from an investigation of the safety and effectiveness of a drug. Alternatives may include cell-based assays and computer models. The Act also waives the requirement of using animal studies to get a license for a biological product that is interchangeable with another biological product. The bill’s fate currently lies in the House.

Fairness for 9/11 Families Act (HR 8987) – Introduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Sept. 26, this bipartisan bill authorizes funding for catch-up payments from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. The Act passed in the House on Sept. 30 and is currently being considered in the Senate.

Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act (STURDY) Act (S3232) – This legislation directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to revise the safety standards for freestanding dressers, bureaus and chests of drawers. The new manufacturing standards would require testing related to tip-overs for all products sold in the U.S. market. The bill was introduced by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) on Nov.18, 2021. It was passed in the Senate on Sept. 29 and is presently under consideration in the House.

Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2021 (HR 5441) – Introduced on Sept. 30, 2021, by Rep. Steven Cohen (D-TN), this bill addresses soring horses. Soring is the practice of making adjustments to horses’ limbs in order to produce a higher gait for showing at horse shows, exhibitions, sales and auctions. These alterations can cause pain, distress, inflammation or lameness. Specifically, the bill seeks to expand soring regulation and enforcement by establishing a new system for soring inspections and increasing penalties for violations. The bill passed in the House on Nov. 14 and currently lies with the Senate.

Speak Out Act (S 4524) – Introduced on July 13 by Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), this Act would waive enforcement of nondisclosure agreements (NDS) involving sexual assault or harassment disputes. The legislation would allow any survivor to share his or her story regardless of a previously signed NDA. The bill passed in the Senate on Sept. 29 and is in the House for consideration.