H.R. 2499 – Puerto Rico Democracy Act – This bill would provide a federally sanctioned self-determination process for the people of Puerto Rico to determine the island’s political relationship with the United States. The bill requires two direct votes in which the entire electorate (notably defined to include non-residents of Puerto Rico) is allowed to choose between whether Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status or have a different political status. If the majority of eligible voters choose to vote in favor of a different political status, the Government of Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct additional plebiscites every eight years on the following 3 options:
- Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States.
- Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution.
- Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union. NO – This bill passed 223-169.
H.R. 4543 – The “Anthony J. Cortese Post Office Building” Designation Act – Anthony Cortese was president of the letter carriers union in San Jose, Calif., for 26 years, one of the longest tenures of any local labor official. YES – This bill passed 379-0.
H.Res. 1103 – Celebrating the life of Sam Houston on the 217th anniversary of his birth – This resolution would resolve that the House of Representatives recognizes the historical contribution of Sam Houston to the State of Texas and the United States on the 217th anniversary of his birth. YES – This resolution passed 375-0.
H.R. 4861 – The “Steve Goodman Post Office Building” Designation Act – Steve Goodman was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. The writer of “City of New Orleans”, made popular by Arlo Guthrie, Goodman won two Grammy Awards. YES – This bill passed 370-0.
H.Res. 1131 – Expressing support for designation of the week of April 18, 2010, through April 23, 2010, as National Assistant Principals Week – This resolution supports the designation of National Assistant Principals Week and honors and recognizes the contributions of assistant principals to the success of students in schools in the United States. YES – This bill passed 411-0.
H.R. 5146 – Providing that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011 – The legislation would eliminate the automatic cost of living adjustment that Members of Congress are scheduled to receive. According to the Congressional Research Service, Members would receive an automatic pay increase in January 2011. YES – This bill passed 402-15.
Foxx (R-NC). The amendment creates a fourth option under the second stage plebiscite to add the choice of “commonwealth” to allow supporters of the status quo to vote their preference. YES – This amendment passed 223-179.
Gutierrez (D-IL). The amendment creates a fourth option under the second stage plebiscite to add the choice of “none of the above” with regard to the status of Puerto Rico. YES – This amendment failed 164-236.
Gutierrez (D-IL). Provides for all ballots in the plebiscite enacted under H.R. 2499 be printed in Spanish. English ballots may only be used if requested by the voter. NO – This amendment failed 13-386.
Burton (R-IN)/Young (R-AK). The amendment amends the third section of the bill to ensure all ballots under the plebiscite are printed in English, inform people participating in the plebiscite that if Puerto Rico retains its current political status or selects statehood, the official government language requirements shall apply to Puerto Rico in the same manner as the rest of the U.S. The amendment also requires voters to be informed it is the sense of Congress that it is in the best interest of the United States that teaching English should be promoted in Puerto Rico in order to allow students to achieve English proficiency. YES – This amendment passed 301-100.
Velázquez (D-NY)/Gutierrez (D-IL). Amends the bill to not only allow all individuals born in Puerto Rico to participate in the plebiscite, but also includes individuals that have at least one parent born in Puerto Rico. NO – This amendment failed 11-387.
H.R. 5017—Rural Housing Preservation and Stabilization Act of 2010 – This bill would increase the loan guarantee authority for the section 502 Rural Housing Loan Guarantee Program to $30 billion for FY 2010, up from the $12 billion previously authorized for this year. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5017 would increase offsetting collections, and thus reduce discretionary spending, by $24 million in 2010, assuming enactment of an appropriations act necessary to implement the proposed changes to RHS’s loan guarantee program. I voted against this bill because I am concerned by its cost at a time of record deficits and debt. NO – The bill passed 352-62.
Hall (NY) Amendment to H.R. 5013. This amendment requires the Director of the Office of Performance Assessment and Root Cause Anaylsis to include performance assessments with significant findings in its annual report. It also requires submission of egregious problems to the Armed Services Committee. YES – The amendment passed 416 – 0.
Connolly Amendment to H.R. 5013. This amendment creates an Industrial Base Council within the DoD, supported by existing personnel and funds, to provide recommendations to the Secretary on budget and policy matters related to the industrial base. YES – The amendment passed 417 – 2.
H.R. 5013 – IMPROVE Acquisition Act. This bill introduces better methods to measure value within the acquisition system and would improve the development of requirements and financial management of acquisition Specifically, the bill requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to hire “highly qualified experts,” develop flexible hiring and performance management authorities for the acquisition workforce, establish requirements for continuing education, require increased training for acquisition workers and periodic rectification, and create additional career paths for the workforce. The bill also requires any review of a contractor’s business systems conducted by DOD be performed by an independent audit team. Additionally, the bill also makes contracts and subcontractors who owe the federal government over $3,000 in unpaid taxes ineligible to receive a contract from the DOD. The Congressional Budget Office says this will cost $250 million over 5 years. YES – The bill passed 417 – 3.