COMM

House Democrats call for revival of meat labeling law
Country-of-origin labeling calls beef and pork products to show where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Twenty-seven House freshman Democrats included the resurrection of the country-of-origin labeling rule in a June 25 Letter to Lighthizer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A meat labeling law repealed three years ago may be making a comeback as some lawmakers call for it to be added to the proposed trade pact designed to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

The country-of-origin labeling requirement, known as COOL, called for labels on beef and pork products to show where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

Ben Carson says Rep. Katie Porter asked ‘Ha! Gotcha!’ questions. She said it was ‘not a joke’
Porter: ‘Start by sending me answers for the American people, not cookies’

Rep. Katie Porter garnered headlines when Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson answered her question about REOs: “Oreo?” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Katie Porter sparred with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Twitter on Wednesday after Carson dismissed his headline-grabbing misunderstanding during testimony as “silly.”

Carson was accused of incompetence in May while testifying to the House Financial Services Committee when he did not recognize a common abbreviation used to describe government-owned foreclosed properties. 

Marijuana legalization goes mainstream with first-ever forum in Capitol complex
Event highlights growing bipartisan support for banking, farming, medical and social justice bills

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, is the co-sponsor of a bill that would allow states to craft their own cannabis policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The cannabis industry investors, business owners and legalization advocates had met before to discuss the legal and regulatory headaches of operating in a world that’s licensed and regulated by states but illegal under federal law.

But what made those at Tuesday’s gathering describe it as a public relations milestone was the location: inside the Capitol complex.

Bill cracking down on LLCs used for tax evasion and money laundering faces obstacles
The bill would require corporations and limited liability companies to tell the Treasury who really owns them

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., arrives for the House Democrats' caucus meeting in the Capitol on Feb. 26, 2019. She is expected to introduce a bill that would require corporations and limited liability companies to tell the Treasury Department who really owns them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After bouncing around Congress for over a decade, a bill to crack down on anonymous shell companies used in money laundering and tax evasion may advance this year, having attracted support from some strange bedfellows, including banks, unions, the national security community, human rights advocates, environmentalists, multinational corporations, law enforcement and the Trump administration.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney is expected to introduce the bill with her fellow New Yorker, Republican Rep. Peter T. King, as Congress returns from recess, and it could go to markup as soon as May 8.

House bills would revisit regulation of cryptocurrencies
The bill would clarify which virtual currencies qualify as commodities, provide optional regulatory structure

Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., participates in a press conference on Thursday, April 26, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House bills with bipartisan support would direct regulators to examine new ways to oversee digital assets and protect them from manipulation, as some lawmakers strive to make financial technologies more mainstream.

One bill would direct the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, consulting with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies, to report to committees including Senate Banking and House Financial Services on how cryptocurrencies are regulated in the U.S. and other countries and detail the benefits of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Pelosi says threats outlined by Trump left out gun violence

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, noticed an omission in Trump’s State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Many of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address were displayed clearly on her face Tuesday night, but her disappointment wasn’t just about what the president said — but what he didn’t.

After the speech, Pelosi said that with all the emphasis on security, the president skipped over a major issue impacting communities: gun violence.

House Democrats’ gun agenda to start with where they might get GOP votes
Early bills will be more narrow in focus to avoid a pileup of go-nowhere legislation

Rep. Mike Thompson  is chairman of the House Democrats’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic supporters who helped sweep in a new class of lawmakers promising a gun law overhaul might have to wait longer than they’d like for that agenda to materialize in the form of bills.

While Democrats wrestled back the majority in the House, Republicans still control the Senate, and Donald Trump is still in the Oval Office.

House Democrats target private gun sellers with bipartisan background checks bill
Universal background checks bill indicates gun law reform will remain near top of Democratic agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the event to introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require all gun sellers, including private vendors, to conduct background checks on potential buyers, indicating the issue will be a top item on the Democratic agenda during the 116th Congress.

Under current law, only federally licensed vendors must conduct background checks. Private sellers who do not have licenses do not fall under the same compliance mandate.

Opinion: Let’s Build Something Great Together
Trump and Congress should work toward a 21st century infrastructure system

The Trump administration is expected to prioritize ways to encourage investment in infrastructure, Rep. Sam Graves writes. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

2017 was a record year for our economy. Thanks to tax reform, and this administration’s aggressive regulatory reduction, our economy is growing at an exponential rate. 2018 presents a great opportunity to push the throttle on our economic growth as we move to our next big priority: infrastructure.

Infrastructure is pure commerce. Everything in this country moves. So an efficient transportation network is vital to our economic future. However, federal funding for infrastructure is not unlimited.

After Texas Shooting, Bipartisan Bill Aims to Close Gun ‘Loophole’
Flake: Since 2007 only a single instance military reporting domestic violence charge

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan Senate duo introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban individuals convicted of domestic violence from legally buying a gun.

The bill, from Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., would apply to convictions from both military and civilian courts. It would aim to correct what the lawmakers say is a loophole that allows those convicted of domestic violence by a military court to still purchase firearms. Such individuals, by law, are currently barred from buying guns.