The following are samples of pieces of legislation introduced in the current 113th Congress that I would passionately support:
THE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD RIGHT-TO-KNOW ACT (H.R. 1699)
Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR- 4) in the House and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in the Senate, this bill would require food manufacturers to clearly label any product that has been genetically engineered or contains genetically engineered ingredients, or else the product would be classified as “misbranded” by the FDA. This requirement does not apply to food used in restaurants, hospitals or other medical environments. Food manufacturers are protected so long as they have a statement from the grower that the food contains no GMOs. The bill also protects producers whose food was unintentionally contaminated by GMOs, so long as the contamination did not occur as a result of negligence. Enforcement would be left up to the FDA, rather than through civil action.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1699/text
DRONES ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (H.R. 2183)
Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), this law would prohibit the CIA from operating or controlling armed unmanned aerial vehicles (known as drones) or combat aircraft. This law seeks a moratorium against the lethal use of drones until the White House has presented, and Congress has approved, sufficient safeguards and sufficient oversight addressing concerns regarding the current use of drones.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2183/text
REPEAL OF THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE (H.R. 198)
Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), this would repeal the sweeping law enacted three days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which was originally intended to give the President authority to invade Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda and Taliban rulers who sheltered and aided the 9/11 terrorists. Since that time, AUMF has been interpreted far more broadly, and repeatedly used as an open-ended authorization for the use of military force, including drone strikes. AUMF is outdated, gives presidents excessive power to act unilaterally and promotes perpetual war.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr198/text
ENDING SECRET LAW ACT (H.R. 2475)
Sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), this law would require the declassification of significant opinions issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a federal court which oversees requests for secret warrants from government lawyers. FISC is currently permitted to withhold its decisions from the public, a practice inconsistent with democratic governance and America’s tradition of open publication of the law.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2475/text
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION PROVIDING THAT THE RIGHTS EXTENDED BY THE CONSTITUTION ARE THE RIGHTS OF NATURAL PERSONS ONLY (H.J.RES. 29)
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN-8), this law would prohibit artificial entities from having rights under the United States Constitution. The bill seeks to weaken the disastrous effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums of money on elections so long as the money is spent independently of the candidates and political parties. The Supreme Court’s conclusion was essentially that a prohibition on such expenditures would be a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hjres29/text
GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE ACT (H.R. 20)
Introduced on February 5, 2014 by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD-3) and awarded a priority bill number by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), this bill is a comprehensive campaign reform measure designed to offset the undue influence of wealthy donors on elections. This law is intended to empower grassroots donors through tax credits and matching public funds for small contributions and the creation of small donor PACs to aggregate the voices and power of ordinary citizens. By amplifying the voices of everyday Americans, this bill incentivizes congressional candidates to reach out beyond the wealthy donors to the general public for campaign support.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr20/text
EXPANDED & IMPROVED MEDICARE FOR ALL ACT (H.R. 676)
Sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI-13), this bill seeks to create a single-payer health care system similar to those in almost every other industrialized country. It calls for the establishment of a privately-delivered, publicly-financed universal health care system in which physicians and non-profit health care providers -- not insurance companies -- would be in charge of medical decisions.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr676/text
DEPT. OF PEACE BUILDING BILL ACT HR808
Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013 - Establishes a Department of Peacebuilding, which shall be headed by a Secretary of Peacebuilding.
Sets forth the mission of the Department, including: (1) cultivation of peace as a national policy objective; and (2) development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful conflict resolution, and structured conflict mediation.
Establishes in the Department: (1) the Office of Peace Education and Training, (2) the Office of Domestic Peace Activities, (3) the Office of International Peace Activities, (4) the Office of Technology for Peace, (5) the Office of Arms Control and Disarmament, (6) the Office of Peacebuilding Information and Research, (7) the Office of Human Rights and Economic Rights, and (8) the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Peace.
View the bill’s full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr808