12 Surprising Bills Congress is Considering

It has been almost a month since the 113th Congress convened and already over 400 bills have been submitted by members of the House of Representatives. The bills cover everything from national security, to the economy, to gun legislation. Given that 438 members represent 312 million people you would expect there to be jurisdiction-specific as well as overlapping bills. For example there are at least 20 bills seeking to adjust or freeze the salaries of Congress.

There is probably some opportunity to consolidate a number of bills but on the other hand there are always the “one-offs.” Here is a list of 12 bills that you might never have heard enough and might find strange, unnecessary, or just funny.

1. H.R.40 - Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.  

Introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.)

2. H.R.44 - Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act

Introduced by Congresswoman Madeleing Bordallo, representative from Guam.

3. H.R.82 - Infant Protection and Baby Switching Prevention Act of 2013 

Introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.)

"To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require hospitals reimbursed under the Medicare system to establish and implement security procedures to reduce the likelihood of infant patient abduction and baby switching, including procedures for identifying all infant patients in the hospital in a manner that ensures that it will be evident if infants are missing."

4. H.R.98 - John Hope Franklin Tulsa-Greenwood Race Riot Claims Accountability Act of 2013

Introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.)

"To provide a remedy for survivors and descendants of the victims of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Race Riot of 1921."

5. H.R.111 - Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act

Introduced by Congresswoman Colleen Hanbusa (D-Hawaii)

"To award a Congressional gold medal, collectively, to the Filipino Veterans of World War II, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II."

6. H.R.193 - Seed Availability and Competition Act of 2013

Introduced by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)

"To require persons who seek to retain seed harvested from the planting of patented seeds to register with the Secretary of Agriculture and pay fees set by the Secretary for retaining such seed, and for other purposes."

7. H.R.206 - Stalkers Act of 2013

Introduced by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)

"To amend Title 18, United States Code, with respect to the offense of stalking." (Companion bill S.Res.14 – A bill to raise awareness of stalking and make January, “National Anti-Stalking Month.”)

8. H.R.215 - Baseball Diplomacy Act

Introduced by Congressman Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)

"To waive certain prohibitions with respect to nationals of Cuba coming to the United States to play organized professional baseball."

9. H.R.228 - SNAP Fraud Prevention Act of 2013

Introduced by Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo.)

"To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to prevent the payment of cash to recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance for the return of empty bottles and cans used to contain food purchased with benefits provided under such Act."

10. H.R.282 - Refund Act

Introduced by Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)

"To rescind certain federal funds identified by states as unwanted and use the funds to reduce the federal debt."

11. H.R.305 - Muhammad Ali Legacy Act

Introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)

"To establish a grant program to preserve the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali and promote global respect, understanding, and communication, and for other purposes."

12. H.R.336 Domestic Investment Economic Growth Act

Introduced by Congressman Robert Andrews (R-N.J.)

"To amend Title 18, United States Code, to provide penalties for counterfeiting or selling presidential inauguration tickets, and for other purposes."