U.S. House of Representatives: Sept. 14-18
The U.S. House of Representatives returned last week after a month-long recess. On Monday, the House is not in session, and on Tuesday, the House is in pro-forma session. On Wednesday evening, Members return for regular order and the House will consider several bills under suspension of the rules.
Despite the fact the clock is officially ticking for Congress to avoid an October 1 shutdown, neither chamber is slated to consider legislation this week to keep the federal government funded. With an abbreviated schedule next week with Pope Francis in town, Congress will have only three working days to avert a shutdown the last week of September.
On the floor this week:
H.R. 758: the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act. This bill modifies federal rules governing civil lawsuits to require federal courts to impose sanctions on parties that violate the existing prohibition on the filing of frivolous lawsuits, and to require that such sanctions include monetary penalties to cover the other party’s attorney’s fees and other costs.
The main focus of the House this week will be on the red-hot, controversial issue of Planned Parenthood. The House will consider two bills in response to videos released this summer that may show that Planned Parenthood is seeking to profit by selling the body parts of aborted fetuses. The two bills being considered are:
H.R. 3134: the Defund Planned Parenthood Act. This would place a moratorium on federal funding to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or its affiliates or clinics, unless they certify that they will not perform or fund abortions.
- Alabama co-sponsors: Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02), Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03), Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-5), Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06)
H.R. ___: Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is still being finalized and has not yet been formally introduced as of Monday morning. It is expected the bill will increase federal criminal penalties and provide civil remedies and new protections for babies that are born alive during induced abortions.
Additional items are possible for the balance of the week per an announcement from the House Majority Leader’s office.