Earlier today, the House voted on H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, which would require law enforcement to get a search warrant before they can look at private emails - a privacy standard long held for conventional mail.
The bill passed overwhelmingly, and I have been an original cosponsor since last year. Allow me to offer a couple reasons why I think this requirement is so vital.
This morning, an amendment I offered to H.R. 4890 was adopted on the House floor by voice vote. This bill, which passed by a vote of 260 to 158, would prohibit the IRS from paying bonuses until the Treasury Department develops a comprehensive strategy for improving IRS customer service.
Last night, the House voted on a measure that would name a government program after Representative Jeannette Rankin, who was the first female member of Congress and a significant figure in the women’s suffrage movement. It had no financial effect. That measure passed 377 to 6, but I took the unusual step of voting simply “present.”
A small win last night….
Some of our bill on Puerto Rico was incorporated into the Puerto Rico legislation that was introduced yesterday in the Natural Resources Committee and that the House will work on this week - H.R. 4900, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.
Given the potential here for a public health emergency, it strikes me that Congress’s response needs to be speedy and proportional to the threat posed. This legislation seemed to me like a commonsense and financially responsible solution to address what looks to be a burgeoning health crisis. Accordingly, I voted yes.
Senate Majority Leader Everett Dirksen used to say that “a million here, a million there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money.” Well, today was a billion dollar day for the taxpayer.
I promised to get back to you after the two day trip to Cuba with observations and wanted to do so.
Three things stood out for me.
This morning, we voted on a resolution to condemn yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. I voted for the resolution, which not surprisingly passed unanimously.
This afternoon, the House passed House Resolution 639 to authorize the Speaker of the House to file a brief with the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas, a case that the Court will hear this April.