Fighting for Real Solutions
Washington, August 17, 2015
During the first seven months of the 114th Congress, U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-4) has advocated for legislation to control government spending, enforce immigration law, bolster national security and protect families who seek medical care for their children. Here is a summary of some of the bills Rep. Perry has introduced thus far.
Controlling Government Spending
Rep. Perry’s first bill of the 114th Congress (H.J. Res. 28) sought to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and confront the debt crisis that threatens the economic security of every American. Forty-nine states currently are required annually to balance their budgets.
The federal government has run up an unsustainable debt of more than $18 trillion. Interest payments alone on this debt are expected to reach $722 billion by 2024. If we keep ignoring our debt crisis out of political expediency, Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs will simply go bankrupt. Rep. Perry also voted in favor of a FY 2016 budget that balances in 10 years and plans to introduce additional legislation this year to confront our unsustainable debt crisis.
Empowering Families and Making Our Economy Healthy
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment in June by U.S. Representatives Scott Perry (PA-4) and Bob Dold (IL-10) that allows states who have legalized cannabidiol (CBD) to do so without federal interference. CBD has shown significant results in reducing the amount and duration of seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. The amendment passed by a vote of 297-130 during debate of the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578). CBD currently is banned for medical use at the federal level. Although the federal government hasn’t actively interfered with states that have legalized CBD, this amendment would block its ability to do so.
Currently, more than 300,000 children in American suffer from some form of epilepsy. Many experience more than 100 violent seizures a day — any one of which could be fatal without proper care. Reps. Perry and Dold have also introduced H.R. 1635, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015”, to ensure that children and individuals with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure disorders have access to CBD oil.
Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. In May, Rep. Perry sponsored an amendment to H.R. 2028, the FY 2016 Energy-Water Appropriations bill to remove government barriers to the development of hydropower in the U.S. Hydropower is the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the U.S., creating thousands of jobs (including many in the 4th District) and providing power to millions of Americans at low cost. Rep. Perry led a bipartisan effort to restore $9 million in funding to the Water Power Program and offset that cost by reducing funding for administrative costs at the U.S. Department of Energy. That amendment passed the U.S. House. Hydropower is our nation’s most reliable and sustainable energy source. This is a tremendous opportunity for our nation and is vitally important to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Rep. Perry has also led efforts to advocate for YouthBuild, a federal program where low-income young people are trained in construction, technology and other jobs skills and participate in community service and leadership development. YouthBuild has helped tens of thousands of young adults transform their lives and the 4th District hosts several Youthbuild programs, including in the cities of Harrisburg and York.
Strengthening Homeland Security and Personal Freedoms
Drones are an emerging technology used by the private and public sector. While the potential for this technology is endless, we also must address its subsequent security and privacy concerns. In February, the House adopted H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which included an amendment from Rep. Perry to ensure that we have proper procedures in place as to how and when drones may be used and prevents the federal government from unnecessarily using them.
We're a nation of laws and shouldn’t pick and choose which laws we’re going to enforce. According to a July 2015 report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), state and local sanctuary city policies caused the release of more than 8,000 criminal alien offenders sought for deportation over an eight month period. The report found that nearly 1,900 of the released offenders subsequently were arrested for another crime within that same period. To ensure accountability, Rep. Perry introduced the Follow Immigration Law Act (H.R. 3391) which authorizes governors to withhold all federal funding from local governments who choose to ignore federal immigration law.
After a series of violent attacks against members of our Armed Forces in recent years, most recently the July 16 shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which claimed the lives of four Marines and one Sailor, Rep. Perry introduced The Military Bases Self-Defense Act (H.R. 3146) which ends the prohibition on military personnel who are legally authorized and trained in firearms from carrying weapons on military bases. Current policy leaves these tireless servants unable to protect themselves - and that must change.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) recently attempted to use bureaucratic rulemaking to ban a common type of ammunition, the M855. The M855 is typically used for sporting purposes; however, technology has allowed this ammunition to be used in handguns. The ATF cited a loophole in the U.S. Code that states, ammunition that “may be used in a handgun” may be considered ‘armor piercing’. Rep. Perry introduced the ATF Wrongful Classification Act (H.R. 2019) to prevent ATF’s attempt to bypass Congress and misclassify this ammunition. Since that time, the ATF reversed its decision.
Finally, the recent data breach of the Office of Personnel Management impacted more than 22 federal employees and exposed addresses, social security numbers, pay grades and pension, insurance and health plan details. To better address the threats posed by domestic and overseas hackers, Rep. Perry joined colleagues from both sides of the aisle in a letter pushing OPM to strengthen its authentification procedures to ensure its data is protected fully from a wide array of cyber attacks.
Last year, two legislative measures sponsored by Rep. Perry were signed into law. The first, a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 4007, the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act, reinforces the protection and security of chemical facilities from terrorist attacks. In December of 2014, his legislation to preserve the Lincoln Train Station, where President Abraham Lincoln arrived prior to delivering the Gettysburg Address (originally H.R. 1513), was incorporated into separate legislation and signed into law.