Welcome back to the Weekly QuizCap. September was a trying and exhausting month for America. But while the drama inside the Judiciary Committee captured the spotlight, Congress was still busy passing bills. So we ask, do you remember…the bills that passed in September? Ba de yaaaaaaa!
Congress passed and the President signed the “Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018” which prohibits a federal program from putting in “gag clauses” that prohibited which profession from telling patients about pricing?
Prior to passage, Medicare or Medicare advantage contracts could prohibit a pharmacist from telling a customer the price difference between drugs under Medicare or Medicare Advantage and buying drugs out of pocket - even though the prices for paying out of pocket would be cheaper for the customer 23 percent of the time. Congress also passed the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act - which bans employer sponsored and individual health insurance plans from including gag clauses.
Student loan debt continues to skyrocket to record highs - surpassing $1.5 trillion this year. This has been associated with delays in major life events of young Americans including marriage and buying a home. The House passed a student loan reform bill, 406-4. What would it do to help address this issue?
In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House passed the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act. The bill would require students to get counseling every year in order to receive federal student aid. This is the most Congressional thing ever. Rather than try to fix the underlying cost issue or the idea that college is a must for everyone - they want to make sure students know how screwed they are every single year.
The House passed a resolution associated with what event?
The House passed H.Res. 460, requesting the Secretary of Interior recognize the rich history of the logging industry and the importance of lumberjack sports by adding the Lumberjack Bowl to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places, created by Congress, is deemed the “official inventory of historic places that have been determined to be worthy of preservation.”
The House passed another bill that asked for which site to be included on the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register consists of over 80,000 listings covering 1.4 million entities, though some listings are curious - such as bowling alleys, putt putt courses, giant animal structures, and Butler Cabin within the private grounds of Augusta National Golf Course. The Wisconsin Delegation wants Rib Mountain - which is the supposed burial ground of Paul Bunyan - to be on the list. Important business…
True or False: the House passed a bill entitled the Hack Your State Department Act.
The bill is modeled after the successful “Hack the Pentagon Bug Program.” The bill would make it easier for white hat hackers (i.e. the good guys) to report vulnerabilities in the State Department networks to the agency. The bill would also establish a one year pilot program to establish awards for hackers to find vulnerabilities in the State Department. Cybersecurity has been a major concern for the federal government and this is an inventive way to help bolster our defenses.
Congress passed and the President signed into law the Music Modernization Act. What does the bill do?
Sorry dubstep fans! The bill is a culmination of a huge effort within the music industry (songwriters, publishers and streaming services) to update copyright laws for our digital streaming era. Kanye and Kid Rock were at the signing ceremony.
Congress passed and the president has signed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act. What does the Marrakesh Treaty do?
It is the first treaty that provides an exception to international copyright law. The exception will allow libraries to make copies of entire articles and books in formats such as braille, large print, or audiobook so they can be accessible to people with print disabilities.
Congress passed and the President signed the Save Our Seas Act which authorizes $10 million per year for the next five years to find ways to rid our oceans and lakes of “marine debris” (litter). How many tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year?
According to the Plastic Oceans Foundation, “We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.”
The Senate declared the week of October 21 through October 27 as National Retirement Security Week. An important issue, how many Americans have nothing saved for retirement?
According to a recent survey, 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. only have several hundred dollars in their savings accounts and 34 percent have zero savings, and, according to another Survey, 24 percent of baby boomers expect that "contributions from children" will play an important role in funding their retirement. Lets commemorate it with a special week!
A package of tax bills dubbed Tax Reform 2.0 recently passed the House of Representatives. According to the Tax Foundation, how much would it add to the national debt over 10 years?
Though the bill will likely not pass in the Senate, some policy centers even have the price tag as high as $3.15 trillion. That’s a lot cash young Americans will be responsible for.
The most prominent part of Tax Bill 2.0 is that it would make the tax cuts passed last year permanent. Why weren’t the previous tax cuts made permanent?
The tax bill was passed under budget reconciliation, and one of the reconciliation rules, known as the Byrd rule, stipulates that any bill going through reconciliation cannot add to the federal deficit outside of 10 years.
What did Congress do in September to address our runaway debt and unfunded liabilities problem?
But they did pass a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill without any substantive reforms.