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Things Congress did and didn't do before leaving

Congress has departed Washington for the campaign season, returning November 15 (save for brief Senate pro forma sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays). As an update on the issues we follow around here, then:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fiddled around with a cloture motion on S. 3772, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which means the bill could come to the Senate floor in November. Reid may just be trying to excite the activists and nothing will come of it, but Diana Furchtgott-Roth warns against the possibility in an Examiner column, "'Paycheck Fairness' an insult to women."

Legislating from pique, the Senate passed S. 2847, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM Act. The CRS summary: Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prescribe a regulation limiting the volume of television advertisements that is limited to incorporating by reference the 'Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television' insofar as such recommended practice concerns the transmission of commercial advertisements by a television broadcast station, cable operator, or other multichannel video programming distributor."

The Senate Judiciary Committee
postponed its business meeting scheduled for Thursday with the planned vote on the nomination of Robert Chatigny to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Thanks to those pro forma sessions, Chatigny's nomination will not be returned to the President.

On a voice vote, the House approved
H.R. 1347, Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act, establishing concussion management guidelines on prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-aged children, including standards for student athletes to return to play after a concussion. Reaction from Michael V. Kaplen, a New York personal injury attorney who specializes in brain injuries.

The House passed H.R. 5932, the Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act, by unanimous consent. The bill directs the Attorney General to establish an Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Unit to combat the growing problem of organized retail theft.

Two bills to limit liability were introduced on the same day, Sept. 29, one from a Texas Republican, the other from three Texas Democrats. Worth looking into:

  • By Mr. SMITH of Texas: H.R. 6239. A bill to provide targeted liability protections for claims based on damages resulting from, or aggravated by, the inclusion of ethanol in certain fuel, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

  • By Mr. GONZALEZ (for himself, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, and Mr. RODRIGUEZ): H.R. 6243. A bill to make the United States exclusively liable for certain claims of liability to the extent such liability is a claim for damages resulting from, or aggravated by, the inclusion of ethanol in transportation fuel; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

And finally, the House adopted H.Res. 1546, to congratulate the Washington Stealth for winning the National Lacrosse League.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.