Post Image: The twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution.

Congress Proposed an Amendment to the US Constitution

On August 3, Congress proposed an amendment to the United States Constitution.

United States Constitution

The twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution grants US citizens, who are eighteen years of age or older, the right to vote. However, legislation extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older is now up for consideration. Before I get into the specifics, it is useful to clarify a few key concepts and terms.

What Is Legislation?

  • As the Legislative Branch of government, Congress creates laws (legislation) and changes laws. This includes amending the United States Constitution.
  • Most legislative proposals are in the form of bills. For a bill to become a law, both Chambers (the House of Representatives and the Senate) must approve the legislation in the same form. Once both Chambers are in agreement, the bill goes to the president. The President can veto the bill or sign the bill into law.

What is A Joint Resolution?

  • Other legislative proposals are in the form of joint resolutions. Bills and joint resolutions are essentially the same. But, joint resolutions are used for proposing amendments to the Constitution (among other things).
  • Joint resolutions require approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate.
  • Additionally, three-fourths of the states must ratify a joint resolution to amend the Constitution.
  • Finally, while the president must sign a bill before it becomes law, joint resolutions used for proposing amendments to the Constitution do not need the president’s signature. 
Congress proposing amendment to the constitution allowing people ages 16 and over to vote

 Summary: H. J. RES. 138

Representative Grace Mang (D) sponsored a joint-resolution to extend the right to vote to 16 year-olds.  Here is a summary of the proposed legislation.

Section (1)

The twenty-sixth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section (2)

The right of citizens of the United States, who are sixteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section (3)

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Let’s Talk About It

Should 16 year-olds vote?

 Click here to track

About the Author

O.W.B Public Affairs Digest Home Image Meet Olivia P. Walker

Olivia P. Walker is a public affairs strategist, campaign consultant, and writer. Most recently, Olivia served as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering. Before that, she served as government affairs and public policy analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer.

[Read Article: WellCare Health Plans Paid For My Silence]

Olivia holds a master’s degree in public administration from theUniversity of South Florida School of Public Affairs. In 2016, Olivia was initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. She is a member of theAmerican Society for Public Administration and a member of the ASPA Section on Public Law and Administration. Olivia also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization.

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Gov Watch Post Image for Today in Government | 26 July

Today In Government: Religious Freedom, Tax Reform and Trade

Trump administration officials make rules, regulations, and policies that impact most aspects of our lives. Today in government, religious freedom, tax reform, and trade are topics up for discussion and debate.

Today in Government

What the government decides to do — or not to do— influences how much we pay for essential products and services, our access to health care, and the food we eat. Keeping up with the actions taken by government can help you make strategic decisions about your safety, your job or business, and your family.

Government officials make rules, regulations, and laws that impact most aspects of our lives. Click To Tweet

 Religious Freedom, Taxes and Trade

Today government officials will engage with highly consequential topics and make important decisions about religious freedom protections, tax reform and trade. All of which profoundly impact the lives of millions of Americans domestically and abroad. Here are the details.

All events listed below are publicly available on C-SPAN

Knowing the actions taken by government can help you make strategic decisions about your safety, job, and family. Click To Tweet

Event Schedule

Post image for Legislative Business in Congress: Gov Watch Trump Administration and Congress Today
Legislative Business | Congress

Congress

1. 9:00AM (EDT) – U.S. House of Representatives Meets for Legislative Business

John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019

Summary – The House is considering  H.R. 5515. The bill authorizes FY2019 Department of Defense appropriations for: Procurement, including aircraft, missiles, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, ammunition, ship-building and conversion, and space procurement; Working Capital Funds; Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction; Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities; Overseas Contingency Operations; and Military Construction.

2. 9:30AM (EDT) – U.S. Senate Debates 2019 Spending Bills

Provides FY2019 appropriations for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and related agencies.

Summary – The Senate has resumed deliberations on H.R. 6147, a package of spending bills for FY2019. The bills relate to the following: The Interior and Environment; Financial Services; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Agriculture departments.

Trump Administration | Executive Branch
Trump Administration | Executive Branch

Trump Administration

3. 9:45AM (EDT) – U.S. Trade Representative on Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Summary – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and related agencies on the Trump Administration’s Trade Policy and the 2019 budget.

4. 10:00AM (EDT) – Federal Officials Testify on Government Reorganization Plan

Summary – General Services Administration Administrator, Emily Murphy and Office of Personnel Management Director, Jeff Pon testify at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing.  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management is hosting the hearing.

5. 10:00AM (EDT) – Vice President Mike Pence Addresses Religious Freedom Conference

Summary – Vice President Mike Pence is delivering remarks on Religious Freedom at a State Department conference.

6. 10:30AM (EDT) – Senate Panel Looks at Tax Administration Reforms

Summary – Stakeholders in tax policy testify at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on making improvements to the Tax Administration.

7. 3:40PM (EDT) – President Trump Delivers Remarks in Illinois on Tariffs Policy

Summary – President Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at Granite City Works, a steel-production factory in Illinois.

8. 4:10PM (EDT) – Secretary of State Pompeo Holds News Conference on Religious Freedom

Summary – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host a religious freedom forum and news conference with government officials and international organizations at the State Department.

Today’s events will impact all Americans. 


115th Congress: Pharmaceutical Industry, Medicare, ACA, 340B – Legislation to Watch

Legislative measures aim to solve problems as defined by members of Congress. Once a bill passes both Chambers, the President will either sign the bill into law or veto it. If passed, the new law —  or act —  is codified in the United States Code (U.S.C).

REGULATIONS 

Once codified, federal agencies create rules and regulations — published in the Federal Register (FR) — to carry out the laws passed by Congress. Regulatory agencies act with broad discretionary authority and within limits set by Congress and the Constitution.

LEGISLATION TO WATCH

    1. S.2460 – Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act – If passed in its current form, this bill will amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require e-prescribing for coverage under part D of the Medicare program of prescription drugs that are controlled substances.
    1. S.2453 – Ensuring the Value of the 340B Program Act of 2018 – If passed in its current form, this bill will amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require hospitals to provide the Secretary with information on the hospital’s acquisition costs for 340B drugs and the total revenues received by the hospital for such drugs.
    1. S.2476 – Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic Drugs Act – If passed in its current form, this bill will amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure that valid generic drugs may enter the market.
    1. S.2478 – End Taxpayer Subsidies for Drug Ads Act – If passed in its current form, this bill will amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny the deduction for advertising and promotional expenses for prescription drugs.
  1. S.2554 – Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act – If passed in its current form, this bill will amend Section 1311(e) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by adding at the end the following:

(4)  INFORMATION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. —The Exchange shall require health plans seeking certification as qualified health plans to ensure that—  “(A) the health insurance issuer does not restrict any pharmacy that dispenses a prescription drug to an enrollee in the plan from informing (or penalize such pharmacy for informing) an enrollee of any differential between the price of the drug to the enrollee under the plan and the price the individual would pay for the drug if the enrollee obtained the drug without using any health insurance coverage; and

“(B) any entity that provides pharmacy benefits management services under a contract with any such health plan does not, with respect to such plan or any health benefits plan that the entity contracts with to provide pharmacy benefits management services and that is offered by an entity other than such sponsor or organization, restrict a pharmacy that dispenses a prescription drug from informing (or penalize such pharmacy for informing) an enrollee of any differential between the price of the drug to the enrollee under the plan and the price the individual would pay for the drug if the enrollee obtained the drug without using any health insurance coverage.”

(b) Other Health Plans. —The provisions of section 1311(e)(4) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as added by subsection (a)) shall apply to all health insurance issuers with respect to health insurance coverage and to all group health plans (as such terms are defined in section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act).

Notably, (a) not all measures [necessarily] pass through the Chamber in which they are introduced — similarly,  not all measures that pass through one or both Chambers will [necessarily] pass in their current form and (b) it is important to consider the (Party) composition of Congress in relation to the political (Party) affiliation(s) of the President and a bill’s sponsor — and co-sponsor(s) when gauging the likelihood of a legislative measure becoming law [this should not be taken to mean that ALL legislative measures lack bipartisan support].

LEGISLATION BEGETS REGULATION

The pharmaceutical industry, the 340B program, health plans, hospitals, and Medicare Part D are highly regulated. Government action profoundly impacts industry’s operations, products and business development goals. Strategically, the value of proactively tracking legislation cannot — and should not — be underscored.

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Legislation Begets Regulation and 2018 State Legislative Sessions Have Convened

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (U.S. Const. amend. X)

States across the U.S. are currently exercising their powers by negotiating changes in current laws and by creating new laws that will affect the reality American citizens, local government entities, public school districts, non-profit organizations, the justice involved, the undocumented, and corporate entities face every day.

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