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Washington Report – Dec. 20, 2018

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: December 20, 2018

Facing the possibility of government shutdown on Dec. 21 and no agreement between Republicans and Democrats on funding President Trump’s request for the border wall, Congress is expected to pass another continuing resolution funding the federal government through Feb. 8, 2019. Congress has already passed five appropriations measures funding much of the federal government. The continuing resolution will cover the remaining seven fiscal 2019 spending bills, including the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill; President Trump announced Dec. 7 that he is nominating Bill Barr to serve as Attorney General. Barr served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. If confirmed, he will replace Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker who has been in the position since Nov. 7 when Jeff Sessions resigned; On Dec. 18, the Senate passed the FIRST STEP Act by a vote of 87-12 despite opposition from NAPO and a majority of the law enforcement community. NAPO was able to win several concessions from the bill’s sponsors including tightening the “warden loophole,” which would have allowed wardens to unilaterally decide whether an inmate could earn early release no matter what his assessed risk level. The House is expected to pass the Senate version of the FIRST STEP Act before adjourning for the year on Dec. 22; In a victory for NAPO, the Senate amended and passed by unanimous consent the Ashanti Alert Act (H.R. 5075) Dec. 6. NAPO opposed the version that passed the House as it would have integrated a new, unrelated alert system into the National Blue Alert Network that would have diminished the impact of the Blue Alert. NAPO supports the underlying goal of the Ashanti Alert, which is to help law enforcement find missing persons, so we worked closely with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who sponsored the Ashanti Alert Act in the Senate, to amend the legislation to remove it from the National Blue Alert Network; Please nominate examples of outstanding police work for NAPO’s TOP COPS using the nomination form below which must be postmarked or faxed to (703) 684-0515 by Jan.11, 2019; Register by clicking on the link below for NAPO’S 31st Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar to be held at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 3–5, 2019; and click on the link below for NAP O’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet and Legislative Positions. For more on these and other legislative positions, click on the Dec. 20, 2018 Washington Report below.

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