DC Dispatch: Iowa delegation passes suicide prevention law on veterans law

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Have a nice Friday and welcome to DC Dispatch. This week, the Iowa delegation to our nation’s capital tabled several new bills related to suicide prevention, the IRS, social security, and more.

Ernst, Miller-Meeks introduce bipartisan suicide prevention proposal for veterans

Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, both veterans, spearheaded the introduction of a bicameral law this week that would require the Department of Defense to evaluate its suicide prevention efforts and make improvements.

A recent report found that military suicides up 15% in the past year.

“We need to publish the (Save Our Servicemembers Act). and get to the bottom of this alarming and worrying trend, ”Ernst said in a statement. “It starts with this straightforward, non-partisan move directing the Pentagon to streamline its prevention efforts and clean up collaboration in its own offices.”

the Senate bill had 33 co-sponsors as of Friday including Senator Chuck Grassley and several Democrats. The house bill had only one co-sponsor: Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Texas.

Republicans propose bills to block IRS changes

The Democrats proposed a new policy that would allow the Internal Revenue Service to monitor certain banking transactions for funds not coming from a taxable payroll or federal benefits. The intention, according to the Biden government, was to better track which companies and individuals were reporting less taxable income than they were actually making.

Under the original proposal, the IRS would have access to any account that had a total of $ 600 in deposits and withdrawals annually.

Republicans condemned the proposal, arguing that it was an invasion of privacy. The Democrats have scaled back the legislation a bit, instead setting a cap on annual deposits or withdrawals of over $ 10,000.

The Iowa Republicans still oppose the proposal.

“The information the Democrats are looking for is a total invasion of privacy,” Grassley said in a statement. “The average American shouldn’t have to explain every financial transaction to the federal government.”

Republicans in the Senate introduced an invoice to combat the demands that still have to be met. Grassley and Ernst jointly sponsored the legislation.

In the house, Miller-Meeks and Rep. Ashley Hinson Co-sponsored a similar bill against reporting banking information to the IRS. Rep. Randy Feenstra wasn’t listed as a co-sponsor on Friday, but he did sign a letter from Republicans in the House of Representatives to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The letter condemned both the $ 600 and $ 10,000 limits.

“Your proposal … will instill further distrust in our financial system because of ongoing and legitimate concerns about the IRS’s ability to protect the privacy and financial information of the American people, and potentially increase the unbanked population,” the letter said.

Miller-Meeks and Hinson also signed the letter.

Axne submits proposal for social security telephone lines

MP Cindy Axne tabled a bill this week requiring the Social Security Administration to properly staff their phone lines. Axne said older people in Iowa relied on the hotline during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that many voters reported long waits.

“My bill is a common sense solution: it says federal social security agencies must provide the appropriate staff in order to have real people occupying those phone lines,” Axne said in a statement. “And it doesn’t require taxpayers to spend a single extra penny because, frankly, that’s something they should be doing already.”

Senators send letters about agriculture, energy

One of the most important means of communication for the legislature between branches and authorities is the public publication of letters. Iowa’s senators kept the postal service busy this week.

  • Grassley asked Biden Keep wind energy in mind taking into account new environmental and economic policies. The letter comes after the news that a manufacturer of wind turbines in Newton more than 700 workers are laid off.
    • “To achieve such an ambitious goal, it is vitally important to maintain and expand our existing base of American clean energy jobs,” wrote Grassley. “Still, in Iowa, people who already work in the clean energy sector get pink papers.”
  • Ernst, Grassley, and a handful of other senators sent a letter to Agriculture Minister Tom Vilsack. They asked Vilsack why a $ 700 million biofuel aid package has not yet been implemented.
  • Grassley and Ernst asked the Department of Homeland Security for further details Ransomware attacks on farm businesses.

What happened to the infrastructure and the expense accounts?

The Democrats continued to work on a compromise on a massive law of reconciliation. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Democrats were close to graduation a version of the package that the whole group will agree on. It’s a balancing act between appeasing moderates, who resisted an initial price of $ 3.5 trillion, and progressives, who campaigned for major political change.

The leadership of the House of Representatives has not set a date for the debate on the bill.

Ernst throws the dice at another board game presentation

This week Ernst continued a series of floor-level speeches on the subject of board games and delivered a far-reaching criticism of the Biden government with the game “LIFE”. Ernst had one last month Speech on the UN issue on the expenditure proposal.

When Ernst was accused on Twitter of having given speeches with a high “cringe factor”, he told the commentator on “Get a LIFE”.

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