Wednesday, October 23, 2019

House Meets at… Votes Predicted at…
10:00 a.m. Morning Hour
12:00 p.m. Legislative Business
Fifteen “One Minutes” Per Side
First Votes: 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Last Votes: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.



Floor Schedule and Procedure: 

H.R. 4617 – SHIELD Act (Rep. Lofgren – House Administration)

This bill creates a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents, improves transparency of online political advertisements, closes loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections, restricts the exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents, and prohibits deceptive practices about voting procedures.

Click here for a fact sheet from the Committee on House Administration.

Click here for a section-by-section summary of the SHIELD Act.

The Rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:

DeSaulnier Amendment
Requires the FEC to notify states within 30 days of making a determination that a foreign national has initiated or attempted to initiate a disinformation campaign targeted at an election in a state.

Lesko Amendment
Strikes Section 313. Section 313 requires the Attorney General, upon determination that state and local election officials have not taken adequate steps in response to violations of the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Act, to promptly communicate accurate information to correct materially false information (such as about the time, place or manner of voting).  The Section also requires that the corrective information be accurate and objective, consist only of the material necessary to correct the materially false information, be intended to reach the persons to whom the materially false information has been or is being communicated to, and not favor or disfavor any particular candidate, organization, or political party.

Lynch Amendment
Generally prohibits the use of deepfakes distributed with actual malice and with intent to injure a candidate’s reputation or deceive a voter within 60 days of a federal election and establishes corresponding criminal and civil penalties; provides exceptions for disclaimer statements that audio or visual media has been manipulated.

Levin (MI) Amendment
Prohibits foreign nationals from influencing American elections by setting up shell companies.

Langevin Amendment
Directs the FEC to commission an independent study and report on media literacy with respect to online political content consumption among voting-age Americans.

Swalwell Amendment
Includes a candidate’s immediate family members among those whose direct or indirect contacts or communications with a covered foreign national may amount to a reportable foreign contact with the term immediate family member meaning a candidate’s parent, parent-in-law, spouse, adult child, or sibling.

Brown Amendment
Requires the FBI to confirm receipt when a political committee issues a notification that they have been contacted by a reportable foreign contact. Additionally, requires the FBI to submit a report to Congress on how they are managing and responding to notifications from political committees.

Delgado Amendment
Requires the Federal Election Commission to do an analysis of the extent to which illicit foreign money was used to carry out disinformation and propaganda campaigns focused on depressing turnout among rural communities and the success or failure of these efforts, together with recommendations to address these efforts in future elections.

Houlahan Amendment
Codifies the FEC definition of “substantial assistance” for an illegal foreign transaction and defines what it means to “knowingly” abet a foreign entity, consistent with FEC regulations.

Slotkin Amendment
Directs GAO to conduct an assessment of current exemptions of FARA registration requirements and what adjustments should be made to prevent foreign funding from influencing U.S. elections and political processes.

Sherrill Amendment
Expands from 60 days before an election to 90 days the provisions on knowingly prohibiting deceptive practices in federal elections, including knowingly providing false information about the time or place of voting, qualifications for voting, or public endorsements.

Cunningham Amendment #12
Requires the FEC to include in its report to Congress an analysis of disinformation campaigns focused on depressing turnout among African-American and other minority communities.

Cunningham Amendment #13
Requires the FEC to include in its report to Congress an analysis of disinformation campaigns focused on influencing military servicemembers and veterans along with recommendations to address these efforts.

Spanberger Amendment
Requires that online platforms include in their records of purchase requests for qualified political advertisements whether a purchaser is acting as the agent of a foreign principal and the identification of the foreign principal involved, when applicable. Qualified political advertisements include ads that mention candidates or elections or are related to national legislative issues of public importance.

Suspensions (1 bill):

  1. H.R. 777Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019, as amended (Rep. Carolyn Maloney – Judiciary)

This bill extends grant appropriations for fiscal years 2019 through 2024.  It also ensures that Debbie Smith grant funding is prioritized for DNA analyses of crime scene samples from rape kits, samples from other sexual assault evidence, and samples taken in cases without an identified suspect.  It further conditions grant eligibility on the provision of assurances that the DNA section of the laboratory to be used to conduct DNA analyses has a written policy that prioritizes the analysis of samples from homicides and sexual assaults.

“Let us not tire of preaching love; it is the force that will overcome the world.”

Oscar Romero