BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Stefanik has co-sponsored 25 bills that became law

Signed into law

The following are policy bills U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, co-sponsored during her first term that were signed into law:

HR 6431 — Streamlines customs clearance for rail passengers traveling from Canada into United States

HR 1624 — Provides option to classify employers with 51 to 100 employees as “large employers” under President Obama’s health care reform plan

HR 3594 — Extends federal college Perkins Loan program

HR 5578 — Establishes “Bill of Rights” for sexual assault victims

HR 5846 — Exempts medals and prize money won in Olympic and Paralympic games from federal income tax for athletes with $1 million or less in adjusted gross income or $500,000 or less for a married individual filing a separate return

HR 1421 — Bans use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics

HR 2494 — Cracks down on global poaching of endangered and threatened wildlife

HR 2835 — Directs the Department of Homeland Security to recruit and expedite the application process for veterans with proper training and experience to work as federal Customs and Border Patrol officers

HR 5015 — Directs the Department of Defense to identify combat-injured veterans that the department withheld taxes on severance payments and notify the veterans of how much money was improperly withheld

HR 4336 — Directs the Department of Defense to allow burial or interment of cremated remains for any person that has had active military duty, making it possible for a World War II era woman aviator to be buried there with full military honors

HR 4352 — Directs Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a three-year demonstration project of scheduling and confirming VA medical appointments via the internet

HR 34 — Streamlines regulatory process for drugs and medical devices and establishes policy and plans funding for medical research

(Source: Library of Congress government information website)

A nearly decade-long goal of regional business and tourism leaders to streamline the border crossing process for Amtrak passengers entering the United States from Canada took a major step forward when President Barack Obama signed legislation in December.

The legislation, which established a procedure for U.S. customs agents to clear baggage when passengers board trains in Canada, instead of at the border, is among 25 bills that U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, co-sponsored in her first term in office that were signed into law.

The Canadian Parliament must now approve the legislation before it can be implemented.

Currently, customs inspectors board trains at the border to conduct inspections, a process that can delay trains, such as those that travel between Montreal and Albany, for up to two hours.

Business and tourism leaders have said the change will encourage more tourism and business travel via Amtrak. The change is a way to speed up rail service even without investing in track improvements, Garry Douglas, president of Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce, said in 2009.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., first introduced legislation in 2011 which gradually gained bipartisan support.

Another bill Stefanik co-sponsored that became law, the 21st Century Cures Act, includes provisions to streamline the federal Food and Drug Administration approval process for medical devices, and provisions to address Lyme disease, which she identified as a key issue in her first two-year term of 2015 and 2016.

Stefanik co-sponsored legislation to provide the option to classify employers with 51 to 100 employees as large employers under President Obama’s health care law, legislation to establish a “Bill of Rights” for survivors of sexual assault, and legislation to extend the federal college Perkins Loan program.

She co-sponsored legislation to crack down on poaching of endangered and threatened wildlife, legislation to ban plastic microbeads in cosmetics, and legislation to exempt medals and prize money received in Olympic Games or Paralympic Games from federal income tax.

Stefanik co-sponsored four bills signed into law that address veterans issues, three budget bills and 10 bills commemorating historic events or renaming post offices.

Stefanik, who was re-elected to a second two-year term in November, co-sponsored another 34 laws that passed the House but not the Senate in 2015 and 2016.

Stefanik personally introduced 11 pieces of legislation in her first term, none of which were signed into law as stand-alone bills.

One, to hire outside contractors to process a backlog of Veterans Affairs applications, passed the House but not the Senate.

Several bills that Stefanik introduced or co-sponsored were attached to other legislation that was signed into law. Those include legislation to collaborate with Israel on missile defense research, to require congressional authorization to reduce the military land force, to repeal employer health insurance automatic enrollment requirement and to provide federal assistance for communities with property damage from ice jams.

Stefanik collaborated on legislation and resolutions with 231 House colleagues in her first term: 147 Republicans and 84 Democrats. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, collaborated with Stefanik on 15 bills and resolutions, making him the congresswoman’s most frequent collaborator. Reps. Timothy Walz, D-Minn., and Grace Meng, D-Queens, with six each, were her most frequent Democratic collaborators.

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