Friday, August 23, 2013

Action Alert Reminder for N.J’s Congressman Chris Smith’s International Megan’s Amendment into Federal Bill HR2848 Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014.

This is Federal Legislation not State Legislation and some readers get confused about this so I’m going to side step for a minute.  

·        State laws are proposed every January through February (odd years) or March (even years) in Richmond Virginia by State Delegates and State Senators. If the bill passes through both chambers it is then sent to the Governor to be signed into law, amended or vetoed and if it is signed it becomes law only in Virginia on July 1st.

·        Federal laws are proposed year round in Washington D.C. There are 11 Virginia Representatives in the U.S. Congress (House) and 2 Virginia Representatives in the U.S. Senate.  If the bill passes through both chambers it is then sent to the President of the United States to be signed into law, amended or vetoed and if passed it applies to all 50 states.
U.S. Congress and Senate Members will be returning to Washington, D.C from their August recess on September 9, 2013.  

Per the 2013 schedule they will only be “in session” (voting) 9 days in the month of September and the 2013 Fiscal Year ends on September 30, 2013 which means HR2848 must be voted on by the full House, by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and by the full Senate all within those 9 days so it can then be signed into law before the FY 2014 begins on October 1st.  

If you have not yet emailed, called or written to your one Virginia House and two Virginia Senate Representatives to share your extreme displeasure with Congressman Smith’s “IML” amendment please, please do 

The first Action Alert about this amendment was on August 3, 2013.  

Then on August 9th separated into two posts I shared all the contact information for every Virginia Representative, every House Foreign Affairs Committee Member and every Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Member with you.  

In a second post on the 9th I shared a copy of the letter I emailed to every Representative listed for you to use in its entirety, partially or as inspiration for your own composition of what to say to the Representatives before they vote on HR2848 in September.  

Because HR2848 is a Budgetary Bill for FY 2014 related to the Security of our Foreign Embassies it is on a fast track to pass and unless Representatives hear from more than a handful of constituents they won’t want to oppose any amendment unless there has been a huge out-cry from citizens.  

For 5 years Smith’s International Megan’s Law has failed to be passed into law but by his latest tactic of inserting it into an Embassy Security Bill at the 11thhour just as it was leaving the House Foreign Affairs Committee he has given IML it's best chance ever and because of his under-handed maneuver we now must make every effort to get it removed before it goes ANY further through the process. 

U.S. Representatives D.C. offices are open during August recess; their staffers are answering the phones, receiving emails and opening mail. They keep running tallies of “yea” and “nay” opinions from citizens and they share that information with the Representatives when they return to the office for session.  

Please take 10 minutes next week before the Labor Day holiday and tell the Representatives to remove or significantly amend the "Smith Amendment" to HR2848.  

Thank you!  

Mary Devoy