NAPO Fights to Maintain Law Enforcement Access to Critical Investigative Data; FEND Off Fentanyl Act Included in Senate National Security Supplemental;NAPO-Backed Bill to Enhance Data Collection on Ambush Attacks on Officers Reintroduced; NAPO on the Hill: GPO & WEP ; NAPO Backs Bill to Make Health Care Costs Transparent; NAPO’s Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor Updates; NAPO Supports Bill to Address Substance Abuse in Prison & Reduce RecidivismFebruary 9, 2024
NAPO Fights to Maintain Law Enforcement Access
to Critical Investigative Data
The House is considering bringing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization bill to the floor for a vote next week that would be a cleaner reauthorization that does not include controversial provisions. However, House leadership is expected to allow for amendments during debate on the bill and the Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act (H.R. 4639) will most certainly be offered.
NAPO strongly opposes the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Actasit would produce significant public safety consequences by restricting law enforcement access to critical, publicly available investigative information that is utilized every day to combat violent and serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, terrorism, and threats of mass violence.
The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Actwill hamstring law enforcement’s ability to aid victims, solve crimes, illuminate and investigate drug trafficking networks, and intervene in overt threats of mass violence as quickly as possible. Further, this legislation is not relevant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and should not be included as part of any reauthorization.
NAPO reached out to all members of the House reiterating our opposition to the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act and urging them to reject any attempt to include it as part of FISA reauthorization. As part of our efforts, we shared once again the two joint law enforcement letters NAPO signed on to with Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), National Fusion Center Association (NFCA), National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) expressing our serious concerns with the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act. One letter is from July 18, 2023 and the other from December 6, 2023.
Publicly available data helps law enforcement focus its investigative resources on the most dangerous criminals. It helps rule out suspects, find exculpatory evidence, and ensures that law enforcement focuses its resources and authorities on those who committed crimes.
We successfully fought off the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act back in December and we will continue to educate members of Congress on the dangers of this legislation and ensure that it is not included in any FISA reauthorization. We are up against both progressive Democrats and the House Freedom Caucus who are adamant that a warrant requirement for Americans’ information – including publicly available information – must be included in FISA reauthorization.
FEND Off Fentanyl Act Included in Senate
National Security Supplemental
The national security supplemental that is currently advancing through the Senate includes the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act. This bill, sponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and supported by NAPO, would help combat the country’s fentanyl crisis by enhancing current law so U.S. government agencies can more effectively disrupt illicit opioid supply chains and penalize those facilitating the trafficking of fentanyl. It also ensures that sanctions are imposed not only on the illicit drug trade, but also on the money laundering that makes it profitable.
By including the FEND Off Fentanyl Act in the national security supplemental, the Senate is moving forward what will be a critical component in the fight against the spread of this deadly poison in our communities. It will sanction transnational organizations and cartels that traffic fentanyl and its precursors, helping to stop the flow of this deadly poison into our country.
The national security supplemental, which would send military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, is not a done deal and the Senate is expected to debate the bill and consider various amendments over the weekend. If it does end up being passed by the Senate, it’s chances of moving in the House could be slim. NAPO continues to press members of Congress to address the fentanyl epidemic from all fronts. We firmly believe that we cannot act only after this drug enters our country; we must fight it before it crosses our borders.
NAPO-Backed Bill to Enhance Data Collection on
Ambush Attacks on Officers Reintroduced
NAPO once again pledged its support for the Improving Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Wellness Through Data Act, S. 3522, introduced by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). This bill would build on existing reporting requirements and fill data gaps to increase our understanding of the circumstances precipitating and involving ambush-style attacks against law enforcement.
Assaults on law enforcement have increased dramatically. In 2023, 378 officers were shot in the line of duty, of which 115 were ambush-style attacks. 46 officers died due to their gunshot injuries. NAPO has long advocated that data must be collected on the actual and threatened use of force against officers, and not only in situations involving firearms, to get the greater picture of the threat our officers face. One must only look at New York City, where overall crime is down, but over 2,235 police officers were assaulted in 2023. We have all seen the video of the violent attack on two NYPD officers just trying to do their jobs by a gang of migrants on January 27, 2024. This incident is not an anomaly; physical assaults on officers occur daily across the country and they are not treated as the serious crimes that they are.
The Improving Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Wellness Through Data Act also requires a report on the stresses and mental health toll these assaults have on officers and the extent to which mental health and wellness programs provided are meeting the needs of officers. This bill will be an important first step to ensuring we are collecting the data necessary to fully understand assaults against officers and getting agencies the support and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the men and women who so valiantly serve and protect our communities.
NAPO thanks Senators Grassley, Luján, Tillis, Hassan, and Cassidy for their support for the law enforcement community and we look forward to working with them to see this bill signed into law.
NAPO on the Hill: GPO & WEP
NAPO has been advocating for the House Ways & Means Committee to markup the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82, to build on the momentum of the November 20, 2023 field hearing. We are being told that the Committee is considering holding a hearing on the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in the coming weeks. While the November hearing focused on the provisions’ negative impact on public sector retirees and their financial security, this one is expected to concentrate on how repeal of the GPO and WEP would impact the Social Security Trust Fund, what the costs would be to fully repeal, and are there alternative options to full repeal.
H.R. 82 currently has 308 bipartisan cosponsors. We are also doing outreach in the Senate to build support for the Senate version of the Social Security Fairness Act, S. 597, sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME). S. 597 currently has 50 cosponsors, the highest number of cosponsors the bill has had in years. Our goal is to get the bill to 60 cosponsors, which is the number needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
You can check here to see if your Senators are cosponsors of S. 597. If they are not, please consider contacting them to urge them to cosponsor the bill. If you need any assistance, please reach out to NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs, Andy Edmiston, at email@example.com.
NAPO Backs Bill to Make Health Care Costs Transparent
NAPO is supporting the Health Care PRICE Transparency Act 2.0, sponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Tina Smith(D-MN), which would promote price transparency in the health care sector.
Out-of-pocket health care costs are skyrocketing for Americans, and many are faced with unexpected and unaffordable medical payments for treatments and services. NAPO supports the Health Care PRICE Transparency Act 2.0 because it would help mitigate this issue by requiring hospitals, insurance companies, labs, imaging providers, and ambulatory surgical centers to publicly list the prices they charge patients, empowering patients to make educated choices on the treatment and services available. This bill will require actual prices for 300 shoppable services to be publicly published, with all services by 2025.
The Health Care PRICE Transparency Act 2.0 would improve transparency and accountability in healthcare costs and support patients as they navigate their way through our nation’s complicated health care system. Something must be done about the rising costs of healthcare and the struggle Americans go through when trying to get affordable care for themselves and their loved ones.
The House passed a similar, NAPO-supported bill – the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (H.R. 5378) – on December 11, 2023, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 320-71. We look forward to working with the House and Senate sponsors of these bills to enact legislation to bring accountability and transparency to our nation’s health care system and protect the health and financial stability of hardworking Americans.
NAPO’s Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor Updates
NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is available on NAPO’s website. The spreadsheet accompanies the latest “Legislative Positions” document, which is also available on the NAPO website. NAPO's Legislative Positions is a document that highlights all the legislation that we have taken an official position on or are monitoring during the 118th Congress. It is continually updated to reflect the work we are doing on Capitol Hill.
The “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is a useful tool to check if your members of Congress have supported pieces of legislation that will impact our members. NAPO updates this spreadsheet regularly and continues to ensure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
NAPO Supports Bill to Address Substance Abuse in
Prison & Reduce Recidivism
NAPO pledged its support for the Supporting Treatment and Recovery Over Narcotics for Growth, Empowerment, and Rehabilitation (STRONGER) Act (S. 3740), sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). This bill would reauthorize the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners (RSAT) Grant Program under the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at $40 million a year through Fiscal Year 2029.
The RSAT Program provides funding to state and local governments to provide treatment to adults in prison and jail with a substance use disorder. Importantly, RSAT-funded programs prepare incarcerated individuals for reintegration into the community, giving them the tools they need to stay sober, break the cycle of addiction, and reduce recidivism.
The RSAT Program has long had strong bipartisan support and we look forward to working with Senators Cornyn, Whitehouse, Tillis, Klobuchar, Cassidy, and Hassan to pass the STRONGER Act.