Following the 2020 election, Democrats control both chambers of the United States Congress.
While Republicans narrowed the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats managed to assume control of the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote. For the foreseeable future, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will determine the direction of the most powerful legislative body in the country.
As a result, Democratic politicians floated countless aggressive policy proposals — including statehood for Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, and other territories; trillions in spending on COVID-19 relief; and the federal codification of Roe v. Wade — during the latest election cycle.
In addition to these high-profile proposals, members of the 117th Congress are now pushing these four new impactful bills and resolutions which, if passed, could alter the political landscape for generations.
Creating a Federal Firearms Registry
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, which would direct the Attorney General to use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to license and register “each firearm present in the United States.”
Under the legislation, all firearm owners would be forced to provide “the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored” to the ATF.
The agency would then create a database made available to the public, as well as all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
All firearm owners would also have to pay the Department of Justice an $800 fee in exchange for a mandatory gun “insurance policy.” Those who do not comply with the policy may face fines of up to $150,000 and prison sentences of up to 25 years.
Canceling $50,000 in student debt
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) proposed a resolution that would encourage President Biden to unilaterally cancel federal student loans.
Through the resolution, the two “squad” members ask President Biden to use “executive authority” and erase up to $50,000 in debt for each federal borrower.
The text of the resolution states that over 43 million borrowers currently hold over $1.5 trillion in federal student loans. It also states that black students have been “forced” to accrue more student debt than white students due to “ongoing structural barriers that have resulted in persistent racial inequities in incomes and wealth.”
“The student debt crisis is a racial and economic justice issue,” said Rep. Pressley in a statement. “President Biden has the legal authority to cancel billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must meet the moment by using that authority, which would not only set us on a path to an equitable recovery, but would also help reduce the racial wealth gap.”
“Millions of Americans can’t afford to put food on the table and feed their families,” said Rep. Omar. “The last thing people should be worried about right now is their student loan debt.”
Other prominent Democrats joined the legislators — including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Perpetually declaring a climate change emergency
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the FEMA Climate Change Preparedness Act — a bill that would instruct federal agencies to treat climate change as a national emergency.
Citing the wildfires that recently ravaged much of the West Coast, Rep. Clarke wants the Federal Emergency Management Agency to place the “climate crisis” at the center of its mandate.
“Like so many Americans, I watched in horror last year as wildfires and storms ravaged our nation. Climate change is a crisis,” said Rep. Clarke in a press release. “Our duty in Congress is to take bold action to tackle climate-warming emissions and protect the American public from future climate impacts.”
Rep. Clarke believes that her legislation “will ensure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is fully equipped to help our communities prepare for and recover from the natural disaster implications of climate change.”
“All relevant agency policies, plans, programs, strategies, and operations must incorporate and center climate change, and this legislation will ensure that our national lifeline against natural disasters stays in top condition,” said Sen. Markey.
In addition to creating a FEMA “Climate Change Subcommittee,” the act would compel FEMA to “recognize climate change as a significant near and long-term threat to homeland security.”
FEMA exists to lead the nation’s responses to emergency events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and pandemics. The agency’s budget ballooned from $6.7 billion to $19.4 billion in the last fiscal year alone.
Giving bureaucrats control of college sports
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the “College Athletes Bill of Rights” to grant the federal government sweeping oversight powers over college athletics.
“I know firsthand that college sports can open doors of opportunity that most young people never knew existed — but the unfortunate reality is that the NCAA is also exploiting college athletes for financial gain, and disproportionately exploiting Black athletes who are over-represented in the revenue generating sports,” remarked Sen. Booker in a statement. “College athletes deserve better, they deserve justice, and they deserve to share in what they help create.”
The legislation would grant student-athletes the ability to market their name, image, and likeness with minimal restrictions. Universities would share up to 50% of profits from their collegiate athletics programs with student-athletes.
The bill would also give the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC enforcement power over health standards on a wide variety of injuries, including sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and concussions.
Citing low four-year graduation rates among college athletes, the legislation additionally forces universities to provide scholarships to struggling students “for as many years as it takes for them to receive an undergraduate degree.”
Perhaps the most sweeping portion of the bill is the creation of a federal “Commission on College Athletics.”
The commission would consist of nine members appointed by the President of the United States. These individuals would receive $100 million taxpayer dollars over two fiscal years to enforce the provisions of the College Athletes Bill of Rights.
The group would have unilateral power to impose penalties — including suspension for individual students or entire programs.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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