What's New in Washington

September 2014


ABA Commends Introduction of the Community Integration Act

On September 19, the ABA sent a letter to Representative Cartwright commending him for introducing the Community Integration Act of 2014 (H.R. 5547). The proposed legislation would expand the availability of home and community based services (HCBS) by requiring Medicaid plans to give certain individuals with disabilities the right to receive long-term care in a home and community-based setting.  H.R. 5547 is the companion bill to S. 2515, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Harkin in August. Read more...

ABA Joins 233 House Members in Supporting Cash Accounting, Opposing Mandatory Accrual Method

On September 11, a  majority of Representatives submitted a Dear Colleague letter to the House leadership urging them to preserve the cash method of accounting for law firms and many other small businesses and opposing legislation that would require many such firms to switch to the accrual method.  A similar letter was sent by 46 Senators to the Senate Finance Committee on August 6. Read the House letter here.  Read the Senate letter here.

ABA Supports S. 2698 

On September 10, 2014, ABA President William Hubbard sent a letter to members of the Senate Banking Committee in support of S. 2698, legislation requiring in part that “the National Credit Union Administration [provide] pass-through share insurance for the deposits or shares of any interest on lawyers trust accounts” (IOLTAs). Read more...

ABA Urges Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act

On September 9, 2014, the ABA sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging the chamber to pass S. 2199, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will update the Equal Pay Act. Read more...

ABA Statement on Proposing a Constitutional Amendment Relating to Parental Rights

On September 9, 2014, the ABA submitted a statement to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice regarding the proposal of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to parental rights. Read more... 

August 2014

ABA Commends Introduction of the Community Integration Act

On August 1, the ABA sent a letter to Senator Harkin commending him for introducing the Community Integration Act of 2014 (S. 2515). The proposed legislation would expand the availability of home and community based services (HCBS) by requiring Medicaid plans to give certain individuals with disabilities the right to receive long-term care in a home and community-based setting. Read more...


July 2014


ABA Opposes H.R. 5230, the Secure Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014

On July 31, the ABA submitted a letter to Members of the House of Representatives urging them to oppose H.R. 5230, the Secure the Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014. The letter expressed that, as introduced, the bill does not provide adequate funding to meet many critical needs of unaccompanied children entering the country and contains misguided provisions that would significantly diminish the legal protections provided to these children under current law. Read more...

ABA Supports Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

On July 22, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations expressing the ABA’s strong support for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and urging the Committee to favorably report the CRPD to the full Senate.Read more…

ABA Supports Law Firms' Use of Cash Accounting, Warns of Proposed Tax on Phantom Income

On July 10, ABA President-Elect William Hubbard submitted a statement to a key House Small Business subcommittee regarding the advantages of the simple cash method of accounting used by most law firms and expressing serious concerns over legislation that would force many firms to switch to accrual accounting and pay taxes on phantom income they have not yet received and may never receive. Read more...

ABA Comments on the Social Security Administration's Current Process for Evaluating Disability Claimants' Symptoms

On July 2, the ABA submitted comments to the Administrative Conference of the United States regarding the agency's study to assess the current process used by the Social Security Administration to evaluate claimants' self-reported symptoms, including pain, in the adjudication of Social Security disability claims. Read more...

June 2014

ABA Testimony to House Judiciary Task Force on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions and the Problem of Over-Criminalization of Federal Law

On June 26, 2014, Mathias H. Heck, Jr., Chair of the ABA's Criminal Justice Section, testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary Task Force on Over-Criminalization on the subject of collateral consequences of criminal convictions and the problem of over-criminalization of federal law. Read more...

ABA Statement on the Surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors at the South Texas Border

On June 25, 2014 ABA President James R. Silkenat, submitted a statement to the House Judiciary Committee regarding the surge of unaccompanied alien minors at the south Texas border. Read more...


ABA Letter Supporting the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014

On June 25, 2014 ABA President James R. Silkenat, sent a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee expressing the ABA's strong support of S. 1945, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. Read more...

ABA Urges Legal Services Corporation to Preserve Client Confidentiality

On June 20, the ABA submitted written comments to the Legal Services Corporation urging it to modify the new proposed Grant Assurances that LSC grant recipients will be required to follow as part of their grant agreements for Fiscal Year 2015.  In its comment letter, the ABA urged LSC not to adopt certain proposed language that would require grant recipients to provide access to any requested records, even those containing confidential client information, unless the records are protected from disclosure by federal law or the federal attorney-client privilege.  Read more...

ABA Letter Supports the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014

On June 16, the ABA submitted a letter to Chairman John Kline and Ranking Member George Miller of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce supporting reauthorization of the Older Americans Act and urging its expeditious passage through the committee so that it may be considered by the full House. Read the letter to Chairman Kline. Read the letter to Ranking Member Miller. 

ABA Testimony to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on Retroactivity of 2014 Drug Guidelines Amendments

On June 10, 2014, James Felman the ABA Liaison to the Sentencing Commission and Chair-Elect of the Criminal Justice Section testified before the Commission regarding retroactivity of 2014 drug guidelines amendments. Read more...

May 2014


ABA Letter Commends President Obama and Offers Its Resources in Review of Death Penalty Process

On May 15, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and President Barack Obama regarding the need to review death penalty procedures and offering the American Bar Association's resources and readiness to assist in such a review. Read the letter to the Attorney General. Read the letter to President Obama. 

ABA Supports Transparency in Campaign Finance

On May 6, the ABA submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration supporting transparency in campaign finance and expressing concern over recent decisions by the Supreme Court which dismantled key components of our campaign finance framework. Read more...

April 2014


ABA Urges Funding for Elder Justice Act 

On April 25, 2014 the ABA sent a letter to both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies urging funding for the Elder Justice Act. Read the letter to the House. Read the letter to the Senate...

ABA Letter Regarding Arms Exports to Countries with a Consistent Pattern of Gross Human Rights Abuses 

On April 14, 2014 ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to Stephen Pomper, Chairman of the Atrocities Prevention Board, urging the Board to conduct a review of U.S. arms exports to ensure that U.S.-origin weapons do not inadvertently contribute to atrocities. Read more...

ABA Supports Paycheck Fairness Act 

On April 7, 2014, the ABA sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging the chamber  to allow a vote on S. 84, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will update the Equal Pay Act and  strengthen our nation’s commitment to equal pay for equal work. Read more...


March 2014

ABA opposes provisions of H.R. 3717 related to Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI) programs

On March 31, 2014 the ABA sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health urging opposition to portions of the Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act of 2013 that would cut and restrict the use of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI) program funds. Read more...

ABA Comments Regarding Proposed Amendments to Sentencing Guidelines 

On March 19, 2014, the ABA submitted comments to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in response to the Commission’s request for comments on pending proposed amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines. Read more...

ABA Letter Urging Withdrawal of Matter of Silva-Trevino

On March 11, 2014, ABA President, James R. Silkenat, sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to express concerns about the adverse affects of the Silva-Trevino opinion and to urge the withdrawal of it. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013

On March 5, 2014, the ABA sent a letter to leaders of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees expressing support for the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill provides resources to state and local governments as well as community-based organizations to improve success rates for people released from prison and jail. Read more...


February 2014

ABA Testimony on Reassessing Solitary Confinement

On February 25, 2014, the American Bar Association submitted a written statement for the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights on the subject of reassessing solitary confinement. Read more...

 

ABA Expresses Concerns to NSA, Requests its Support in Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege

On February 20, 2014, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to the National Security Agency expressing concerns over allegations in recent press reports concerning possible foreign government surveillance of American Lawyers' confidential communications with their overseas clients, the subsequent sharing of privileged information from those communications with the NSA, and the possible use of that information by the U.S. Government or third parties.  The ABA also requested NSA's support in preserving fundamental attorney-client privilege protections for all clients. Read more...

 

ABA Urges Congress to Support Adequate IRS Funding for FY 2015

On February 5, the ABA sent a letter to key House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to support adequate funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for FY 2015. The ABA has consistently supported funding the IRS at a level that will allow it to effectively carry out its mission. Read more...

ABA Letter Urging Further Development and Revision of Patent Reform Legislation

On February 4, 2014, the ABA sent a letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary urging further development and revision of S. 1720, the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act,” and other related patent reform legislation. The bill would amend the Patent Code as codified in title 35, U.S. Code, and other provisions of federal law relating to patents in several respects, with the objective of reducing abusive litigation practices in patent cases. Read more...

ABA Supports the Civil Justice Tax Fairness Act of 2013

On February 3, 2014, the ABA sent separate letters commending the members of the House and Senate that sponsored and co-sponsored the Civil Justice Tax Fairness Act of 2013. The ABA stated support in the letter for the effort to promote tax fairness in the treatment of civil rights and employment cases by excluding non-economic damages from gross income and eliminating the taxation of lump-sum recoveries at artificially high rates. Read the House letter here. Read the Senate letter here.


 

January 2014

 

 

ABA Letter Supports Nebraska Law Strengthening the Support Available to Children and Youth in Foster Care

On January 28, the ABA sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature, supporting the guardianship provisions of LB 908 that would strengthen the support available to children and youth in foster care in Nebraska. Read more...

ABA Comments Regarding the Prevention of Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care

On January 15, 2014, the ABA submitted a comment letter to members of the House Committee on Ways and Means regarding the Prevention of Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care. Read more... 

ABA Urges Congress to Reject Burdensome New Tax Proposal Affecting Law Firms

On January 13, 2014, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent separate letters to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee opposing draft legislation that would require all law firms and other personal service businesses with annual gross receipts over $10 million to use the accrual method of accounting rather than the traditional cash method of accounting.  The two draft bills would create significant financial hardship for many law firms, accounting firms, and other personal service businesses by forcing them to pay tax on income they have not yet received and may never receive.  Read the House letter hereRead the Senate letter here.

ABA Letter Regarding the Nomination of Debo Adegbile

On January 13, the ABA sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders with regard to the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division to address the criticism generated over the nominee’s legal representation of a death-sentenced prisoner. Read more...

ABA Letter Regarding FY 2014 Funding for the Federal Judiciary

On January 8, the ABA sent a letter to budget negotiators, thanking them for their commitment to provide the federal judiciary with the financial resources it needs to carry out its many critical constitutional and statutory duties. The ABA strongly supports the Judicial Conference’s FY 2014 appropriation request of $7.042 billion. Read more…

 

December 2013

 

ABA Letter Urging the Designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the Philippines 

On December 13, 2013, ABA President James R. Silkenat, sent a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Rand Beers, urging DHS to designate Tempporary Protexted Status to the Philippines. Read more... 

ABA Letter Urging Support for the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013

On December 9, 2013, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to support the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013. Read more...

ABA Urges Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

On December 4, 2013, the ABA sent a letter to members of the House-Senate Conference on Agriculture and Nutrition Legislation urging funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read more...

ABA Letter Urging Reauthorization of the House Over-Criminalization Task Force

On December 3, 2013 the ABA sent a letter to Chairmand Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. of the House Judiciary Committee, urging reauthorization of the Task Force on Over-criminalization. Read more...



November 2013

 

ABA Supports the Restore Honor to Service Members Act

On November 21, 2013, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel urging support for H.R. 2839, the Restore Honor to Service Members Act. This legislation will ensure that American veterans who were discharged due solely to their sexual orientation, but did not receive an “honorable” characterization of service, will have an opportunity to request that their characterization be upgraded. Read more...

ABA Adopts Resolution Opposing Burdensome New Tax Proposal Affecting Law Firms

On November 16, 2013, the ABA Board of Governors adopted a Resolution opposing draft legislation by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that would require all law firms and other personal service businesses with annual gross receipts over $10 million to use the accrual method of accounting rather than the traditional cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting.  The proposal, contained in Section 212 of the Committee’s “Tax Reform Act of 2013” discussion draft bill, would cause significant financial hardship to many law firms, accounting firms, and other personal service businesses by forcing them to pay tax on income they have not yet received and may never receive.  The ABA will now work closely with state and local bars and other interested groups in an effort to defeat the legislation. Read the ABA Resolution.

ABA Letter Supporting Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act

On November 18, the ABA sent a letter to U.S. Senators supporting provisions in S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, that would modify current law by permitting the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States for trial and clarifying the requirements for transfers to different countries. The ABA firmly believes that Article III federal courts are well equipped to handle terrorism trials and that they are a respected tool for upholding the rule of law and brining terrorists to justice. Read more…

ABA Letter Supporting Modifications to Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Rules 

On November 15, 2013, the ABA sent a letter to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania expressing support for the proposed modifications to Rules 1151, 1152, 1154, 1340, and 1800 and new Rules 153, 183, 1153, and 1183 recently proposed by the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that focus on establishing and clarifying the role and duties of lawyers in juvenile court proceedings. Read more...

ABA Endorses Legislation Requiring Plain Language in Regulations

On November 14, 2013, the ABA sent a letter to all members of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee urging them to support S. 807, the "Plain Writing Act for Regulations of 2013."  The ABA also sent a separate letter to all members of the House Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees urging them to support H.R. 1557, the "Plain Regulations Act of 2013."  Both bipartisan bills would require federal agencies to use plain language in all new and substantially revised regulations to promote greater understanding, increased fairness, and better compliance. Read the Senate letterRead the House letter.

ABA Letter Opposing the Innovation Act

On November 14, 2013, the ABA sent a letter to Chairman Robert Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., of the House Committee on the Judiciary to oppose the enactment of H.R. 3309 as introduced, but to urge further development and revision of the bill to achieve its worthy objectives. Read more...

ABA Letter Opposing the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013

On November 12, the ABA sent a letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives opposing H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013, which is scheduled for consideration by the House this week. Read more…

ABA Supports the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 

On November 5, 2013, ABA President James R. Silkenat, sent a letter to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting the Convention of the Persons with Disabilities. Read more...

 


October 2013

 

ABA Letter Regarding House Judiciary Hearing on Judgeships

On October 29, the ABA sent a letter to Representative Goodlatte, Chairman of House Judiciary Committee, regarding the ABA's views on the judgeship needs of the federal judiciary for the record of the hearing, titled, "Are Judges Always the Answer?" Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting the Smarter Sentencing Act 

On October 29, the ABA wrote a letter to Representative Raul Labrador and Representative Bobby Scott commending their introduction of the Smarter Sentencing Act. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting the National Right to Counsel Act

On October 28, the ABA wrote a letter to Representative Ted Deutch, commending his introduction of the National Right to Counsel Act. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act

On October 23, the ABA sent a letter to Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Alexander (R-TN) of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions supporting S. 1562, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013. The ABA applauds the bipartisan efforts of the Committee to move the bill forward so that it may be considered by the full Senate. Read more…

ABA Letter Supporting the Creation of a National Commission on Indigent Defense 

On October 15, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, supporting the creation of a National Commission on Indigent Defense. Read more... 

ABA Written Statement Regarding the Impact of the Government Shutdown and Sequestration on the Federal Judiciary

On October 8, James Silkenat, President of the ABA, testified before the House Judiciary Committee forum on “Examining the Impact of the Government Shutdown and Sequestration on the Provision of Justice.” Read more…

ABA Comments on Adoption Incentives Program to Senate Finance Committee

On October 7, 2013, the ABA submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee regarding draft legislation to extend and improve the Adoption Incentives Program. Read more...

 

September 2013

 

ABA Testimony Regarding Health Decisions 

On September 23, the ABA submitted comments to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Committee on Health Information and Technology Policy’s Certification/Adoption Workgroup regarding health decisions.  The ABA has strongly promoted the value of advance care planning and the use of advance health care directives by all adults. Read more…

ABA Testimony on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

On September 19, 2013, the ABA submitted a statement to the Senate Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations on the oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Read more...

ABA Endorses Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2013

On September 16, the ABA sent a letter to all members of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee urging them to support S. 1173, the “Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2013.”  The bipartisan bill would affirm the President's authority to issue an executive order requiring independent regulatory agencies to comply with the same regulatory analysis requirements that are currently applicable to executive agencies when adopting new regulations. Read more...

ABA Letter on the State of Indigent Defense

On September 16, 2013, ABA President James R. Silkenat sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding concerns over the current state of indigent defense. Read more...

ABA Testimony Supporting the Federal Judgeship Act of 2013

On September 10, Michael H. Reed testified on behalf of the ABA before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts regarding S. 1385, the Federal Judgeship Act of 2013. The ABA supports the comprehensive judgeship bill, which would authorize 70 permanent and 21 temporary judgeships at the district and appellate court levels. Read more…

 



August 2013

 

 

ABA Comments on Adoption Incentives Program

On August 28, 2013, the ABA submitted comments to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding draft legislation to extend and improve the Adoption Incentives Program. Read more...

 

ABA Action Alert on Federal Court Funding Crisis

On August 27, ABA President Jim Silkenat sent an action alert to all ABA members requesting assistance in educating Members of Congress about the adverse effects that sequestration is having on the ability of the federal courts to carry out their constitutional and statutory functions and to urge Congress to enact a FY 2014 appropriation for the judiciary at the funding level recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Read more...

ABA Action Alert on Federal Court Funding Crisis

On August 15, ABA President Jim Silkenat sent an action alert to the ABA Grassroots Action Team requesting assistance in educating Members of Congress about the adverse effects that sequestration is having on the ability of the federal courts to carry out their constitutional and statutory functions and to urge Congress to enact a FY 2014 appropriation for the judiciary at the funding level recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Read more…

ABA Urges BOP to Delay Transfer of Women Prisoners to Aliceville Facility

On August 6, the ABA sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons urging the deferment of the planned transfer of women prisoners from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Danbury, Connecticut, to the new facility in Aliceville, Alabama. Read More...

ABA Supports the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013

On August 2, 2013 the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting the Smarter Sentencing Act (SSA) of 2013, a bill that will address some of the causes for the unsustainable and unnecessary growth in the federal prison population by helping to reduce lengthy sentences for certain people convicted of nonviolent offenses. Read more...

 

July 2013

 

ABA Letter to Senator Coons Regarding Sequestration and the Federal Courts

On July 30, the ABA submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts for inclusion in the record of the July 23 hearing on the impact of sequestration on the courts. The ABA urges Congress to protect the federal judiciary from future deficit reduction and to increase funding for FY 2014 to the Senate Appropriations Committee's recommended level of $6.67 billion. Read more…

ABA Urges State and Local Bar Members to Follow New ABA Ethics Opinion and Voluntary Lawyer Guidance to Fight Money Laundering

On July 31, the ABA sent a letter to state and local bar presidents urging them to encourage their bars' members to follow new ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 463 and the related ABA Voluntary Lawyer Guidance as the most effective means of both combatting money laundering and avoiding much more burdensome federal legislation and regulations on lawyers. Read more...

ABA Letter Opposing the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013

On July 24, the ABA sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member Conyers (D-MI) opposing H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013. Read more…

ABA Letter Supporting the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act

On July 19, the ABA sent a letter to Senator Al Franken to thank him for introducing the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, legislation that promotes the establishment of veteran treatment courts. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting in Principal the Vision for Legal Assistance in Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act

On July 11, the ABA sent a letter to Senator Sanders (I-VT) supporting in principal the Vision for Legal Assistance in reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which was developed by a diverse group of legal and aging services organizations. Read more…

ABA Comments on U.S. Sentencing Commission 2013-2014 Priorities

On July 8, the ABA submitted comments to the U.S. Sentencing Commission supporting four proposed Commission priorities for the 2013-2014 amendment cycle. Read more...

 

June 2013

 

ABA Letter to President Obama Regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee Study on CIA Detention and Interrogation

On June 27, the ABA sent a letter to President Obama to urge that the White House submit comments to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with regard to its Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and to recommend public release of the Study. Read more...

ABA Urges Passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

On June 26th, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate urging them to vote in favor of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Read more... 

ABA Opposes Amendments to Eliminate or Dilute Access to Counsel Provisions in S.744

On June 21, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate opposing amendments to S. 744 that would weaken or eliminate the bill’s provisions to afford access to counsel for vulnerable persons and access to legal information for immigration detainees. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting Video Visitation Modification

On June 19, the ABA sent a letter to DC Council-member Tommy Wells, Chairperson for the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, expressing support for Bill 20-122, the Video Visitation Modification Act of 2013. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting Feinstein/Coons Amendment to S. 744

On June 19, the ABA sent a letter to Senators Feinstein and Coons supporting their amendment to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, that would authorize funds from the bill’s Comprehensive Immigration Trust Fund to be used by the federal judiciary to support the costs to implement the provisions of the Act. Read more…

ABA Testimony on Over-Criminalization 

On June 14, Chairman of the ABA's Criminal Justice Section, Bill Shepherd testified before the House Task Force on over-criminalization and over-federalization. Read more...
   


May 2013

 

ABA Letter Regarding Intern Pro Bono Work 

On May 28, ABA President Laurel Bellows sent a letter to the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor regarding participation by law students in handling pro bono matters as unpaid interns in law firms. Read more...

ABA Comments on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States

On May 24, the ABA submmitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States. Read more..

ABA Expresses Concerns Over Sequestration of Funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

On May 20, the ABA submitted a letter to the Office of Management and Budget regarding sequestration of USPTO funding. Read more...

ABA Opposes Florida H.B. 7083, the Timely Justice Act

On May 16, the ABA sent a letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott urging him to veto H.B. 7083, the Timely Justice Act. Read More...

ABA Opposes Grassley Amendments in S. 744

On May 16, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing amendments to S. 744 which curtail access to counsel; delay or restrict sorely needed immigration court resources; and eliminate secure alternatives to detention programs and needlessly prolong immigration detention. Read More...

ABA Comments on the Social Security Administration's Region I Pilot Program 

On May 15, the ABA submitted comments to the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) expressing its views on the impact of the current Social Security Administration (SSA) pilot program in Region I. Read more... 

ABA Comments on FATF’s Draft Report on Money Laundering Vulnerabilities of Legal Professionals

On May 6, the ABA sent a letter to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) giving its preliminary reactions to the FATF's Draft Report on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities of Legal Professionals. In its letter, the ABA offered specific suggestions for improving the FATF’s “typologies” or hypothetical situations highlighting unwitting involvement of lawyers in money laundering or terrorist financing activities. Read more...

 

April 2013

 

ABA Letter Supporting the Follow the Money Act of 2013

On April 25, the ABA sent a letter to Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Murkowski (R-AK) commending them for the impending introduction of the Follow the Money Act of 2013. The bill seeks to close loopholes in existing federal election campaign law that often leave independent spending exempt from public disclosure. Read more…

ABA Urges Senate to Pass Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

On April 9, ABA President Laurel G. Bellows sent a letter to members of the Senate urging them to pass gun violence prevention legislation. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting the Personalize Your Care Act of 2013

On April 1, the ABA sent a letter to Representative Blumenauer (D-OR) thanking him for his efforts in advocating for meaningful access to patient-centered advance care planning and for introducing H.R. 1173, the Personalize Your Care Act of 2013. Read more…

 

March 2013

 

ABA Letter on US-India Trade Relations 

On March 27, the ABA submitted a letter to the House Subcommittee on Trade regarding US-India Trade Relations. Read more...

ABA Letter and Comments Regarding Rates for Inmate Calling Services 

On March 25, ABA President Laurel Bellows sent a letter and comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding Rates for Inmate Calling Services. Read more...

ABA Urges Senators to Reform Gun Violence Prevention

On March 6, the ABA President Laurel G. Bellows sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urging the approval of legislation to require background checks for private sales of firearms, to make straw purchases a federal crime, and to limit future sales of new assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. Read more...

 

February 2013

 

ABA Letter to Members of the House Regarding VAWA Reauthorization

On February 27, the ABA sent a letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to vote “NO” on the Substitute Amendment to S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and, if the amendment fails and S. 47 is considered, to vote “YES” on S. 47. Read more…

ABA Comments on Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Confinement Facilities

On February 26, the ABA submitted comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security's proposed standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and assault in confinement facilities. Read more...

ABA Advocates for Immigration Law and Policy Reform

On February 13, ABA President Laurel Bellows submitted a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee advocating for improvements in immigration law and policy. Read more...

ABA Urges Senators to Vote in Favor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

On February 5, the ABA sent a letter to all Members of the Senate urging them to vote in favor of S. 47, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and to vote against any amendments that would weaken the legislation. S. 47 was introduced by Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Crapo (R-ID) in January. Read more…

ABA Letter Opposing the Inclusion of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in the Violence Against Women Act

On February 5, the ABA sent a letter to Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Crapo opposing the inclusion of any mandatory minimum sentencing provisions in S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA). Read more...

ABA Commends Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Elijah Cummings for Introducing the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013

On February 4, ABA President Laurel Bellows wrote to Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Elijah Cummings to commend them for introducing the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 which will amend federal law to strengthen prevention of “straw purchases” of firearms. Read more...

 

January 2013

 

ABA President Laurel Bellows Urges Senate Judiciary to Act on Legislation to Prevent Gun Violence in America

On January 30, ABA President Laurel Bellows submitted written testimony urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to act on legislation to prevent and reduce gun violence in America. Read more...

ABA Letter Supporting the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

On January 30, the ABA sent a letter to Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Crapo (R-ID) and Representatives Conyers (D-MI) and Moore (D-WI) commending them on their introduction of the Violence Against Women (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2013. The ABA strongly supports their continued effort to renew proven and effective programs that support victims of domestic, sexual, stalking and dating violence and their families. Read the Senate letter. Read the House letter.

ABA Commends Members of House and Senate for Introducing the Assault Weapons Regulatory Act of 2013

On January 24, ABA President Laurel Bellows sent a letter to members of the House and Senate commending them for introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, which will carefully and rationally regulate the availability of military assault-type firearms and the large-capacity ammunition feeding devices they utilize. Read the House letter. Read the Senate letter.

ABA Comments Regarding Definition of Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

On January 11, the ABA submitted comments in response to the request by the Health Information Technology Policy Committee on its draft recommendations for meaningful use Stage 3, which was published on November 26, 2012, at 77 Federal Register 70444. Read more…

 

 

 

"What's New in Washington" entries from the 112th Congress

"What's New in Washington" entries from the 111th Congress

 

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