Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime
President Trump signed a bill into law Monday establishing animal cruelty as a federal crime after the measure passed with bipartisan support through Congress. © The Hill Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime A statement from the White House press office Monday evening confirmed that the president had signed the bill, which specifically codifies so-called "animal crushing" as a federal offense punishable with a fine and up to seven years in prison.
A bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions passed in the Senate Thursday.
The bill intends to provide $255 million annually for these institutions using money obtained from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act. It will also simplify the FAFSA application by removing 22 questions and get rid of the "bureaucratic verification nightmare for most students," according to a release.
The "verification nightmare" refers to when students have to verify that they provide the exact same information to the Department of Education and the IRS.
Senate Democrats propose sweeping data privacy bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are proposing a broad federal data privacy law that would allow people to see what information companies have collected on them and demand that it be deleted. But the bill is likely to face bipartisan challenges in the Republican-controlled Senate. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington is leading the effort. The bill, called the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, is similar to one set to take effect in California in January. But the federal bill would largely leave that and other state laws in place — a move that is certain to face opposition from the technology industry, which has been calling for a single federal data privacy law.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) sponsored the bill.
"It's hard to think of a piece of legislation that would have more of a lasting impact on minority students and their families than this bill," Alexander said in the release.
Federal funding for HBCUs ran out at the end of September, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) noted in a from early November.
"While this funding should never have lapsed in the first place, I'm glad that we were able to reach a deal that provides minority-serving institutions with the certainty of funding they deserve — and I truly appreciate the work done on both sides of the aisle to get us to this point," Murray said in the release.
The bill also helps remove up to $6 billion of mistakes annually, allows 7 million applicants to be excused from requesting separate documentation from the IRS if they cannot access their data and speeds up repayment by getting rid of some annual paperwork.
The FAFSA Act will contribute to the funding, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will save taxpayers $2.8 billion over 10 years.
House votes to provide a pathway to citizenship for thousands of undocumented farmworkers .
The House passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would grant legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers, but faces uncertain future in Senate.The House passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would grant legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers.