January 2019 Legislative Priorities

January 2019 Legislative Priorities

Legislative Priorities for the 116th Congress

The Task Forces of the Committee on Public Policy and Political Action are developing legislative priorities for the incoming Congress. The first two of these – Gun Safety and Health Policy — appear here.

Gun Safety


  • Support legislation to require universal background checks, expanding them to include firearms sold at gun shows, over the Internet, and private sales;
  • Support renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (expired in 2004);
  • Support legislation to remove weapons from domestic violence abusers’ access to firearms, including ERPO (Extreme Risk Protective Orders), sometimes called: Red Flag laws.
  • Support legislation to ban large capacity ammunition magazines;
  • Support legislation to ban bump stocks, allowing semi-automatic weapons to function like automatic weapons; and
  • Support repeal of the Dickey Amendment, which prevents research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


  • Oppose the National Concealed Gun Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows those states with the most stringent
    requirements to be subverted by those with more lenient regulations;
  • Oppose any agenda to force guns in our schools;
  • Oppose the Hearing Protection Act, legislation to legalize gun silencers; and
  • Oppose the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, legislation to erode DC’s gun laws.

State and Regional Action – Monitor and Promote:

  • Monitor the implementation of policies to remove domestic violence abusers’ access to firearms, including the
    ERPOs and Red Flag laws at the state level, and promote this program/law with other states to encourage them to
    learn about, pass, and implement such laws and programs; and
  • Monitor and promote Regional solutions through multi-state coalitions such as “States for Gun Safety,” which
    recently formed among Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.

–Shelly Livingston and Ellen McGovern, Acting Co-Chairs, Task Force to Prevent Gun Violence

Health Policy

  • Pass legislation needed to repair, restore, and improve the Affordable Care Act
  • Fight state level initiatives to make abortions illegal and to withhold women’s contraception
  • Prevent theft of Medicare funding
  • Prevent theft of Social Security funding
  • Legislate adequate funding for Veterans care and prevent privatization of VA
  • End “religious freedom” mandates that allow discrimination against women’s reproductive services, refusal of care for LGBT citizens, and refusal of care for non-citizens
  • Create evidence-based and fully fund federal programs to prevent opioid deaths
  • Create evidence-based and fully fund state level programs to prevent gun deaths
  • Create national program for medical oversight of care for immigrants held captive in tent cities

— Karen J. Pataky, Chair, Health Policy Task Force