Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement on the work of the Committee on the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Omnibus bill passed by the House of Representatives:
"I am very proud that numerous provisions the Judiciary Committee worked tirelessly on were passed in the FY 2021 Omnibus bill today. This legislation includes increases in funding to support critical Violence Against Women Act and Second Chance Act programs, and provides additional funding to address the sexual assault kit backlogs. The bill also provides funds for the development of the first-ever database to track excessive use of force and misconduct by law enforcement nationwide. Additionally, I was pleased to see that our Committee’s efforts to provide bankruptcy relief to small businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were included in the legislation. Though this package will allow us to meet many of the challenges of the moment, there is still much work to be done by Congress to help the countless Americans impacted by this pandemic."
The Judiciary Committee worked with Democratic leadership, in addition to fellow Committee Chairs and Members of Congress, to include the following key provisions:
Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children
- Includes H.R. 3942, the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” (Rep. DeLauro, D-CT), which passed the Committee and the House earlier this Congress. It amends current law to curb online sales of e-cigarettes to minors by bringing such sales under the federal regulations applying to the sale of tobacco products by extending the current definition of a “cigarette” to include any “electronic nicotine delivery system,” such as an e-cigarette.
- Amends various sections of the Bankruptcy Code on a temporary basis to provide additional relief to businesses and individuals directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These provisions also establish procedures to ensure that relief payments and mortgage forbearances granted under the CARES Act and future COVID-19 legislation can be properly implemented under the Bankruptcy Code.
- Makes small businesses in the bankruptcy process eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and prioritizes these loans over other forms of unsecured debt, subject to a court order and supervision.
- Extends the E-Verify and Religious Worker Special Immigrant Visa programs, and the Conrad 30 Waiver program for physicians serving in underserved areas until September 30, 2021.
- Extends the EB-5 Regional Center program until June 30, 2021.
- Provides discretion to the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to increase the number of H-2B temporary visas that may be issued in fiscal year 2021, if it is determined that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor.
- Extends the application period for the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program until December 20, 2021.
Clean Up the Code Act
- Includes the text of H.R. 498, the “Clean Up the Code Act” (Rep. Chabot, R-OH), which passed the House earlier this Congress. It repeals several criminal penalties for violations that do not involve serious wrongdoing, at least not serious enough to warrant criminal prosecution and the consequences of a criminal record.For instance, the bill decriminalizes the unauthorized application of theft prevention decals or devices, and the unauthorized use of the 4-H Club emblem, the Swiss Confederation coat of arms, the “Smokey Bear” character or name, the “Woodsy Owl” character, name, or slogan, or “The Golden Eagle Insignia.” Section 1003. Makes a number of clerical amendments to the U.S. Code.
Intellectual Property Provisions
- Heightens the criminal penalty for anyone offering a digital transmission service (online streaming service) whose primary purpose is to provide unauthorized (pirated) content for commercial gain.
- Includes H.R. 2426, the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020” or the “CASE Act of 2020” (Rep. Jeffries, D-NY), which passed the Committee and the House earlier this Congress. It creates a voluntary small-claims process at the Copyright Office for adjudicating certain copyright disputes.
- Includes H.R. 6196, the “Trademark Modernization Act” (Rep. Johnson, D-GA), which passed the Committee earlier this Congress. It creates new processes at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to remove, upon petition, certain unused trademark registrations, thereby clearing the register for new businesses and other new applicants; resolves a circuit split on the standard for awarding injunctions in trademark lawsuits to ensure that confusingly similar marks do not remain in commerce and cause customer confusion as to whose products or services they are purchasing; and modernizes other aspects of the trademark examination process.
Technical Correction to the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act
- Amends the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act (Public Law 116–156) to grant appointment authority to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in lieu of the House Majority Leader.
Sudan Claims Resolution
- Addresses certain terrorism-related claims against Sudan, including claims of United States citizens and foreign nationals arising out of the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States embassies located in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; restores Sudan’s sovereign immunity, except with respect to claims pending in the multidistrict proceeding 03-MDL-1570 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; authorizes the appropriation of $150 million to provide compensation to naturalized United States citizens in connection with the 1998 embassy bombings; establishes a process to determine lump sum catch-up payments for 9/11 victims, 9/11 spouses, and 9/11 dependents; extends the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund through January 2, 2039; and includes certain reporting requirements.
- Increases grants for important priorities, including $189 million to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs; $100 million for Second Chance Act programs; $526.5 million for grant programs to address the opioid crisis; $513.5 million for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs; and $85 million for grants to improve the NICS firearms background check system.
- Funds programs and activities authorized by the First Step Act of 2018, including medication-assisted treatment.
- Provides $13.5 million to carry out the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016.
- Provides a substantial increase to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice
- Provides $5 million for the development and deployment of databases to track excessive use of force and officer misconduct, to be developed in consultation with State and local law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and advocacy groups, including those that advocate for the preservation of civil liberties and civil rights.
- Provides $465 million—$25 million above the FY 2020 enacted level—to the Legal Services Corporation, which helps provide legal assistance to underserved communities.
- Provides a substantial increase in funding to the Judiciary, including increases to Defender Services and Court Security.
- Increases funding for the Federal Trade Commission, which has significant responsibility for antitrust enforcement.
- Includes accountability measures for ICE detention facilities, including requiring ICE to sever contracts with detention facilities that fail two consecutive inspections; requiring more frequent inspections by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility; and prohibiting DHS from destroying records related to the death of, potential sexual assault against, or abuse of individuals in its custody.