Leading Legislation to Make Communities Safer

September 8, 2018
September 8, 2018

Leading Legislation to Make Communities Safer

Earlier this year, the term ‘crime of violence’ was deemed ‘unconstitutionally vague’ by the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s why I introduced H.R. 6691, the Community Safety & Security Act.

Why is defining this legal term in law so important? Because failing to do so would lead to uncertainty in our courts across the country and potentially disrupt the prosecution of serious violent criminals. Also, under current judicial precedent, sex trafficking is not considered a crime of violence.

The Community Safety & Security Act specifically lists and defines the criminal acts that are ‘crimes of violence.' The defined ‘crimes of violence' are those that any reasonable person would indeed deem violent — such as human trafficking, murder, voluntary manslaughter, attempted kidnapping, lewd acts upon a child, sexual assault, domestic violence, unlawful possession of a firearm, and assault on a police officer.

Time was of the essence in bringing this bill forward and getting it passed. I was proud to take the lead on this important legislation that passed the House with 247-152 votes.

Paving the Way for Georgia’s Infrastructure

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 5468, the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018. The bill would streamline the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects in order to provide an effective and efficient permit review process that eliminates unnecessary bureaucratic delays. All too often, major infrastructure projects are delayed for years and even decades by needless delays in administrative review and litigation. And, the bureaucrat red tape is often so burdensome that local governments walk away from federal grant dollars.

As we all know, the metro Atlanta area needs infrastructure improvements, and work is under way. Recently, I helped to secure a $184 million federal grant for the expansion of GA-400. With H.R. 5468, state and local transportation officials will be able to proceed with the GA-400 project in a way that ensures appropriate community input and analysis of environmental impacts without unnecessary and punitive regulatory requirements and bureaucratic delays. I was proud to co-sponsor this important legislation and support its passage in the House Judiciary Committee.

August Brings More Hot Economic News

Yes, we are in the dog days of summer with lots of heat and humidity. But August also brought more great news. The economy continues to be red hot. The U.S. Department of Labor’s August report showed continued strong growth. Nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created since Congress and the President joined together to provide tax relief to the American people and our Main Street businesses. Wages are also on the move, rising at their fastest rate since mid-2009. There is always more work to be done, but I am proud of how far we have come and how much better hardworking Americans are today — thanks to lower taxes and other pro-growth, pro-family policies.

USO and Supporting Our Troops

This week, I joined colleagues and staff members in the Capitol in support of the USO and our troops. Thanks to the USO and its many volunteers for their incredible support of our military men and women and their families. And, like you, I remain ever so grateful to those who have worn and are wearing the uniform for their service and sacrifice.

Thank you for taking the time to read this note. To stay current on what's going on in Congress, please follow me on Facebook by clicking here or visiting Facebook.com/RepKarenHandel. If you find this update helpful, please take a second to forward it along to a few of your friends and neighbors. 

In addition, because of rules from the House of Representatives, I will not be able to conduct live tele-town halls after August 8th through Election Day. As always, feel free to call (202) 225-4501 or (770) 998-0049 if you need assistance from me or anyone in my office.

Karen C. Handel
Member of Congress