Biggert Introduces 7 bills for '07
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) started the first day of the 110th Congress by introducing of a series of bills to end U.S. reliance on foreign sources of energy, safeguard the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, and strengthen to the health and financial security of children.
"I love my job, and I am grateful to voters for giving me the opportunity to serve them for a fifth term," said Biggert. "What motivates me is a desire to bring integrity, experience and hard work to solving the environmental, energy, health, and educational challenges of our day."
The series of bills are the first seven Biggert has so far introduced in the 110th Congress. The bills are as follows:
1. Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, H.R. 83: adds black, silver, and bighead species of carp to the list of species that are prohibited from importation or shipment in interstate commerce. Asian carp prey on and compete with native species for food, living space, and spawning areas. Individual fish can grow to between 50 and 150 pounds and eat up to 40 percent of their body weight every day. Marine biologists say that if the Asian Carp enter the Great Lakes, they would devastate the ecosystem and endanger the multi-billion dollar Midwest commercial fishing industry.
2. Oil and Gas-to-Alternatives Swap, H.R. 86: repeals tax credits for oil and gas production included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) law, and redirects those funds to consumers and businesses that switch to alternative fuel vehicles.
*3. Energy Technology Transfer Act, H.R. 85: establishes a cooperative extension program for energy and efficiency technologies, patterned after the successful agricultural extension programs that aided farmers in incorporating advanced technologies in food production.
*4. Energy Efficient Buildings Act, H.R. 84: requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a pilot program to award grants to businesses and organizations that design and/or construct new energy-efficient buildings or renovate existing buildings to become energy-efficient. Today's buildings consume 39 percent of the nation's primary energy and 70 percent of its own electricity - more energy than any other sector of the economy.
5. 401Kids Family Savings Act of 2007, H.R. 87: allows parents to establish savings accounts for their children, starting at birth, to finance college education, buy a home, or save for retirement. Individuals may contribute up to $2,000 annually to the accounts. The money deposited to the accounts is contributed after taxes, but interest accumulates tax free and withdrawals for approved purposes are also tax free. Approved purposes include college education expenses, first-time home purchases and Roth IRA rollovers.
6. Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention, and Education Act of 2007, H.R. 88: allows states and localities to use federal funds to develop and design their own awareness and prevention programs, which includes role modeling, teacher training, and mentoring. The bill expands the allowable uses of the Innovative Education Strategic Block Grant program to include such programs. It is estimated that up to ten million females and one million males suffer from eating disorders.
7. Eating Disorders Awareness Resolution, H.Res. 13: encourages increased public awareness of eating disorders and expanded research for treatment and cures. It is estimated by the National Institute of Mental Health that one in ten people with anorexia nervosa will die of starvation, cardiac arrest, or other medical complications.
In the coming weeks, Biggert said she will re-introduce her genetic information non-discrimination bill (GINA); Medicare waste, fraud, and abuse bill; Asian Carp reauthorization act; FAFSA Fix for Homeless Kids act; and other measures.
* The Biggert provisions passed the House as H.R. 6203 in the 109th Congress. The Senate failed to act on H.R. 6203 before the end of the 109th Congress.