It was announced on Tuesday that legislation designed to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs and introduced by Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks passed with unanimous, bipartisan support. The bill’s passage occurred just one day before the House holds its first public impeachment hearing.
Only 4% of legislation introduced in Congress gets a vote on the House floor. Since the Democrats control the House, they control what gets to the floor. So, the majority of bills passed are Democrat-sponsored. It is rare for a bill to reach the floor at all, but even rarer for a bill introduced by a member of the minority party to pass when the majority is in charge.
Rep. Banks’s bill, the VA Design-Build Construction Enhancement Act of 2019, encourages the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to use design-build construction in appropriate circumstances. Design-build is an innovative and effective method for managing construction projects that is widely used in the private sector and some parts of the federal government.
While there’s some relief bipartisanship is not completely dead in the U.S. House, other bipartisan projects remain untouched. President Trump negotiated the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) last year, but the House has not yet ratified the treaty. Bipartisan drug pricing reform has also stalled in a House embroiled in impeachment proceedings.
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