By Annie Karni
In a year of divided government, when House Republicans were even divided against themselves, Congress was historically unproductive. The House has passed just 27 bills that were signed into law by President Joe Biden. Still to come is the annual military policy bill that the House cleared for Biden last week but he has yet to sign.
Here’s a look at what Congress actually got done in 2023, in the order in which the laws were enacted.
Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022
Legislation blocking a rewrite of the criminal code for the District of Columbia that would have reduced mandatory minimum sentences for some violent offenses while increasing them for others.
COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023
Legislation to require the director of national intelligence to declassify information relating to the origins of COVID–19.
Relating to a national emergency declared by the president on March 13, 2020
The law terminated the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023
A law to establish a task force on improvements to “notice to air missions,” or NOTAMs, which alert pilots to conditions that could affect the safety of their flights, and require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish a federal NOTAM system.
Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023
Legislation to suspend the federal debt limit and place limits on spending for two years, which headed off a first-ever default on the nation’s debt.
Veterans’ COLA Act of 2023
A law increasing the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.
A law modifying the age requirement for the Student Incentive Payment Program, which provides financial support to cadets who attend a state maritime academy and commit to serving after graduation, to allow certain cadets older than 25 to participate.
Fiscal Year 2023 Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Authorization Act
A measure to authorize major medical facility projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023.
Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act of 2023
A law requiring each federal agency to include a link to a “100-word plain language summary” of any proposed rule.
250th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps Commemorative Coin Act
The law requires the Treasury secretary to mint coins in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, and to support programs at the Marine Corps Heritage Center.
Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2023
A law that takes land in San Diego County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
To designate the clinic of the Veterans Affairs Department in Indian River, Michigan, as the “Pfc. Justin T. Paton Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic”
United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act
A measure to approve and implement an agreement between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States regarding trade between the United States of America and Taiwan.
Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act
A measure to allow the Health Resources and Services Administration to make competitive the contracting process for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, a national registry for organ matching that is operated by a private organization with federal funding.
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024 and Other Extensions Act
A temporary spending measure to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September, which kept money flowing until mid-November.
A bill to designate the clinic of the Veterans Affairs Department in Gallup, New Mexico, as the Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura V.A. Clinic
Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act
A law to exempt weapons used for training in archery, hunting, or other shooting sports from a prohibition on using federal education funds for certain weapons.
A bill to amend Title 38 of the United States Code to strengthen benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, and for other purposes
An act that requires the Veteran Affairs Department to provide health care, job training and lifetime monetary benefits for certain children with spina bifida or other birth defects born to Vietnam veterans or veterans who served in Korea or Thailand.
A bill to amend Title 38 of the United States Code to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Veterans Affairs Department
An act to extend the eligibility or applicability of various Veterans Affairs programs and benefits.
Korean American VALOR Act
Legislation to expand eligibility for medical and dental care to certain South Korean veterans who served in Vietnam.
Wounded Warrior Access Act
A law to require the Veterans Affairs Department to establish a secure online tool that veterans can use to request a copy of their claims, and to educate veterans about predatory actors who may attempt to cheat them out of their benefits.
Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024
A second stopgap spending measure to avoid a government shutdown in mid-November, which created two new deadlines, on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2, 2024, for keeping various agencies funded.
TRANQ Research Act of 2023
The law requires the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to support research and other activities related to identifying xylazine, an animal tranquilizer commonly mixed with fentanyl and other new psychoactive substances.
Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023
A measure to authorize the use of electronic federal duck stamps in lieu of physical stamps to meet migratory water hunter licensing requirements.
A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
A 10-year extension of the Federal Election Commission’s authority to impose civil monetary penalties for violations of disclosure requirements.
5G SALE Act
Legislation authorizing the Federal Communications Commission to process applications for licenses or permits for the use of specified bands of the electromagnetic spectrum that were auctioned on or before March 9, 2023. The authorization terminates 90 days after enactment.
National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2023
A four-year extension of an exemption from certain means-testing restrictions determining eligibility for bankruptcy relief for qualifying military reservists and members of the National Guard.