skip to main content

H.J.Res. 42 (115th): Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants.

About the resolution

One of the most controversial bills in this Congress split the two parties so much that the Senate vote produced no Republicans opposed and no Democrats in favor. And it could potentially kick a large number of people around the country off of unemployment insurance or food stamps.

The context and what the law does

Existing federal law barred states from drug testing anybody claiming food stamps as a means of screening those people out. A 1960s Democrat-led Department of Labor ruling similarly banned states from drug testing those claiming unemployment insurance until 2012.

Then, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 — passed by a Republican House compromising with President Obama — allowed states to drug test unemployment claimants under specific narrow circumstances. At least …

Sponsor and status

Kevin Brady

Sponsor. Representative for Texas's 8th congressional district. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017
Length: 1 page
Jan 30, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Mar 31, 2017

This resolution was enacted after being signed by the President on March 31, 2017.

Pub.L. 115-17

35 Cosponsors (35 Republicans)


Incorporated legislation

This resolution incorporates provisions from:

S.J.Res. 23: A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants.

Introduced on Feb 16, 2017. 100% incorporated. (compare text)


Jan 30, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Feb 15, 2017
Passed House (Senate next)

The resolution was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next.

Mar 14, 2017
Passed Senate

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill.

Mar 31, 2017
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.J.Res. 42 (115th) was a joint resolution in the United States Congress.

A joint resolution is often used in the same manner as a bill. If passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and signed by the President, it becomes a law. Joint resolutions are also used to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Resolutions numbers restart every two years. That means there are other resolutions with the number H.J.Res. 42. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This joint resolution was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.J.Res. 42 — 115th Congress: Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment ….” 2017. October 2, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.