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H.R. 2146: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act

May 12, 2015 at 7:41 p.m. ET. On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 2146 (114th) in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

It was not the final House vote on the bill. See the history of H.R. 2146 (114th) for further details.

This bill became the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently being negotiated. The bill was originally introduced as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. On June 18, the House added TPA (but not Trade Adjustment Assistance) to the end of this bill and passed both components together, sending the bill to the Senate. The Senate approved the change on June 23.

The addition of TPA to this bill followed a failed attempt to pass the Trade Act, H.R. 1314, a bill that combined TPA with Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Although the Senate passed the Trade Act, the House only passed the TPA portion, while the TAA portion failed. This bill, H.R. 2146, includes only the TPA portion of the Trade Act. For more on TPA and TAA, see our summary of the Trade Act. (Note that H.R. 1314 was itself originally introduced regarding an unrelated matter and became the vehicle for the ultimately failed passage of the Trade Act.)

What follows is our original summary of this bill, H.R. 2146. The provisions that the summary below refers to remain in the bill.

The Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act would allow retired federal law enforcement officers and firefighters over the age of 50 and with 20 years of service to withdraw money from their retirement funds without any tax penalty. Typically there is a 10 percent tax penalty on retirement funds withdrawn before the age of 59½. In his press release following the bill’s passage through the House, sponsor Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA8) said that since law enforcement officers and firefighters are able to retire at the age of 50 after 20 years of service they should be exempt from the 10 percent tax penalty. The bill was passed by the Senate with an amendment changing the effective date from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2015. It now awaits House approval of the amendment.

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 99%
 
 
407
230
 
177
 
Nay 1%
 
 
5
5
 
0
 
Not Voting
 
 
20
9
 
11
 

Passed. 2/3 Required. Source: house.gov.

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Study Guide

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You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the bill this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

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