THE DAILY WHIP: FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017

House Meets At:First Vote Predicted:Last Vote Predicted:
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”
11:15 – 11:45 a.m.11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1039 Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 (Rep. Reichert – Judiciary) (One hour of debate).  This bill would expand the arrest authority of federal probation officers to allow the probation officer to arrest a third party individual if there is “probable cause to believe that the person has forcibly assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, or interfered with a probation officer or a fellow probation officer,” before obtaining a warrant.  Under current law, probation officers are only allowed to arrest those that are subject to their supervision. 

Due to the vague and broad nature of the underlying legislation, protections for those individuals who are not subject to supervision of the probation officer can easily be violated.  Bystanders can be arrested if the probation officer believes they are simply “interfering” or being “uncooperative” with a probation officers duties.  The legislation allows for the arrest of someone who simply refuses to give their name to a probation officer.

This legislation also puts these officers at risk and helps to create potentially hostile environments which make it difficult and dangerous to do their jobs.  It is essential that probation officers develop relationships with those subject to their supervision in order to reduce the risk of recidivism and help to reintegrate those formerly imprisoned back into society.  An essential part of developing and those relationships is to not be seen as an aggressor to the larger community near the supervisees, but H.R. 1039 would make this more difficult.  Instead of seeing the probation officer as an advocate or someone that is trying to improve the situation, they can be seen as a threatening individual who is allowed to make an arrest without due process.

It is essential to protect those who are serving on the front lines to reintegrate those under their jurisdiction back into society.  Part of ensuring their protection, is to do what is possible to help create environments with as little hostility and danger as possible, but H.R. 1039 does just the opposite.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 1 amendment, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendment is:

Rep. Jackson-Lee Amendment. Requests a comprehensive study on the new authority of probation officers and sunsets that authority 30 months after enactment.

Bill Text for H.R. 1039:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1039:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

 
The Daily Quote

“House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month, and they now face the possibility of having to vote again on their controversial health measure. House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects… ‘Unaware,’ said Representative Jeff Denham of California, with noticeable surprise Thursday, when advised that his party leaders still hadn’t sent the bill over to the Senate… [O]ther senior Republicans weren’t aware that leaders had been holding onto the bill… ‘I had no idea,’ [Rep.] Dennis Ross of Florida, another member of the vote-counting team, said Thursday.”

-      Bloomberg, 5/18/2017