Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Congressman Joe Neguse wraps up busy first term

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | January 15, 2021 | Politics

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse (D) whose 2nd Congressional District includes Berthoud, capped off a busy first term in the U.S. House of Representatives when President Donald Trump signed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, a bipartisan bill that began its journey into law at Neguse’s desk. The president officially signed the bill Dec. 23.

The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act marks the seventh such piece of legislation introduced by Colorado’s freshman congressman to become law. Neguse was reelected to a second term in November, defeating Broomfield physician Charlie Winn (R) by a comfortable 61.5% to 35.4% margin.

According to the bill’s summary from Congress.gov, “This bill prohibits employers from retaliating against certain employees who report criminal antitrust violations to the federal government. Among other things, the bill sets forth provisions that authorize an employee to seek relief by filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or to bring an action in U.S. district court if the individual alleges discharge or other discrimination by an employer who violates the prohibition against retaliation.”

The measure, which was inspired by a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office, received broad bipartisan support with nine co-sponsors in the House, including two Republicans, and was carried in the Senate by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) where it passed by unanimous consent.

“Fundamentally, this bill is about consumer protection. It’s about protecting the public,” said Congressman Neguse, who previously served in the cabinet of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) directing the state’s consumer protection agency. “The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act is another tool that can be used in the toolbox of regulators here in Washington, as we work to make consumer protection a priority and partner with those in the private sector who wish to report abuse of an anti-competitive conduct that might be happening in the broader marketplace.”

Antitrust violations often result in higher prices, less innovation and less choice. Private sector employees are integral in maintaining the integrity of our antitrust laws, without whom violations such as price and wage fixing, would go unreported, according to information provided by Neguse’s office.

This is the second such piece of legislation relating to antitrust practices that Neguse has sponsored and the president has signed. In October, the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Permanent Extension Act (ACPERA) met with Trump’s signature.

The measure made permanent an existing law that allows to, “greater incentivize cartel participants to come forward by empowering the Department of Justice to limit the civil exposure of a cooperating leniency applicant in related civil litigation,” according to a Neguse press release. Neguse serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee.

 

Two other measures that Neguse has moved through the capitol relating to adjusting the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) currently await the president’s signature. Should the two measures become law, as expected, Neguse will have seen nine bills he introduced in his first term become law, a sizable number for a freshman representative.

The Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary Modification Act would allow former NASA astronaut and Longmont, Colorado native Vance D. Brand to donate 40 acres to RMNP and the Rocky Mountain Ownership Correction Act would correct a longstanding error regarding a local family’s cabin that was mistakenly transferred to the park. Both bills enjoy bipartisan, bicameral support, with Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) co-sponsoring both House bills, and Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) championing the bills in the Senate.

Congressman Neguse will officially begin his second term representing Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District Jan. 4.

 

 

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