I attended my first bill markup with the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which three bills were passed. The first was S. 139 the Rapid DNA Act which would allow DNA results to come back on suspects in about 30 minutes aiding law enforcement in connecting people in their custody to other previous crimes. The second was S. 534, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act which will make reporting of sexual abuse toward a minor in any amateur sporting group mandatory. The third was S. 583, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act which allows for the prioritizing of hiring veterans in law enforcement. The markup was remarkable since the Judiciary Committee is currently calling for an investigation into President Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Most of the meeting was spent discussing why Senator Feinstein and Senator Grassley thought there should be an investigation. The other interesting part was how Senators would show up and ask to be put on a bill as a cosponsor right before it is about to make it through the committee; they don’t want to pass up the opportunity for a slam dunk piece of legislation.
I also attended a One Health Academy Meeting which asked the question “Is fracking this generation’s big tobacco?” The talk was very interesting and drew many parallels between the loss of life and health effects of tobacco and fracking, but better than the talk was the networking opportunity. There were many veterinarians in the room; we outnumbered all the other professions combined. Before the talk, we all introduced ourselves and I was so nervous since I was the only student in the room. After the talk, many veterinarians came up to introduce themselves to me. They gave me their cards and asked about my professional interests. They also asked if my calendar was full during my time here and made suggestions on how to fill it. Finally, they asked me what food and activities I enjoyed and made recommendations. I love gardening and I was told that USDA manages a US National Arboretum which has the original White House columns that could not be used again after the fire and an extensive bonsai exhibit. There are several great theaters in the area; Folgers has an original theater in the round and does Shakespearean plays. And D.C. has a large Ethiopian restaurant scene and a Salvadorian scene. If you come to D.C. and want to network, I definitely recommend the One Health Academy Meeting.