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A Few Choice Acronyms

Congress loves acronyms, especially in its bill titles. Here are a few of the best ones from the past two decades:

BEACH Act: Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health

• Improves the quality of coastal recreation waters by amending the Federal Water Pollution Control Act

BEER Act: Brewer’s Employment and Excise Tax Relief

• Helps cut taxes for smaller beer brewers

BULB Act: Better Use of Light Bulbs

• Repeals certain light bulb efficiency standards from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

CAN-SPAM Act: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing

• Sets rules for commercial email and messages, and spells out penalties for violations of such rules

CARS Act: Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save

• Implements a program to give consumers monetary incentive to buy more fuel–efficient cars or use public transit

CHIMP ACT: Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection

• Provides a system of sanctuaries for chimpanzees that are no longer needed in special public health research

CLASS Act: Community Living Assistance Services and Supports

• Helps individuals with functional impairments to pay for services and support to maximize their independence

CLEAR Act: Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal

• Provides enhanced federal, state and local assistance in the enforcement of immigration laws

DREAM Act: Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors

• Helps certain immigrants enlist in the military or go to college, as well as have a path to citizenship

FRIENDSHIP Act: For Reform In Emerging New Democracies and Support and Help for Improved Partnership (with Russia, Ukraine and other new independent states)

• Outlines programs and guidelines to help strengthen U.S. relations with newly established states and democracies

HEAL Act: Honoring Ezeagwula and Long

• Ensures that Pvts. William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula, who were attacked while in the line of duty in Little Rock, Ark., are treated the same as soldiers who were harmed in a combat zone
LOCAL TV Act: Launching Our Communities’ Access to Local Television

• Provides loan guarantees to facilitate access to local television broadcast signals in underserved areas

MATCH Act: Managing Arson Through Criminal History

• Establishes guidelines and incentives for state registries of criminal bombers and arsonists

NAMES Act: North American-Made Energy Security

• Requires the administration to make a decision on the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline by November

SAFETY Act: Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies

• Provides legal liability protections for anti-terrorism technologies

SCAMS Act: Senior Citizens Against Marketing Scams     

• Combats telemarketing fraud and creates enhanced penalties for older victims of such fraud

STEAM Act: Stripping the E-prescribe Arbitrary Mandates

• Lessens penalties on doctors and hospitals that cannot yet implement certain parts of the electronic health records program

USA Act: Unity in the Spirit of America

• Establishes a program to name national and community service projects in honor of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

USA PATRIOT Act: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism

• Deters and punishes terrorist acts in the U.S. and abroad, as well as enhances certain law enforcement investigatory tools

WARN Act: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification

• Requires employers to provide advanced notice of plant closing and mass layoffs

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