In 2007, Congress (in an act of unusual generosity) passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which gives homeowners relief from paying taxes on forgiven mortgage debt if they've managed to get their mortgage modified. Federal law counts forgiven mortgage debt as income, as you might imagine, but having a big chunk of debt you were going to pay off gradually forgiven all at once sure doesn't feel like income, nor does it function very well as income. The law expired at the end of 2013, and Congress, of course, hasn't extended it, perhaps because it's a tax cut that might actually help working families, versus a tax cut that helps rich donors. But folks are getting mortgage modifications now, as we speak, so they could get hit with a big tax bill if Congress doesn't act. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced HR 2994, the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2013, back in August; the bill would extend homeowner relief from mortgage modification through the end of 2014, at least, and would retroactively apply to mortgage modifications occurring between the beginning of 2014 and the bill's passage. So Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell your Reps to support HR 2994.
Meanwhile, big food corporations have claimed that labeling of genetically-modified food is unconstitutional, citing Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation v. Public Service Commission of New York, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that constitutionally-protected commercial speech "at least must concern lawful activity and not be misleading," and that a government must prove it has a "substantial" interest in restricting that speech and that a regulation doing so "directly advances" said interest. One could easily argue that a government has a "substantial" interest in forcing corporations to label their GMO food products, and that a label "advances" that interest about as "directly" as possible. But Hudson concerned a regulation restricting speech, not one compelling speech -- and the Supreme Court's ruling in Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel of Supreme Court of Ohio instructs us that the First Amendment allows such "compelled" speech as long as it's purely factual and serves a "legitimate government interest," which a "produced with genetic engineering" label, for example, is and does. Still, your state legislator may be swayed (or want to be swayed) by bad arguments, so Organic Consumers helps you tell your state Rep to ignore bad counsel about GMO labeling laws, and heed the wise counsel of their constituents instead.