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March 20, 2007

Success in the Minority

Legislative Update
  • House: Minority Success with Motions to Recommit
  • House Next: Iraq Supplemental Appropriations, DC Voting Rights
  • Senate Completed: S. 4, 9/11 Commission Recommendations, Iraq votes
  • Senate Next: U.S. Attorneys, FY2008 Budget
  • Conference: Minimum Wage
Since our last update: The House has passed several bills, and the minority has enjoyed unprecedented success with procedural votes. The Senate wrapped up S. 4, the 9/11 Commission recommendations bill, and voted on Iraq resolutions without passing any. Both chambers have this week and next week left until the Easter recess. The Senate returns after one week, and the House returns after two weeks.

This week the House is taking up the Iraq supplemental spending bill this week, and DC Voting rights (H.R. 1433). Today, former Vice President Al Gore testifies about global warming. The Senate is dealing with a bill regarding U.S. attorneys (S. 214), and then moves on to the Budget for Fiscal Year 2008 (S.Con.Res. 21).

We are now 75 days into the 110th Congress and heading into Budget season. No major legislation has yet been sent to the President. There are some identifiable trends with the new majorities. On the horizon, there are a lot of bills to pray over with respect to human life and religious freedom such as efforts to liberalize the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

110th Congress: Minority Progress

For the last several major bills that have come to the House floor, the Republicans have enjoyed unprecedented success with a minority tool called a "motion to recommit with instructions." This is quite the turnaround from their attempts earlier in the year on the new majority's first six bills.

The motion comes in two flavors. The traditional format literally sends the bill back to committee. The other is partially referred to as "forthwith" which means it doesn't actually stall the bill. Rather it amends the bill on the fly putting more pressure on Democrats to support the final change to the bill right before the vote on final passage.

It's been working quite well, too:
House Republicans Secure Three Rare Wins
House Republicans were downright giddy Friday afternoon as they walked off the floor because they were able to win three procedural votes in a row over three days.
Since that article was published, the House has agreed to a total of five such motions in succession: on H.R. 569, H.R. 700, H.R. 720, H.R. 985, H.R. 1362.

110th Congress: Majority Progress

In terms of enacting their domestic agenda, when the question for Congress is one of Republican vs. Democrats, the majority's agenda has been mired in disorganized power struggles.
Wide Gap Between House, Senate on Small-Business Tax Packages
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel took aim at revenue-raising measures targeted to businesses in the Senate small-business tax package by summoning a panel from K Street today to denounce them.
When the question for Congress is one of the Legislative Branch vs. the Executive Branch, action has been much swifter.
Both Chambers Moving on Bills to Repeal Anti-Terrorism Law Provision
Legislation to roll back a law allowing the attorney general to install U.S. attorneys who can serve indefinitely without Senate confirmation is advancing in both the House and Senate.
The new majority is also going to have to face the music when it comes to the Federal Debt Ceiling.

110th Congress: Religious Freedom

H.R. 1429 - Improving Head Start Act - Fortuño Amendment - affirmed Civil Rights Act hiring protections, the amendment failed in committee

H.R. 1246 - Abolishing Don't Ask Don't Tell - Pray that the United States would not further liberalize its tolerance of immoral sexual behavior by our military service personnel.

H.R. 254 - The David Ray Hate Crime Prevention Act

S. 1 - Ethics Reform

S.Amdt. 132 - Domestic Partners attempted amendment to Minimum Wage (H.R. 2)

S. 415 - Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act

H.R. 984 - Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007 - infringes right to petition government officals

Pledge Protection Act

ENDA - Employment Non-Discrimination Act

110th Congress: Human Life

S. 5 - embryonic stem cell research funding - soon after the Easter recess

S. 358, H.R. 493 - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

H.R. 977 - the Genomic Research and Accessibility Act - make the patenting of human genes illegal
According to the Center for Genetics and Society, "Analysts estimate that approximately 20% of the human genome is already patented."

"HR 977 would instruct the Patent Office to reject all future patent applications on human genetic material. It does not affect previously issued patents, though they would eventually expire given the limited term of exclusivity applicable to all patents."

S. 356 - Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act

H.R. 1063 - Child Interstate Abortion Act (CIANA)

H.R. 1153 - Parental Right to Decide (on the HPV vaccine) Protection Act

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Liberalize

From the Massachusetts Family Institute:

The military's policy on allowing homosexuals to serve in the military, commonly known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is coming under attack by the Democrat majority in Congress, and the fight is being led by outgoing Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA).

Rep. Meehan this week accepted the chancellorship of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, and will be resigning from Congress in July. (Therefore, look for significant action on this proposal before July 2007.)

Meehan has long wanted to end the policy, passed into law in 1993 and signed by President Clinton, under which homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military as long as their sexual orientation is not known.

The genesis of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Democrats Trying to Balance Gay Rights, Military Participation
Rep. Marty Meehan's bill to overturn the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy illustrates the political limitations facing the new majority. He and other Democrats must balance the demands of the party's supporters in the gay community with the reluctance of some members to address the issue of homosexuals serving in the military.

Gay
The new debate over whether gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the armed services.

This Week in the Senate

S. 214: Preserving U.S. Attorney Independence Act
This Senate bill would prohibit the attorney general from appointing U.S. attorneys for an indefinite time period without Senate confirmation.

S.Con.Res. 21: FY2008 Budget Resolution
The Senate is expected to debate this $2.96 trillion budget proposal for the 2008 fiscal year.

This Week in the House

Tuesday

H.R. 1227: Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007
The rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:
Brown (FL) Amendment #11 (20 minutes of debate)
Brown (FL) Amendment #12 (20 minutes of debate)
Hensarling Amendment (20 minutes of debate)
Biggert Amendment (20 minutes of debate)
Green (TX) Amendment (60 minutes of debate)
Neugebauer Amendment (60 minutes of debate)
Price (GA) Amendment (20 minutes of debate)

Wednesday or Thursday

Supplemental Appropriations - U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans Health and Iraq Accountability Act
The House is scheduled to take up this $124 billion supplemental spending bill providing funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a variety of other programs and projects.

citizenJoe reports, "The war supplemental bill covers bills in Iraq and Afghanistan but also comes loaded with other costs - including $6.3 billion for Gulf Coast recovery, $4.3 billion for drought aid for farmers, $750 million to cover children’s health insurance shortfalls, and $2.5 billion for homeland security."

H.R. 1433: DC House Voting Rights Act
This bill would give the District of Columbia a full vote in the U.S. House and add another new seat from the state of Utah.

March 19, 2007

House Legislation: Israel

H.Res. 107: Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive.
Passed House by voice vote.

H.Res. 235 - Rep. Robert Wexler [D-FL]
Supporting an upgrade in Israel's relationship with NATO to that of a leading member of NATO's Mediterranean dialogue and to that of a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace.

The Law and Liberty

Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression.
Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.
--James Wilson, c. 1790

From RSC's weekly email today.

Budget Resolutions

Difficult Votes Ahead for Democratic Budget Resolutions in House and Senate
Democratic budget writers in both chambers face major tests this week with tough votes expected on spending and taxes in their fiscal 2008 budget blueprints.

Of Science and State

Time May Be Right to Resurrect House Office of Technology Assessment
A bipartisan office that used to furnish lawmakers with analyses of scientific research may be ready for a comeback.

9:30 am tomorrow (3/20): Al Gore to testify on the "climate crisis"

Former Vice President Al Gore To Testify On Climate Change ... Tomorrow

From Spaceref via NASAWatch:

The Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Science & Technology Committee will hold a joint hearing along with the Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy & Air Quality to receive testimony from Former Vice President Al Gore and others on global climate change.

The hearing titled "Perspectives on Climate Change," will be held Wednesday March 21, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. Vice President Gore will appear as the witness on the first panel. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, Adjunct Professor, Copenhagen Consensus Center, Copenhagen Business School will appear on the second panel.

Top auto industry executives testified last week to a House Energy and Commerce panel.

Iraq Supplemental

Supplemental Making Its Way Through Congress' Dark Corridor

House Panel Approves Bill To Fund War, Set Timeline
Democratic legislation to set timelines for the removal of troops from Iraq headed for a showdown on the House floor next week after the Appropriations Committee approved a $124 billion war funding bill yesterday that would end the U.S. role in the conflict by next year.

House Budget

Spratt Says House Budget Plan Will Include a New AMT Patch
House Budget Committee Chairman John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C., says he will include in his draft fiscal 2008 budget plan at least a one-year extension of provisions designed to limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax.

Senate Budget

Senate Budget Panel Expected To Approve 2008 Budget Plan
The Senate Budget Committee today was heading toward approval of the fiscal 2008 budget resolution, after what was expected to be a lively debate on a string of GOP amendments to the Democratic-authored blueprint.

Conrad's Budget Plan - Too Good to be True?
Democratic budget makers are trying to do it all in this years budget -- increase spending, eliminate the deficit, and extend tax cuts.

House Legislation: Technology

Bill Introduced: Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007
H.R. 1201: "To amend title 17, United States Code, to promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes," introduced 2/27/07.

Action Alert - Support the FAIR USE Act!
Reps. Rick Boucher and John Doolittle's FAIR USE Act [PDF] would remove some of the entertainment industry's most draconian anti-innovation weapons and chip away at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) broad restrictions on fair use.

Support the FAIR USE Act!
Bill Gates to address Senate panel
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to descend on Capitol Hill next week to pepper a U.S. Senate committee with his suggestions for boosting American competitiveness.

The beginning of the end for the DMCA?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act may be the most hated piece of tech legislation around. But now Congressmen Rick Boucher and John Doolittle have introduced a bill

Senate Legislation: Technology

Four Corners Television Access Act of 2007
S.760: "To provide certain counties with the ability to receive television broadcast signals of their choice," introduced 3/5/07.

Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act
S.522: "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act," introduced 2/7/07.


As noted by the Copyright Office.

Senate Votes: Iraq Resolutions

Senate to Vote on Iraq Resolutions
Senate leaders struck a deal for speedy votes today on three Iraq resolutions: One calling for redeployment and eventual withdrawal, another supporting troop funding and a third broadly backing the troops.

Senate Finally Debates Iraq, But Really, Not Much Has Changed
After three failed attempts, the Senate has finally voted to begin a debate on Iraq.


S.J.Res. 9: A joint resolution to revise United States policy on Iraq
This resolution called for beginning the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within four months.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider S. J. Res. 9
Passed 89-9, 2 not voting. Bipartisan support.
Senate Moves Toward Debate on Iraq
Senate Republicans joined with Democrats today to move toward a long-awaited debate on Iraq, the first in the new Democratic-controlled Senate.

Democrats' Resolution on Iraq Reaches Senate Floor
After weeks of delay, Democratic leaders yesterday managed to bring to the Senate floor for the first time a binding resolution that would bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. But Republicans remained confident that they could kill the proposal, and the White House threatened a veto
On the Joint Resolution
Failed 48-50, 2 not voting. 95% of Democrats supporting, 98% of Republicans opposing.
Senate GOP Turns Back Iraq Pullout Plan
The Senate today rejected a binding Democratic-sponsored resolution that would have set a target date a little more than a year from now for the withdrawal of most U.S. combat troops from Iraq. Senators then approved by large margins two nonbinding resolutions that express support for the troops.

Senate Iraq measure defeated
The vote on the Senate Democratic resolution setting the "goal" of getting most troops out of Iraq by March of 2008 was defeated, 48-50. Sixty votes were needed for passage under the agreement reached by the Senate leadership.

S. Res. 107: A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that no action should be taken to undermine the safety of the Armed Forces of the United States or impact their ability to complete their assigned or future missions.

On the Resolution
Passed 96-2, 2 not voting. Bipartisan support.


S. Con. Res. 20: A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced for American Troops in the field which would result in undermining their safety or their ability to complete their assigned mission.

On the Concurrent Resolution
Passed 82-16, 2 not voting. Bipartisan support.


Senate Defeats Iraq Withdrawal Resolution, Adopts Troop Support Measures
Senate Republicans defeated a Democratic resolution calling for redeployment and eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, language that could soon resurface during debate on the war supplemental funding bill.

Senate Votes: S. 4 - 9/11 Commission Recommendations

S. 4: Improving America's Security Act of 2007

Debate

Previous Amendments and Votes on S. 4

Coburn Amdt. No. 294: To provide that the provisions of the Act shall cease to have any force or effect on and after December, 31, 2012, to ensure congressional review and oversight of the Act.

On the Motion to Table
Passed 60-38, 2 not voting. 93% of Democrats supporting, 73% of Republicans opposing.

Coburn Amdt. No. 325: To ensure the fiscal integrity of grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security.

On the Motion to Table
Passed 66-31, 3 not voting. 87% of Democrats supporting, 54% of Republicans opposing.

Biden Amdt. No. 383: To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop regulations regarding the transportation of high hazard materials, and for other purposes.

On the Motion to Table
Passed 73-25, 2 not voting. Bipartisan support.

On Passage of S. 4 As Amended
Passed 60-38, 2 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 80% of Republicans opposing.


Senate Passes Bill Containing Proposals of 9/11 Panel
The Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to implement many of the remaining reforms suggested by the Sept. 11 commission

Sept. 11 Legislation Facing a Veto Threat
Despite a veto threat that Republicans say they have the votes to sustain.

Senate Activity: Passed Committee

S.J.Res. 9: A joint resolution to revise United States policy on Iraq.

S.Con.Res. 21: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the...

S. 494: NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007

House Activity: Passed Committee

H.R. 1433: To provide for the treatment of the District of Columbia as a Congressional district...

H.R. 797: Dr. James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act

H.R. 1284: Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2007

H.R. 1332: Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007

H.R. 1468: Disadvantaged Business Disaster Eligibility Act

H.R. 1495: To provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to...

March 18, 2007

House Votes: H.R. 1362 - Accountability in Contracting

H.Res. 242: Providing for the consideration of H.R. 1362

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Passed 223-190, 20 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing.


H.R. 1362: Accountability in Contracting Act

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2595-2597; text: CR H2595)
Passed 309-114, 10 not voting. 100% of Republicans supporting, 50% of Democrats opposing. (This motion sends a bill back to committee with instructions on how to proceed.)

On Passage
Passed 347-73, 13 not voting. Bipartisan support.

House Votes: H.R. 985 - Whistleblower Protections

H.Res. 239: Providing for the consideration of H.R. 985

On Ordering the Previous Question
Passed 224-197, 12 not voting. 99% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing.

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Passed 223-193, 17 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing.


H.R. 985: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

Amendment to Amendment 1
H.AMDT.41 Amendment (A001) offered by Mr. Stupak. (consideration: CR H2530-2532, H2537-2538, H2539-2540; text: CR H2530)

An amendment numbered 1 printed in House Report 110-48 to clarifies that instances of political interference with science are to be considered `abuses of authority' and their disclosure therefore protected. The Stupak amendment adds an example of such interference, namely preventing a federal scientist or grantee from publishing or presenting their research.

On Agreeing to the Amendment (in the Committee of the Whole)
Passed 250-178, 10 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 90% of Republicans opposing.

On Agreeing to the Amendment (Revote in the full House)
Passed 252-173, 8 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 89% of Republicans opposing.


Amendment to Amendment 4
H.AMDT.44 Amendment (A004) offered by Mr. Sali. (consideration: CR H2534-2536, H2538-2539; text: CR H2534)
An amendment numbered 5 printed in House Report 110-48 to change the section on national security whistleblowers to limit which members of Congress can receive information about especially sensitive subjects, such as sources and methods (to members of the intelligence committees or other relevant committees) and special access programs (to defense committees), and for other programs (to committees with oversight over the program in question).
On Agreeing to the Amendment
Failed 159-271, 8 not voting. 80% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.


On Motion to Recommit with Instructions (This motion sends a bill back to committee with instructions on how to proceed.)
(consideration: CR H2540-2541; text: CR H2540)
Passed 426-0, 7 not voting. Bipartisan support.

On Passage
Passed 331-94, 8 not voting. Bipartisan support.

House Votes: H.R. 720 - Water Bill 3 of 3

H.Res. 229: Providing for consideration of H.R. 720
Passed 229-179, 25 not voting. 99% of Democrats supporting, 96% of Republicans opposing.

H.R. 720: Water Quality Financing Act of 2007

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

Amendment to Amendment 2 to H R 720
(consideration: CR H2368-2370, H2373-2374; text: CR H2369)
An amendent numbered 3 printed in part B of House Report 110-36 to require that states, in the development of their priority list under section 606(g) of the Clean Water Act, consider whether the project or activity proposed for funding would first address the repair and replacement of existing wastewater infrastructure.
(On Agreeing to the Amendment)
Failed 140-280, 18 not voting. 73% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2374-2375; text: CR H2374)
(This motion sends a bill back to committee with instructions on how to proceed.)
Passed 359-56, 18 not voting. Bipartisan support.

On Passage
Passed 303-108, 22 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 58% of Republicans opposing.


House Passes Wastewater Bill Despite Veto Threat
The House today passed legislation to fund upgrades at wastewater treatment facilities that also included a controversial provision expanding the scope of federal prevailing-wage requirements that has drawn a veto threat from the White House.

Senate Panel Says Water Resources Bill Is a Top Priority
As a bill to renew a water resources authorization law heads to the House floor, members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee agreed Thursday such legislation would be a top priority for their panel.


(Water Bills 1, 2)

Senate Activity: Voice Votes, Unanimous Consent

The following bills have passed the Senate. A recorded vote was not taken.
  • S. 655: American National Red Cross Governance Modernization Act of 2007
  • S. 494: NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007
  • H.Con.Res. 20: Calling on the Government of the United Kingdom to immediately establish a full... (Passed Both Chambers)
  • S.Res. 102: A resolution supporting the goals of "International Women's Day"

House Activity: Voice Votes

The following bills passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives last week:

  • H.Res. 107: Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive...
  • H.R. 1003: To amend the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 to reauthorize the...
  • H.Res. 198: Recognizing the significance of Black History Month.
  • H.R. 1126: To reauthorize the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology...
  • H.R. 1068: To amend the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991.

House Suspension Votes: Sunshine Week

OpenCongress: Sunshine Week

The motion to suspend the rules is used frequently to pass legislative measures that are perceived to have a broad degree of support and little need for prolonged debate.

H.R. 85: Energy Technology Transfer Act
Passed 395-1, 37 not voting. Bipartisan support.

H.R. 1254: Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2007, To amend title 44, United States Code, to require information on contributors to Presidential library fundraising organizations
Passed 390-34, 9 not voting. Bipartisan support.

H.R. 1255: Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007, To amend chapter 22 of title 44, USC, popularly known as the Presidential Records Act, to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of Presidential records
Passed 333-93, 7 not voting. Bipartisan support.

H.R. 1309: Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007
Passed 308-117, 8 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 60% of Republicans opposing.


House Passes Open-Government Bills
In a bipartisan confrontation with the White House over executive branch secrecy, the House ignored a stern veto threat and overwhelmingly passed a package of open-government bills yesterday that would roll back administration efforts to shield its workings from public view.

Open-Government Bills Pass the House; One Faces White House Veto Threat
Former presidents and vice presidents would not be able to unilaterally shield their records from the public, according to legislation the House passed by a veto-proof majority Wednesday.

Senate Progress Report

Victories for Senate Democrats Rare So Far

Why Republicans Are Smiling

March 9, 2007

Senate Legislation: Resolutions To Make You Think

S.Res. 92 - Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]
A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah.

S.J.Res. 4 - Sen. Samuel Brownback [R-KS]
A joint resolution to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

House Legislation: Resolutions To Make You Think

H.J.Res. 38 - Rep. Todd Platts [R-PA]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to authorize the line item veto.

H.Con.Res. 75 - Rep. Eddie Johnson [D-TX]
Expressing the sense of Congress that the global use of child soldiers is unacceptable and that the international community should find remedies end this practice.

H.Con.Res. 77 - Rep. Gerald Weller [R-IL]
Calling on the Government of Venezuela to respect a free and independent media and to avoid all acts of censorship against the media and free expression.

H.Con.Res. 83 - Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]
Expressing the sense of the Congress that State and local governments should be supported for taking actions to discourage illegal immigration and that legislation should be enacted to ease the burden on State and local governments for taking such actions.

H.Res. 194 - Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN]
Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans.

H.Res. 198 - Rep. Al Green [D-TX]
Recognizing the significance of Black History Month.

H.Res. 204 - Rep. Stephanie Jones [D-OH]
Expressing support for the first annual America Saves Week.

H.Res. 209 - Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY]
Supporting the goals and ideals of Anti-Slavery Day.

H.Res. 211 - Rep. Ron Lewis [R-KY]
Recognizing and supporting the long distance runs that will take place in the People's Republic of China in 2007 and the United States in 2008 to promote friendship between the peoples of China and the United States.

H.Res. 224 - Rep. William Shuster [R-PA]
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that corporate owners of websites that share user-posted videos should take action to remove jihadi propaganda.

S. 4: Senate Votes on Amendments

DeMint Amdt. No. 279 As Modified: To specify the criminal offenses that disqualify an applicant from the receipt of a transportation security card.
Passed 94-2, 4 not voting. Bipartisan support.

Inouye Amdt. No. 285: To specify the criminal offenses that disqualify an applicant from the receipt of a transportation security card.
Passed 58-37, 5 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 79% of Republicans opposing.

On the Motion to Table Schumer Amdt. No. 298
Passed 58-38, 4 not voting. 97% of Republicans supporting, 75% of Democrats opposing.

Sununu Amdt. No. 292: To expand the reporting requirement on cross border interoperability, and to prevent lengthy delays in the accessing frequencies and channels for public safety communication users and others.
Passed 82-0, 18 not voting. Bipartisan support.

Salazar Amdt. No. 280: To create a Rural Policing Institute as part of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Passed 82-1, 17 not voting. Bipartisan support.

On the Motion to Table DeMint Amdt. No. 314: To strike the provision that revises the personnel management practices of the Transportation Security Administration.
Passed 51-46, 3 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 98% of Republicans opposing.

On the Motion to Table Obama Amdt. No. 338: To require consideration of high-risk qualifying criteria in allocating funds under the State Homeland Security Grant Program.
Passed 59-40, 1 not voting. 73% of Republicans supporting, 57% of Democrats opposing.

Leahy Amdt. No. 333: To increase the minimum allocation for States under the State Homeland Security Grant Program.
Failed 49-50, 1 not voting. Parties mixed on issue.

McCaskill Amdt. No. 316 As Modified: To provide appeal rights and employee engagement mechanisms for passenger and property screeners.
Also known as the "Airport Screener Amendment" regarding airport security workers and unionizing.
Passed 51-48, 1 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 98% of Republicans opposing.

Collins Amdt. No. 342: To provide certain employment rights and an employee engagement mechanism for passenger and property screeners, and for other purposes.
Failed 47-52, 1 not voting. 95% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

On the Motion to Table Coburn Amdt. No. 345: To authorize funding for the Emergency Communications and Interoperability Grants program, to require the Secretary to examine the possibility of allowing commercial entities to develop public safety communications networks, and for other purposes.
Passed 71-25, 4 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 54% of Republicans opposing.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on Cornyn Amdt. No. 312, As Modified: To prohibit the recruitment of persons to participate in terrorism, to clarify that the revocation of an alien's visa or other documentation is not subject to judicial review, to strengthen the Federal Government's ability to detain dangerous criminal aliens, including murderers, rapists, and child molesters, until they can be removed from the United States, to prohibit the rewarding of suicide bombings and allow adequate punishments for terrorists murders, kidnappings, and sexual assaults, and for other purposes.
Failed 46-49, 5 not voting. 97% of Republicans supporting, 98% of Democrats opposing. (The Senate uses cloture to end debate on a matter.)

Motion to Invoke Cloture on Reid Amdt. No. 275, As Amended
Cloture Motion Agreed to 69-26, 5 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 57% of Republicans opposing. (The Senate uses cloture to end debate on a matter.)

S. 4: Reports

Collective Bargaining for TSA
The biggest snag to the Homeland Security bill and 9/11 Commission recommendations apparent right now is a party disagreement over collective bargaining for TSA employees.

Beginning the Debate

Senate GOP Leaders Agree to Consider Broader Sept. 11 Package
Senate Republican leaders agreed today to consider a larger homeland security bill as a vehicle to enact several remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, committee aides said.

Senate Considers Broader Sept. 11 Package
The Senate on Tuesday took up a broad package of homeland security measures, including several remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, after Republican leaders agreed to its consideration.

Collective Bargaining

Tuesday, March 6, 2007, 9:23 AM PST
WASHINGTON (AP) The Senate votes to extend union rights to federal airport screeners.

Senate Kills Bid to Drop TSA Collective Bargaining From 9/11 Bill
The Senate voted today to kill an amendment to Sept. 11 legislation that would have stripped out a provision giving airport screeners collective bargaining rights, taking another step toward a confrontation with the president on the issue.

Senate Rejects Second Bid to Thwart TSA Collective Bargaining
The Senate rejected a second GOP bid today to remove a provision from homeland security legislation allowing collective bargaining for airport screeners.

9/11 Bill Takes a Leap Towards Oblivion
The Senate just voted to table the amendment by Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would strike the provision giving collective bargaining rights to TSA officers in S.4, a bill to implement the unfinished recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Executive Authority

Senate Sets Up Confrontation With House, Bush on Homeland Security Bill
The Senate and House appear headed for a clash over homeland security grants after the upper chamber’s rejection of several amendments on grant funding in an anti-terrorism bill.

Senate 9/11 Bill Snagged Once Again
Yesterday, Senators approved an amendment to make the collective bargaining rights, given to TSA officers in the 9/11 bill, "waiveable" in emergency security situations. The Senators who voted for this amendment did so primarily to make the overall bill, which implements the unfinished recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, more palatable to the President, who is threatening a veto.

Final Consideration

Republicans Deal Another Setback to Final Vote on Sept. 11 Legislation
Senate conservatives are blocking final consideration of a bill that would implement recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, opposing a Democratic proposal for hurricane recovery aid.

Senate Domestic Activity

Domestic Agenda

Reid Says He's Running Out of Patience With GOP on Minimum Wage Tax Package
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may push for votes on one of two minimum wage proposals opposed by many Republicans — either a stand-alone wage increase or one incorporating a $1.3 billion House-passed package of tax breaks and offsetting revenue-raisers.

Committee Hearings

Groups Press Senate Committee on Energy Efficiency
The nation’s biggest retailer and a representative for industrial power utilities joined a key conservation group and builders’ group Monday in asking Congress to pass national energy-efficient building regulations and incentives.

In Katrina's Wake, Panel Considers Placing Insurers Under Antitrust Laws
Sen. Trent Lott switched roles Wednesday, testifying before a Judiciary Committee hearing rather than asking questions as a GOP leader.

Debt

Senate Committee Begins Hearings on Credit Industry Lending Practices
Senators took credit card companies to task Thursday for what the chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee called “confusing, misleading and in some cases predatory” lending practices.

Report Finds Medical Debt Increasing
Patients are turning to credit cards to meet rising out-of-pocket medical expenses and are accruing heavy medical debt as a result, according to a new report by advocacy groups Demos and the Access Project.

Hope for Credit Card Consumers
Congress Holds Hearings On Unfair Practices by Credit Card Companies

Taxes

Top Democrats Back Two-Year Tax Patch
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus plans to move forward this spring on a two-year extension of income exemptions for the alternative minimum tax, likely setting aside efforts for a permanent repeal.

Health

Panel Debates Over Proposed FDA Role in Tobacco Control
Tobacco experts, physicians and even a representative from the Southern Baptist Convention offered testimony Tuesday on a Senate bill that would have the FDA regulate tobacco products.

Smith Proposes Cigarette Tax Increase for Children's Health
A key Senate Republican today said he would support raising cigarette taxes to pay for health insurance for children.

Baucus Seeks $50 Billion in New SCHIP Funds
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Tuesday he will seek $50 billion in new funding over the next five years as part of reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Children's Health Care on Agenda
The success of the decade-old Children's Health Insurance Program is exposing Washington's familiar ideological divisions over health care as Congress begins to work on renewing the state-federal program.

Education

Senators Push Bill Aimed at Math, Science Education Improvements
A group of senators, led by the Democratic and Republican leaders, introduced legislation Monday that would act on President Bush’s call to make improving math and science education a higher priority.

Senate leaders seek funding boost for U.S. math, science education
A high-profile group of U.S. senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have proposed a bill

Immigration

In Senate, Amnesty Tops List of Divisive Issues
Sen. John McCain laughed at his own answer to the question: What are the hang-ups to negotiating an immigration bill?

Senators Try to Gauge Bush Administration's Stance on Immigration
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy emerged from his first leadership role in overhauling immigration policy confident that the White House shares Democrats’ desire to enact legislation this year.

House Activity: Passed Committee

These bills have passed Henry Waxman's Government Reform Committee and are ready to be taken up on the House floor at any time:
  • H.R. 1362: Accountability in Contracting Act
  • H.R. 1309: Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007
  • H.R. 1255: Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007
  • H.R. 1254: Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2007

Iraq: Senate, Bush Administration

Democrats Forge Single Voice on Iraq
The new Senate Iraq resolution, unveiled yesterday afternoon, is the latest handiwork yet of Congress's newest "it club": the Senate Democratic war council. The inaugural meeting was called last June by Harry M. Reid (Nev.), then the minority leader.

Craig Crawford's 1600: New Study Partners
Now it seems as though George W. Bush might be paying more attention to former Secretary of State James A. Baker III’s Iraq Study Group than he initially let on. For starters, the president’s apparent about-face last week from his earlier rejection of meetings with Iran or Syria falls right in line with one of Baker’s chief recommendations.

House Domestic Agenda

House Democrats Angling on Domestic Issues
Congressional Democrats are moving swiftly on key domestic issues aimed at improving their 2008 reelection chances and splitting Republicans.

Open Government Bill Makes Beeline for House Floor
Government accountability supporters throughout the country are preparing to celebrate the public's right to know during Sunshine Week (March 11-17), and it looks like Congress may have the same idea. On Monday, Reps. William Lacy Clay, Todd Russell Platts, and Henry Waxman introduced a bipartisan bill to make several requester-friendly changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which hasn't been significantly updated since 1996. Today the amendments got a thumbs-up from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and could be on the House floor as early as next week.

Democrats Look for Permanent AMT Fix
Key House leaders are pushing to sharply limit the scope of the alternative minimum tax, providing relief to many families who already pay the unpopular levy as well as millions more who would be hit for the first time next year.

Committee

House Panel Approves Post-Hurricane Housing Initiative
After heated debate, the House Financial Services Committee voted 50-16 today to approve a bill addressing affordable housing for low-income residents of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Genetic Discrimination: Overview of the Issue and Proposed Legislation

Gene Shopping: Parents Won't Pass on Deadly Diseases with New Procedure
With PGD, Mom Didn't Pass on Husband's Colon Cancer Gene

Immigration

In House, Immigration Risky for All Sides
In the House, the 2006 elections offered no clear guidance for either party on how to tackle the politically volatile issue of immigration.

House Votes: Water Bills 1, 2 of 3

H.R. 569: Water Quality Investment Act of 2007

Debate

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2263-2264)
Passed 425-0

On Passage
Passed 367-58


H.Res. 215: Providing for consideration of H.R. 700

H.R. 700: Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2007

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

Amendment to Amendment 2 to H R 700
(consideration: CR H2327; text: CR H2327)
Failed 176-256, 6 not voting. 88% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2328-2329; text: CR H2328)
Passed 427-0, 6 not voting. Bipartisan support.

On Passage
Passed 368-59, 6 not voting. Bipartisan support.


House Passes One Water Project Bill;
Two More Are on Deck for the Week

The House on Wednesday passed legislation that would authorize $1.7 billion over five years for grants to replace aging sewer systems.

House Votes: H.R. 800 - Eliminating Secret Union Ballots

H.Res. 203: Providing for consideration of H.R. 800

Ordering the Previous Question
Passed 228-197, 8 not voting. 100% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing.

Passed House 230-195, 8 not voting with 100% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing.

H.R. 800: Employee Free Choice Act

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

Amendment to Amendment 1 to H R 800
(consideration: CR H2078-2080, H2087; text: CR H2078-2079)
Failed 164-264, 10 not voting. 83% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

Amendment to Amendment 2 to H R 800
(consideration: CR H2080-2082, H2087-2088; text: CR H2080)
Failed 173-256, 9 not voting. 86% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

Amendment to Amendment 3 to H R 800
(consideration: CR H2082-2087, H2088-2089; text: CR H2082)
Failed 173-256, 9 not voting. 86% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2089; text: CR H2089)
Failed 202-225, 7 not voting. 95% of Republicans supporting, 95% of Democrats opposing. (This motion sends a bill back to committee with instructions on how to proceed.)

Passed House 241-185, 8 not voting with 99% of Democrats supporting, 94% of Republicans opposing.


Union Organization Bill's Passage in House May Be Its High-Water Mark
The House passed legislation Thursday that would make organizing a union almost as simple as circulating a petition, but the prospects of the bill becoming law appear dim.

Leadership Profiles

C-SPAN Makes Video More Widely Available
Advancing its longstanding mission of bringing government closer to the people, C-SPAN announced today two major initiatives designed to greatly expand citizen access to its online video of federal government activities, such as congressional hearings, agency briefings, and White House events. These actions are intended to meet the growing demand for video about the federal government and Congress, in an age of explosive growth of video file sharers, bloggers, and online 'citizen journalists.' The policy change is effective immediately.

Brothers Bridge Political Aisle
In a recent display of fraternal unity, the Mica brothers -- Dan, Democratic congressman-turned-lobbyist, and John, Republican congressman from Florida -- talked for two minutes without a partisan jab.

Leadership

San Francisco Liberal Charts Moderate Course
There was a time when Nancy Pelosi was aligned with anti-war protesters who took to the streets of her San Francisco district.

McConnell Helps Save GOP's Agenda
The inside-the-Beltway reviews are in: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knows how to work a chamber.

Foreign Dignitaries

Congressional Agenda Is Usual Debate and Votes, but Also a Visit With Royalty
While the House focuses on water resources bills, the Senate continues grappling with legislation addressing several recommendations from the Sept. 11 commission — and both chambers will greet a king later in the week.

Lawmakers Disappointed by Jordan King's Speech
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee denounced a speech today by Jordanian King Abdullah II to a joint meeting of Congress, calling it a disappointing “collection of platitudes” about Middle East peace efforts that underestimated the knowledge of U.S. lawmakers.

House Reports: Global Warming

House Creates Global Warming Panel, Despite Skepticism in Both Parties
The House voted Thursday to establish Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s much-scrutinized new panel to investigate the dangers of global warming.

House Creates Global Warming Committee
As one of the top priorities on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) agenda, the House voted Thursday to create a select committee on global warming.

Greenhouse of Representatives
The House of Representatives voted today to create a new congressional committee, devoted solely to addressing the issue of global warming. Legislation creating the new "Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming" passed 269 to 150, with 44 Republicans voting in favor of its creation.

Clean Coal Technology Factors Figure Heavily in Climate-Control Legislation
Technology to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions by coal-burning power plants won’t be widely available until 2045, a Bush administration official told a House panel Tuesday, potentially complicating efforts to pass climate-change legislation.

EPA Developing Exemption for Manure Emissions
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson told lawmakers today that his agency is developing a proposal to exempt farms from some reporting requirements under federal toxic waste and right-to-know laws.

Here Comes 'Climate Crisis Action Day'
Environmental activists and liberal politicians will join forces in Washington, D.C., on March 20 for the first "Climate Crisis Action Day," which is billed as a "carbon-neutral global warming event."

CRS Reports: Committee Expenditures

House Reports: Iraq

Shift in Focus: Funding

House Showdown
The days of symbolic non-binding resolutions behind them, leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives this morning dug in their heels and set the stage for an aggressive debate over the future of the war in Iraq.

From Threats to Conditions

Boehner Says No to Supplemental Spending With Conditions
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told GOP lawmakers in a closed-door meeting today that he would oppose the proposed fiscal 2007 supplemental spending bill if it includes provisions to restrict or place conditions on the funding.

House Leaders Back Off Iraq Funding Threats
House Democrats have backed away from proposals to use Congress’ appropriations power to block President Bush’s Iraq strategy and instead will require him to certify the troops are sufficiently ready and rested.

Working Toward Iraq Deal, or Stuck?
Democrats remain divided on how to challenge President Bush on Iraq, as liberals clamor for an effort to end the conflict while moderates insist on a more measured approach.

Iraq Bill Vexes Democrats
House Democratic leaders offered a full-throated defense last night of their plans to link Iraq war spending with rigorous standards for resting, training and equipping combat troops, saying that they would hold President Bush accountable for failing to meet those readiness tests.

Setting a Timeline

Democrats Alter Plan To Restrict Iraq War
Senior House Democrats, seeking to placate members of their party from Republican-leaning districts, are pushing a plan that would place restrictions on President Bush's ability to wage the war in Iraq but would allow him to waive them if he publicly justifies his position.

Iraq Waivers Spark Dissent in House
House Democrats are close to finalizing a $100 billion-plus emergency supplemental spending bill that will disappoint Iraq War critics by failing to impose airtight conditions on future troop deployments.

Democrats to Propose Troop Withdrawal from Iraq by Fall of 2008
House speaker Nancy Pelosi's office has announced plans for a morning news conference to unveil a new Democratic plan that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by fall of 2008.

Democrats Coalesce Behind Iraq Deadline
House lawmakers today began absorbing a plan announced by Democratic leaders to set an ultimate deadline of August 2008 for removing troops from combat in Iraq and would require the president to certify by July that Iraqis are meeting key political benchmarks.

House Liberals Plan Amendment for Iraq Troop Withdrawal on Spending Bill
House liberals are preparing an amendment to the fiscal 2007 emergency war supplemental that would provide for a fully funded withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, according to Democratic aides familiar with the discussions.

Democrats to Force Iraq Deadline
House Democrats are writing a fiscal 2007 war spending bill that would require President Bush to bring most U.S. troops home from Iraq before his presidency ends, internal Appropriations Committee documents indicate.

Balancing Domestic Priorities

Shopping For War Supplemental Votes
As the Democratic Leadership approaches a conclusion on how to address the issue of Iraq in the war supplemental funding bill, rumors, about unrelated funding that might be included in it, abound. The rumored additional funds may secure more votes for the bill, but they may also cause the President to veto it, citing its exorbitant cost. It could end up costing over $110 billion.

Dems Want Domestic Agenda In War Bill
Democrats eye programs that could boost spending bill by 10 percent or more.

Liberal Democrats Revolt on Iraq Spending Bill
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing a full-blown revolt from liberal House Democrats over the $98 billion Iraq supplemental bill, according to Democratic insiders. Anywhere between 50 to 75 Democrats are now threatening to vote against the bill because it doesn't go far enough toward ending the war, including setting a date certain for withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, said the sources.

Democrats Weigh Timetable Vote as Iraq Compromise
House Democratic leaders are considering a vote on a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq before taking up $98 billion in new military spending.

Blue Dog Democrats Divided On Approach to War in Iraq
The Blue Dogs are a tight-knit bunch. The band of 43 moderate House Democrats sponsors legislation together, socializes together. But when it comes to the war in Iraq, they tend to go their own ways.

Iraq Pullout Could Begin July 1
Under a new House Democratic plan, all American troops could be out of Iraq by the end of 2007. White House officials immediately threatened a veto.

Expected Outcomes

Thursday, March 8, 2007, 7:28 AM PST
WASHINGTON (AP) Congressional Democrats have decided to push a specific timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

As Iraq Exit Plan Arrives, Democrats' Rift Remains
Even in her conservative Kansas district, calls and letters to freshman House Democrat Nancy Boyda show a constituency overwhelmingly ready for U.S. troops to come home from Iraq.

Bush Threatens to Veto Democrats' Iraq Plan
Bush administration officials escalated the fight over a new spending package for the Iraq war yesterday, saying for the first time that the president will veto a House Democratic plan because it includes a timetable to start bringing troops home within a year and would undermine military efforts.

Pentagon to Seek More Funds in War Supplemental
The Bush administration is expected to send to Congress by week’s end a roughly $2.5 billion amendment to the Defense Department’s part of the recent fiscal 2007 war and hurricane supplemental request, a knowledgeable House aide said today.

Looking for Answers

Hoyer: Military Force Won't Bring Peace to Iraq
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said today he does not believe peace in Iraq can be brought about through the use of military force and Democrats are “in the process of determining the least dangerous, the least negative alternative.”

Fighting corruption in Iraq – an uphill battle
A few months ago, the watchdog group Transparency International published its yearly Corruption Perceptions Index. Out of 163 countries surveyed in 2006, only two, Myanmar and Haiti, were found to be more corrupt than Iraq.

House Votes: H.R. 556 - Foreign Investment

H.Res. 195: Providing for the consideration of H.R. 556

H.R. 556: National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007

Debate

All Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)


An amendment numbered 6 printed in the Congressional Record, to insert a new paragraph entitled Contents of Report Related to Barriers to Investment into the United States and specifies for inclusion in the report a detailed discussion of factors including the amount of burdensome regulation in the United States as compared to other countries that affect the number of filings, changes in the types of business sectors involved in filings, and changes in the number of investments originating from specific countries.
Failed 198-228, 12 not voting. 99% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

An amendment numbered 7 printed in the Congressional Record, to insert a new paragraph entitled Contents of Report Related to Barriers to Investment into the United States and specifies for inclusion in the report a detailed discussion of factors including trend information on the number of jobs in the United States related to foreign investment resulting from covered transactions, that affect the number of filings, changes in the type of business sectors involved in filings, and changes in the number of investments originating from specific countries.
Failed 197-231, 10 not voting. 98% of Republicans supporting, 99% of Democrats opposing.

Amendment to Amendment 6
Failed 197-231, 10 not voting. 98% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
(consideration: CR H2007-2009; text: CR H2007-2008)
Page 30, line 17, strike the closing quotation marks and the 2nd period.

Page 30, after line 17, insert the following new paragraph:

``(4) CONTENTS OF REPORT RELATING TO BARRIERS TO INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES.--In order to assist the Congress in its oversight role of ensuring the national security of the United States by assuring a healthy investment climate, the President, and such agencies as the President shall designate, shall include in the annual report submitted under paragraph (1) detailed analysis of factors in the United States, such as--

``(A) the deleterious effect of burdensome regulations;

``(B) fair, equitable and nondiscriminatory treatment of entrepreneurs, businesses and other sources of capital;

``(C) the stability of the financial markets; and

``(D) economic competitiveness driven by innovation,

that, when compared to similar conditions in other countries, may negatively impact the number of filings, cause changes in the types of business sectors involved in such filings, and adversely affect the number of investments originating from specific countries, or that may induce retaliatory actions by other countries that directly impair United States global investments.''.

Motion Failed 193-229, 11 not voting. 98% of Republicans supporting, 100% of Democrats opposing.

Passed House 423-0, 10 not voting. Bipartisan support.


House Takes Another Run at Foreign Investment Review Process Measure
This bill would overhaul the review process for foreign investments in the United States, although a leadership decision to allow amendments could complicate action on what is a now carefully crafted compromise.

After last year’s controversy over plans by a Dubai-based company to take over operations at several U.S. ports, the chamber easily passed a similar measure last July. The Senate passed its own measure, but no agreement was worked out before adjournment.

House Activity: Voice Votes

The following bills passed the House by voice vote and are then sent to the Senate:
  • H.R. 807: Columbia Space Shuttle Memorial Study Act
  • H.Con.Res. 62: Supporting the goals and ideals of a National Children and Families Day, in order to encourage adults in the United States to support and listen to children and to help children throughout the Nation achieve their hopes and dreams, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 122: Inland Empire Regional Water Recycling Initiative
  • H.R. 1047: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum located in St. Louis, Missouri, as a unit of the National Park System.
  • H.R. 990: Pell Grant Equity Act of 2007
  • H.R. 1066: Depository Institution Community Development Investments Enhancement Act

Senate Activity: Passed Committee

The following bills have passed out of committee and are awaiting floor action at any time:
  • S.Con.Res. 10: A concurrent resolution honoring and praising the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on the occasion of its 98th anniversary.
  • S.Res. 78: A resolution designating April 2007 as "National Autism Awareness Month" and supporting efforts to increase funding for research into the causes and treatment of autism and to improve training and support for individuals with autism and those who care for individuals with autism.
  • S.Res. 84: A resolution observing February 23, 2007, as the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire, honoring the distinguished life and legacy of William Wilberforce, and encouraging the people of the United States to follow the example of William Wilberforce by selflessly pursuing respect for human rights around the world.
  • S. 385: Interoperable Emergency Communications Act
  • S. 509: Aviation Security Improvement Act
  • S. 763: An original bill to provide the resources to protect public transportation from terrorism.
  • S. 655: American National Red Cross Governance Modernization Act of 2007

House Activity: Passed Committee

The following bills have passed out of committee and are awaiting floor action at any time:
  • H.R. 85: Energy Technology Transfer Act
  • H.R. 363: Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act
  • H.R. 1130: Judicial Disclosure Responsibility Act
  • H.R. 1068: To amend the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991.

March 2, 2007

Managing the volume of content from Congress

The United States Congress generates a lot of content. With the help of two Web sites, it is now possible to make this information more manageable.
Since Pipes makes it possible to mash anything now, I went through and did some mashing on GovTrack feeds.

I took three legislative tracking feeds (New, Active (not new), and Enacted) and split them out over five steps (introduction, committee, votes, passage, enacted) with additional breakdowns for a total of 15 feeds.

Then, I also took the 535 member feeds from all 50 states and 5 territories, stripped out the bill activity leaving just the Congressional Record speeches (and, in the Senate, the speeches about introduced legislation as well), and merged them into a single feed for each state for both the House and Senate (and the 5 territories in the House).

That brings us to a total of 120 feeds for filtering through the volume of material Congress generates every day of the session. Here is an OPML file for importing them into your reader. (You may have to view the source code to see them in your browser. Also, I'll try to keep that file modified if I add/remove feeds from the lists.)

Or, you can just stay tuned to this blog where I'll post the interesting stuff I find from those feeds!

Update: Technical Details

Tim
10,862 days

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