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July 2, 2007

Senate Democrats Negotiating Vacation for Agenda

Senate Republicans Block Conference on Lobbying Overhaul Legislation
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has blocked appointment of Senate conferees on the stalled lobbying bill, casting doubt on the future of the biggest overhaul of ethics and lobbying legislation in a dozen years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to name conferees Tuesday afternoon, but Republicans objected at McConnell’s request, saying they would allow action on the measure only if promised a vote on a separate bill (S 223) that would require electronic filing of campaign finance reports.

McConnell’s move injects a dose of partisanship into a lobbying overhaul (S 1) that the Senate passed in January on a 96-2 vote. The House passed its version of the bill (HR 2316) in May, and aides from both chambers have been negotiating a final bill for weeks in preconference meetings.

On Eve of July Recess, Reid Threatens to Cancel August Break
Stymied by Republicans on the Sept. 11 commission bill and a lobbying overhaul, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., today threatened to take away senators’ August vacation time.

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