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July 22, 2010 - by Moshe Bildner

Two major pieces of legislation moved forward yesterday, as the President signed the financial regulation bill H.R. 4173, and the Senate passed an unemployment insurance extension H.R. 4213, by a vote of 59-39.  Here’s what’s going on in Congress:

 

President Barack Obama's signature on a bill

 

  • Democrats in the Senate finally broke a Republican filibuster and proceeded to pass H.R. 4213, a fourth unemployment insurance extension; the bill still must be voted on by the House and signed by the President before it becomes law.  (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Testifying to Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called the economic outlook “unusually uncertain”, and announced that the Fed would keep in place all financial stabilization measures it has taken since the 2008 financial crisis. (CNN)
  • President Obama signed into law sweeping new financial regulations in H.R. 4173, ending a quest that had begun as early as 2007.  Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R, OH-8) attacked the bill, offering his now-standard call to repeal the new legislation.  (AP)
  • Congressional Democrats are divided over proposals for new energy legislation; liberal members are pushing to enact a comprehensive energy and climate change bill, while more conservative members, worried that a large energy bill cannot get through congress before the November elections, are urging Congress to consider smaller piecemeal energy reforms.  (Politico.com)
  • Feeling pressure from its Gulf oil spill, BP increased its spending on lobbyists to $1.7 million this quarter. (Bloomberg)
  • The Congressional Tea Party Caucus was officially launched Wednesday by a group of Republicans led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, MN-6). (Washington Post)
  • The “Miscellaneous Tariff” bill passed the House easily, despite earlier opposition from Republicans.  (Associated Press)
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