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Schumer and Cardin Play Senate

August 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Missed today’s two-person, 30-minute session of the United States Senate? Watch it right here:

The two senators who were actually present for the session — Sen. Ben Cardin [D, MD] in the role of presiding officer and Sen. Chuck Schumer [D, NY] on the floor — managed to get four pieces of legislative business taken care of before adjourning again for the rest of the August recess.

First, they executed the second reading of two bills (puting them on the calendar for consideration when the full Senate returns in September):

  • H.R. 5827 – Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2010
  • S. 3762 – A bill to reinstate funds to Federal Land Disposal Account

That first bill would allow people in bankruptcy to exempt up to three guns from creditors’ claims. It was passed by the House in last week by a vote of 307-113.

Why Congress want to make sure that people under the stress of bankruptcy proceeding have guns, of all things, is beyond me, but the fact that this bill is moving forward while all gun-control measures are dying in committee is just further evidence that the 2008 rush to load up on guns and ammo before Obama took them away was a bit of an overreaction. So far, the only gun bills signed into law under Obama have been an amendment in the Credit CARD Act that allows people to carry guns in national parks, an amendment in a transportation bill that holds federal funds for AMTRAK contingent upon them letting riders carry guns. This protecting guns in bankruptcy act could end up being the third (and likely final) gun bill making it into law this session.

Later in the 30-minute session, Schumer and Cardin passed two bills by unanimous consent:

  • H.R. 6080 – Making emergency supplemental appropriations for border security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
  • S. Res. 617 – Relative to the death of the Honorable Theodore “Ted” Fulton Stevens, former Senator for the State of Alaska

The Ted Stevens resolution was just introduced this morning, so I’ll have to point you to this PDF file from the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK] for text reading. You can find out more about the border security bill at this link. It’s got $600 million for fences, border “strike forces,” and domestic drones. It’s now ready to be signed into law by President Obama

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