OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

This Week in Congress

April 22, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

(Cross-posted from Congresspedia, The citizen’s encyclopedia on Congress. Links to Congresspedia articles are in parentheses.)

This week in Congress, Democrats are looking at cutting a deal with President Bush over the Columbia Free Trade Agreement and the Senate will hold new hearings on global warming legislation hearings on Earth Day. Meanwhile, a new battle for extending Iraq War funding looms on the horizon.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is considering what to do about a trade agreement with Colombia (CP). She pressed the House to adopt a rule change earlier this month that prevents President Bush from requiring a vote on the agreement. Now, Democrats are investigating potential deals involving the trade agreement, while the White House has asked that Pelosi change her mind.

Some Democrats have proposed exchanging reworked trade adjustment assistance for a vote on the FTA. Others have suggested a deal for the reform of the Foreign Service Intelligence Act (CP) or an expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

A standoff also looms over war funding for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress is set to debate $108 billion for the rest of 2008, with another $70 billion in Pentagon requests for 2009 also on the horizon, and Democratic leaders will probably tie domestic programs—specifically, extended unemployment benefits—to any defense cash.

Following calls by President Bush to voluntarily reduce carbon emissions, the Senate Finance Committee this week will hear testimony on the taxation implications of cap-and-trade programs, which place limits on carbon emissions but also gives credits to organizations that produce carbon lower levels. Those credits can then be purchased or traded in a market-system.

The Senate Environment Committee last year approved legislation—America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 (CP)—to establish a cap-and-trade program, and the full chamber is expected to begin debate on the measure in early June. President Bush has opposed such a program of mandatory emissions caps, and prefers a technology-based approach. He’ll face pressure to sign any climate legislation approved in Congress this year, which many see as more favorable to business than anything that will come during the next administration.

For a complete list of Senate and House hearings this week, see the original post on Congresspedia.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

  • Anonymous 04/22/2008 10:14am

    The war funding should be changed over to a five year budget like most agencies. The agencies base their budgets on Presidential emergency initiatives like PEPFAR and extend their budgets to five years based on the five year emergency funding at the other agency, PEPFAR. Global aids is another example of five year budgets that double during the five years based on the emergency. The agency also doubles it’s budget over the five year emergency financing.

    H.R.5535 provides for continued funding, something that has always been done, but, now is continued funding on a five year basis. It’s confusing considering one year budgets of the past and continued funding, but, maybe we could do the same with the war funding? Maybe limit all Free Trade Agreements to five year ‘emergency food’ ‘carbon emission’ ‘food for fuel’ budgeting also?

    Five year budgets and emergency financing are already a reality for the next administration. Will they go back to one year budgets when the deal is so good?

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.