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This Week in Congress

June 16, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

(Cross-posted from Congresspedia, the citizens’ encyclopedia on Congress.)

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate this week will be keeping all options on the table while trying to complete legislation prior to the July 4 summer recess. Extended unemployment benefits (CP) are still awaiting approval, and a tax measure torpedoed by Senate Republicans last week will once again be on the agenda. In addition, confirmation hearings may proceed for five nominees to the Federal Election Commission, while the House may try to make another push for a new energy package.

The senate should take up an unemployment insurance benefit extension approved by the House last week. The Senate has already approved one such extension, as part of the Iraq War supplemental spending bill (CP). President Bush has threatened to veto the war money if it contains domestic spending. However, the benefits might not survive in the Senate if they’re not attached to the war supplemental.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will seek cloture on a tax package again this week, following a successful filibuster by Senate Republicans last week. The package includes a temporary fix for the alternative minimum tax (preventing its application to millions of Americans), renewable energy subsidies and other tax initiatives.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has asked other Democratic members of the House to put together a package of energy legislation. She requested proposals that were left out of last year’s energy package or have already passed out of committee this year.

Senate Rules Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will likely report Matthew Peterson’s nomination directly to the floor for a vote. Peterson is one of five President Bush nominees to the Federal Election Commission, which has spent months without a quorum and therefore unable to oversee federal election activities.

For a complete list of this week’s committee schedules, see the original post on Congresspedia.

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