Thursday, November 18, 2010

Legislative Update S3772, S510, Dream Act

On November 17th, the Senate rejected cloture on S3772, the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 58-41. Senator Murkowski didn’t vote, being otherwise occupied, and Ben Nelson voted nay. Besides those two it was a party line vote, with all Democrats except Nelson voting “yea” and all Republicans voting “nay”.

The Senate agreed to cloture on S510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The vote was 74-25, with Murkowski again not voting. Senator Nelson again joined the Republicans in voting against the bill, but 15 Republicans, including Brown, Collins and Snowe all voted in favor of cloture.

The Senate has calendared for November 18th to resume consideration of S510, so it’s important to contact Senators Reid and Ensign, as well as the 15 Republicans who voted “yea”, to express opposition to this bill being considered in the lame duck session.

In the House, there’s still no word on when the S729 DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009) will be moved forward, but its an important part of Nancy Pelosi’s agenda. On November 18th, the House will consider a new bill, HR6419, Emergency Unemployment Extension Act. It’s not believed that Senator Reid has sufficient votes in the Senate to pass this act if sent to him by the House, so the way forward for this legislation is unclear. It’s been suggested that there may be an attempt to bundle this bill with the full extension of the Bush tax cuts, but no formal deal has been proposed. The timing is such that it appears at least a temporary break in benefits is on the way for the unemployed, particularly those that have been on unemployment for nearly two years now.

The House will also consider on Thursday a bill brought forward by Rep. Lamborn from the YouCut program (http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/) that would eliminate taxpayer funding of National Public Radio. This could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars without having a material effect on NPR’s ability to operate.

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1 comment:

  1. Further update on S3815, the Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act:

    The cloture motion for this bill was withdrawn by unanimous consent on Wednesday, although Senator Reid left the door open to bring it back up before the end of this session:

    Mr. REID. "Mr. President, I have spoken to Senator Hatch and Senator Menendez, who are the main sponsors of this legislation. It is extremely important legislation. We are going to continue to work to get this done. This is a bipartisan bill. There is some dispute as to what the pay-fors should be, but it is something we should be able to work out, and hopefully we can do it before the end of this year. Whether we can do that depends a lot on the schedule, but it is one of the most important things we can do. It is job creating, great for the environment, and great for the security of this Nation." - Congressional Record, pg S7913, 11/17/10

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