Friday, April 25, 2008

Capitol Hill Update IV

The Senate voted 95-0 to send the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits people from being fired based on their DNA, back to the House, which could approve it early next week. President Bush supports the legislation. The Senate also approved legislation that would increase veterans' benefits and establish pensions for Filipinos who served alongside Americans in World War II, 96-1. Bush has not said he would veto the bill. Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have removed limits on how long workers can wait before suing their employers for pay discrimination. Lastly, the Senate passed by a voice vote a bill to shield inspectors general from undue influence by the government agencies they are charged with investigating and makes reports and audits more accessible to the public, but it is watered down from the House version and faces a veto.

The House, meanwhile, passed bills to make the Coast Guard enforce security zones around eight liquefied natural gas terminals and any arriving tankers and to delay for a year the implementation of regulations affecting Medicaid programs (both opposed by the Bush administration).

Finally, Congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal today on the farm bill.

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