Yesterday, the House passed a bill to tax 90% of the AIG bonuses, but Republicans are slowing that legislation down in the Senate. Earlier in the week, the House also voted 321-105 to expand AmeriCorps and other national service programs by 175,000 participants. It would also create new groups to help poor communities with education, clean energy, health and services for veterans.
The Senate passed a long-delayed bill to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness, from a California mountain range to more than 1,000 miles of rivers. The 77-20 vote sends the bill to the House, where final legislative approval could come as early as next week.
The full Senate also confirmed Ron Kirk as U.S. Trade Representative and Elena Kagan as Solicitor General. The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation also unanimously signed off on the nomination of Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce.