Friday, July 17, 2009

Legislative Update XX

The House of Representatives to protect wild horses from slaughter and give them millions of more acres to roam.

The Senate confirmed retired astronaut Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden to be the next head of NASA. The Senate also added a hate crimes provision for sexual orientation and genders as part of the defense appropriations bill to be completed next week. The House had already passed a bill, but the defense bill this is attached to is under a veto threat for F-22 spending that the White House and Pentagon don't want. And it looks like the infamous "card check" provision will be dropped from the Employee Free Choice Act to win over enough support from conservative Dems.

The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted hearings for Sonia Sotomayor and her nomination to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court. Most observers think Sotomayor was cool and collected and impressed even her GOP questioners. Her confirmation by the August recess seems assured, as even some Republicans are going to vote for her.

The House Intelligence Committee will investigate whether the CIA broke the law by not telling Congress earlier about a secret program for terrorist assassination teams.

The House Ways and Means Committee and the Education and Labor Committee have approved a sweeping health care reform bill (which has been endorsed by the AMA), but it still needs to be approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee before going to the full House.

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