Mid-Week Update, July 26
Mid-week Update, July 26
Here's the mid-week update from our Hill Sources. (Yes, it's Thursday, so not technically "mid-week," but Congress has been busy...and so have our Hill Sources!)
- S 3412 The Middle Class Tax Cut Act: In a surprise move, the Senate approved this Democratic bill Wednesday, after Republicans allowed its approval by a simple majority vote. The bill would extend the lower tax rates established under the Bush administration, but only for individuals earning less than $200,000, and couples earning less than $250,000.
The Senate barely approved it in a 51-48 vote, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding, in case his vote was needed to break a tie. Just before, the Senate rejected a Republican amendment to extend all Bush-era tax levels, including those for high-income earners. The House is not expected to take up the bill.
Senate passage puts pressure on the House to approve some tax bill, which it plans to do next week. The House is expected to approve a bill extending all tax rates for another year, which could set up a House-Senate conference later in the year.
- S 3414 The Cybersecurity Act, which aims to boost protection from cyberattacks against the Internet and various industries and government agencies that rely on secure connections. The Senate will hold a procedural vote on this bill later this week.
- HR 459 The Federal Reserve Transparency Act: This legislation from Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul would require an audit of all the Fed's activities, including its monetary policy decisions. The House approved this bill easily in a 327-98 vote.
- HR 5872 The Sequestration Transparency Act: This bill requires the Obama administration to report to Congress on its plans to start cutting spending under the "sequester" early next year. The House has already approved it, and the Senate approved it Wednesday, sending it to the White House.
- HR 6082 The Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan: The Obama Administration announced its proposed 2012-2017 offshore lease plan on June 28th, which under federal law, began a mandatory 60-day Congressional review. This bill to override the Obama plan passed Wednesday. The GOP bill would expand lease sales for oil and gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf in an attempt to encourage more production of domestic energy.
The House rejected another bill, HR 6168, which reflects the Obama administration's five-year plan.
- HR 4078 The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act: Among other things, this bill would block major federal regulations until unemployment falls to 6 percent or less, and would also prevent outgoing presidents from imposing new rules between the election and inauguration day. The House was expected to approve this bill Thursday.
- HCRes 134 Colorado shooting: The House is expected to approve a resolution marking last week's movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 and wounded 58.
The House approved several other bills this week:
- HR 1237 Allowing for a land exchange between California and the Bureau of Land Management
- HR 2467 The Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act
- HR 3388 The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Protection Act
- HR 4484 Authorizing the government to convey 80 acres of land to Brigham University.
- HR 5859 To repeal a requirement that auto dealers to report insurance costs to customers.
- S 1335 The Pilots Bill of Rights.
The House also voted down two bills:
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.