GalleryWatch Weekly Update

BY Basil Tilmon, Account Manager GalleryWatch Inc.

This Week – Thursday afternoon, October 25
The week featured an interesting cyclical pattern – after a turbulent week of an attempted veto over-ride and floor ranting, this week was relatively conciliatory. Veto threats however loom over much of what Congress is doing, however. (Note: when you see the word veto…the link will take you to the appropriate veto statement.)

Republicans pushed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – HR 3773- back last week, the majority Democrats were hoping to bring it to the House floor but Rep. Dingell’s new SCHIP bill got priority. A veto is on the horizon for this bill anyway.

The SCHIP bill – old bill -HR 976 – was re-written to accommodate some of the President’s veto objections. Here is the new bill text and a summary of changes – HR 3963. It is due for House floor action this afternoon. The President has said he will veto the new bill as it now stands.

The Labor HHS Appropriations bill – HR 3043 – passed on Tuesday night, with plenty of votes to over-ride an expected veto. It will be interesting to see if the votes hold however. Here is a review of the amendments and the text of the bill as it passed the Senate. Our USBudget and Appropriations Service noted that the Senate will take a break from Appropriations bills for a couple of weeks.

The Lieberman–Warner Climate Change bill got a bit of reprieve this week as EPW Chairperson Boxer agreed to give the Republicans more time to review it.

Republicans agreed to let the Energy Bill – originally-HR 6 and HR 3221 – move to the conference committee. Be careful, the bill vehicles for this issue may get confusing. The President has threatened to veto HR 3221 and another veto for HR 6.

The Farm Bill was marked up this Wednesday and Thursday. The bill cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday. Check GalleryWatch Hot Docs on Tuesday and Wednesday for the drafts and chairman’s marks of all the titles. Also the committee amendments from Thursday are posted online – under SGW 148. Senator Lugar introduced another version. The House version – HR 2419 has been threatened with a veto.

Immigration seems to come up in this Congress every 3 months, like clockwork Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act – S 2205 – failed to achieve cloture in the Senate, a common fate for immigration bills this year.

Ways and Means Chairman Rangel’s Omnibus Tax bill came out on Thursday but it appears like it will be broken into pieces next week to get the more urgent elements to a vote. Here is a summary. Way and Means did pass out Trade and Globalization Assistance – HR 3920 – legislation on Wednesday.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on Tuesday on the Human Health Impacts of Global Warming. The Washington Post reported that the White House significantly edited Julie Gerberding’s (Director of the CDC) prepared testimony. I have the full Q&A transcript; let me know if you would like a copy.

Finally, OMB submitted its updated Supplemental War Funding request on Monday.

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