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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Here's What's Happening in Congress:

2008 January 22 - Key Votes

Today will be the first day that the Senate is back from their holiday break to consider legislation. They will be considering S 1200, a bill amending and extending the Indian Health Care Act. They have not had a recorded vote since December 18.

The House, on the other hand, has had two notable votes since returning from their break. The first was a vote to pass the S-Miner Act making changes to mine safety regulations and organizational oversight. HR 2768 passed the House 214-199 on January 16.

The second vote was a passage vote on the Defense Authorizations Bill. HR 1585, which was presented to the President late last year, was pocket vetoed. The House drafted a new bill to replace it. This new bill is HR 4986. HR 4986 passed the House 369-46. It will probably pass the Senate within the next couple of weeks, and it is expected to be signed by the President. It is largely the same as the HR 1585 bill. HR 1585 was pocket vetoed because of a clause it contained that would have allowed Americans who were victims of state-sponsored terrorism under Saddam Hussein's government to sue and collect judgments from the new Iraqi government. HR 4986 modifies this clause.

Look for a summary on each of these two bills to be on our website soon.

Do not let the lack of extensive Congressional action make you complacent, Informed Voter. Both chambers are ready to rock now and will be executing some votes in the coming ...

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