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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 August 18 - Key Votes

Below is a continuation of our review of some of the key votes taken by Congress before their August recess. Click on the "summary" links to view more information about that piece of legislation. According to the calendar on the Senate website (view here as a pdf), the Congress is expected to reconvene on September 8. If you would like to view blog posts about other votes taken in Congress over the last year or so, click here.

On June 26, the House took a vote on HR 6251 under a suspension of the rules (summary). This bill would require a business that holds leases to drill for oil or gas on federal land to develop those leases before being granted leases to additional land. The vote was 223-195, but failed because of a requirement that it have a two-thirds majority. Considering a bill under a suspension of the rules limits debate on the bill and prohibits amendments, but also carries that two-thirds majority requirement for passage. Also, remember that you can view the yeas and nays for any vote by clicking on "How Members Voted" in the upper right of the summary page.

Also on June 26, the Senate took a vote on the whole of HR 2642. This bill provided new extensions for unemployment benefits, additional education assistance for veterans (new GI bill), funding for midwestern flood cleanup, funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a moratorium on certain actions related to the administration of the Medicaid program (summary). This was the ...

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