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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 21 - Key Votes

Here we are continuing the brief review of the votes taken before the Congressional August recess. To view other blog posts from over the last sixteen months or so, click here.

On July 17, the House voted on HR 6515, a bill on oil exploration. This bill would facilitate drilling in Alaska and also try to encourage oil exploration on land already leased. The bill was considered under a suspension of the normal rules, meaning debate was limited and amendments were not allowed to be offered. When a bill is considered under a suspension of the rules like this, a two-thirds vote is required to pass it. The House voted 244-173 on this bill, but because the vote fell short of that two-thirds mark it failed (summary). Remember that when viewing any PVS summary, you can click "How members voted" in the upper right to view the yeas and nays on that vote.

Tax revenue collected on gasoline has been lower this year than projected, leading to a decrease in the size of the Highway Trust Fund. The House voted 387-37 on July 23 to pass HR 6532 (summary). This bill would transfer about $8 billion from the general fund in the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund. It passed 387-37 and is currently sitting in the Senate Finance Committee.

Also on July 23, the House had a vote to pass HR 3221, the high profile housing assistance bill that contains many tax-related provisions and provisions addressing housing assistance and loan assistance programs. This bill ...

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