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Here's What's Happening in Congress:

20 November 2007
Written by

Congress has gone on a two week recess for Thanksgiving, but before they went out, they continued their voting blitz. Here are some of the more notable votes they took last week:

On November 14, the House voted 218-203 to pass HR 4156, a $50 billion supplemental appropriations bill for the Department of Defense. This bill also would require the President to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 30 days of the enactment of the bill, and to have most troops removed by December 15, 2008. On November 16 the Senate held a cloture vote on this bill. The cloture was not invoked in the Senate by a vote of 53-45. Please note that on the vote breakdown lists on our site, you can organize the elected officials by name or vote by simply clicking on the column heading. They are organized by state by default.

On November 16 the Senate voted on a cloture motion on S 2340. This bill would provide around $70 billion in supplemental appropriations for the Department of Defense. Unlike HR 4156, S 2340 does not include an Iraq withdrawal requirement. The cloture on this bill was not invoked by a vote of 45-53.

On November 15, the House had a vote to override the President's veto on HR 3043, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This vote failed 277-141. To override a veto, a two-thirds vote by those present and voting is required.

The House on November 15 also voted on the passage of HR 3915, a bill that would make changes to regulations on subprime home mortgages. This bill passed the House by a vote of 291-127.

HR 3773 passed the House on November 15. This bill makes changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, requiring, among other things, special authorization for the government to surveil communications involving an American in the United States. This bill also outlines circumstances under which a warrant is not required for electronic surveillance, including when Congress declares war, when Congress authorizes the use of military force that explicitly includes electronic surveillance, and when Congress is unable to convene because of an attack. This bill passed the House by a vote of 227-189. If the bill reaches President Bush's desk in its current form, a veto is expected. The president cites a lack of immunity in the bill from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that have previously worked with the government for surveillance operations without a court order.

The conference version of HR 1429, the Head Start Reauthorization Act, passed the House on November 14. Eligibility for the program under this bill would extend to families above the poverty level. The bill would also set a goal to have all teachers have at least a two year associate's degree by 2013. The conference version was adopted by the House 381-36.

Also on November 14, the House adopted the conference version of HR 3074, the appropriations bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Transportation. The bill contains funding for bridge repair, Amtrak, and local projects such as bike paths and community centers. The House vote was 270-147. President Bush is expected to veto this measure because it exceeds his budget requests.

Thank you, Informed Voter, for your interest in the events that govern you.

Related tags: 2007, blog, Congressional-Snapshots, key-votes

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