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Here's What's Happening in Congress:

9 October 2007
Written by

Congress has been busy working on legislation that affects you. Do you know what they've been doing? Click the "read the rest of this entry" link to find out.

On October 1, the Senate passed HR 1585. This bill authorizes spending on defense. It does not appropriate funds, but rather sets the parameters of appropriations to come. It passed the Senate 92-3. Here's the link. To view how your elected officials voted, click "How Members Voted" in the upper right:

The House on October 2 passed HR 3087. This bill would require the President, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other military leaders, to develop and transmit to Congress a comprehensive strategy for the redeployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq. It passed 377-46. To see how your elected officials voted on this bill use this link and click on "How Members Voted" in the upper right:

On October 3, the Senate approved an amendment to increase funding for programs to tighten the U.S. border with Mexico. This was S Amdt 3117 to HR 3222. The amendment passed by a vote of 95-1. To see how your elected officials voted on this issue, visit this link:

October 4 saw the House passage vote on HR 3648, the "Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007." Under current law if your mortgage debt is forgiven, the amount that you would have paid but no longer have to is subject to income tax. This bill would remove this application of the income tax. It easily passed the House with a vote of 386-27. Here's the link:

Another vote the House took on October 4 was the passage vote on HR 2740. This bill would subject U.S. contractors to FBI investigations for allegations of wrongdoing. To see how your officials voted on this measure click here:

The votes above all happened last week. Below are some older votes that have not yet been presented here at the Speakeasy:

Late in September the Senate voted on several amendments to HR 1585, the Defense Authorization Bill. Let's have a look at these amendments first.

On September 19 the Senate rejected S Amdt 2909. 60 yeas were required for passage. The vote was 56-44, leaving it 4 votes short of approval. This amendment would have provided mandatory time periods between troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan for members of the regular armed services and members of the reserve components. You can view the Project Vote Smart summary of this amendment at this link:

Also on September 19 the Senate had a cloture vote on S Amdt 2022. The cloture motion failed on a vote of 56-43 (cloture motions always need 60 votes to pass). This amendment would have returned habeas corpus to U.S. detainees. After the failure of the cloture motion, this amendment was withdrawn from consideration. To see our summary of the amendment, click here:

On September 20, the Senate voted on S Amdt 2947. It was rejected by a vote of 50-47, leaving it 10 votes short of the 60 yeas required for passage. This amendment was intended to express support for all men and women serving in the armed services. View this amendment's summary at:

S Amdt 2934 was passed on September 20. This amendment condemns criticisms of the honor and integrity of General Patraeus and all members of the armed forces. It passed by a vote of 72-25. Here is the link:

On September 21, the Senate voted on S Amdt 2898, an Iraq withdrawal measure. This amendment also needed 60 votes to pass. It failed on a vote of 47-47. It would have required redeployment to begin within 90 days of the passage of HR 1585. Here is the link to the PVS summary:

On September 26, the Senate adopted S Amdt 2997 by a vote of 75-23. This amendment expresses the sense of the Senate that Iraq should be made into a loose federation. To view the PVS summary, check out this link:

The Senate also adopted S Amdt 3017 on September 26. This amendment expresses the sense of the Senate regarding U.S. policy toward Iran. It caught a lot of ire from Iranian government officials because, among other things, it states that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard should be classified as a terrorist organization. The amendment passed on a vote of 76-22, and here is the link for the PVS summary:

That's it for the amendments on HR 1585. Below are other votes that may interest you.

On September 18, S 1257 failed a cloture vote in the Senate 52-47. This bill would have provided the District of Columbia with a voting representative in the U.S. House (which votes heavily Democratic) and would have provided Utah (which votes heavily Republican) with a fourth U.S. House representative. Click here for our summary:

HR 1852 passed the House on September 19 by a vote of 348-72. This bill makes changes to the way the Federal Housing Administration insures morgages. It expands mortgage insurance programs under teh National Housing Act. Here is the summary link:

HR 2761 also passed the House on September 19. This bill expands and extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program. The link is below:

HR 1400 passed the House on September 25. This bill imposes sanctions on Iran. Like S Amdt 3017, it also suggests the Iranian Revolutionary Guard be categorized as a terrorist organization. Click below for the summary:

The last couple of votes to share here are votes on HR 976, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This bill would extend and expand CHIP. The House passed the bill by a vote of 265-159 on September 25. The Senate concurred in the House changes by a vote of 67-29. It was vetoed by President Bush, but there is an effort to accumulate enough votes to override the veto, so we may see a couple more votes on this bill in the near future. The two links below are for the House and Senate summaries. The top one is for the House summary, the lower one for the Senate:

As you can see, Congress has been keeping quite busy! Look to the Voter's Speakeasy again next week, Informed Voter, to see what new votes have transpired.

Good day,

-The Key Votes Department

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

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