On Monday afternoon the Senate will hold a cloture vote on H.R. 1195, a bill to make technical corrections to the 2005 SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization. The corrections bill, normally a routine measure, does include some controversial provisions, including an increase in the minimum share of highway safety formula grants from 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent, and an increase in funding for an earmarked magnetic levitation transportation project in Las Vegas.
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This week the Senate may take up a Genetic Nondiscrimination Measure, H.R. 493, that would ban employers from using genetic information in decisions to hire and fire employees and prevent insurers from using the information in determining insurance premiums. Similar measures have passed the Senate and the House in the past but never in the same year. A cloture vote will be needed to pass the bill as a hold has been placed on the legislation.
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This week, the House will consider H.R. 5715, the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act. The bill will raise student loan limits by $2,000 and make changes to the parent PLUS loans program by giving parent borrowers another six months after their child leaves school to begin making payments. It also relaxes some of the requirements on PLUS loans to allow some parents who have fallen behind on their mortgages to still be eligible for PLUS loans.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on “The Credit Market’s Student Loans Impact” on Tuesday.
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Senate conferees will continue formal conference committee negotiations to complete the Farm Bill by the April 18 expiration. A conference committee meeting is set for Monday. If negotiations are completed a conference report will be brought to the floor this week. If lawmakers are not able to finish negotiations it is possible they will pass a one-year extension to the current Farm Bill.
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