War Supplemental

The House is scheduled to begin consideration of the latest supplemental spending package for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on Wednesday. The bill will be broken down into three separate votes on three different amendments. The first amendment will include money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through FY 2008 and into FY 2009, the second amendment will provide policy provisions for the war in Iraq, and the third amendment will add money for domestic and non-military spending.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled a full committee mark-up for the War Supplemental for Thursday afternoon.

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Farm Bill

Last Thursday conferees announced that they had reached a deal on the conference report for the farm bill. The deal is expected to be on the floor of both the House and the Senate sometime this week, as the latest extension of the 2002 farm bill expires this Friday. Lawmakers will need to pass the conference report or another short-term extension before it expires. The president has threatened to veto the bill but the secretary of agriculture has recognized that it will be hard for him to sustain the veto. Conferees worked hard to build a consensus bill that would have enough support to override the veto.

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The Senate is scheduled to vote on two energy-related amendments to the National Flood Insurance bill on Tuesday. The first amendment will be aimed at increasing oil supply by opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and some offshore sites for oil exploration. The second amendment would halt government purchases of oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve through December 31, 2008 and would only allow the government to resume filling the reserve once the price of oil drops to $75 a barrel or less. Both amendments will need 60 votes to pass.

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is holding a hearing on “Green Building and Smart Growth” on Tuesday.

On Thursday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing on “Climate Change and Energy Infrastructure in Coastal Areas.”

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