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This Week in Congress 5.19.08 – 5.23.08

War Supplemental

The Senate will begin work on the Iraq and Afghanistan war supplemental spending bill this week. They are expected to follow the same procedure the House used and vote on the entire funding package as three separate amendments. The first vote will be to amend the domestic and non-military spending provisions of the bill. The Senate amendment is similar to the House bill but would add an additional $10 billion in domestic spending and would not offset the costs of the expanded GI Education Benefits.

Since the House failed to include funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan last week, the Senate will substitute the House-passed war policy provisions with two separate amendments, one to add $165.4 billion in war funding and the second to include war policy provisions. All of these amendments will need 60 votes to pass.

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Farm Bill

On Tuesday, Congress is expected to send the recently passed Farm Bill to the president for his signature or veto. He is expected to veto the bill shortly after he receives it, setting up the possibility of the second successful veto override of the Bush presidency. The House and Senate both passed the bill with overwhelming veto-proof majorities and it is expected to enjoy similar support for an override vote.

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Iraq

On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on General David Petraeus to be commander of U.S. Central Command and Lt. General Raymond Odierno to take over as commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq.

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Immigration

On Thursday, The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism is holding a hearing on "The Border Security Challenge: Recent Developments and Legislative Proposals." Reps. Heath Shuler (D-NC), Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), and Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) are scheduled to testify.

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