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This Week in Congress 6.23.08 – 6.27.08

CAP keeps you up-to-date on FISA, energy, consumer credit, privacy, and more.

Housing

This week, the Senate will resume consideration of the housing package, H.R. 3221. A cloture vote is scheduled for Tuesday morning and is expected to succeed. The package contains, among other provisions, $4 billion in neighborhood stabilization funding, as called for by the Center for American Progress’ GARDNS plan. A Republican-sponsored amendment stripping the funding is expected, as opposition to the funding was singled out in a White House veto threat. Following Senate debate this week, conference negotiations with the House will continue, and a final version of the measure is expected to go to the president by mid-July.

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Energy

Several bills on energy-related issues will also be considered individually or as a package on the House floor this week. The bills in question are likely to cover gasoline price gouging, oil market speculation, unused drilling leases, and mass transit funding increases.

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Supplemental Appropriations

The Senate is expected to pass this week a House-passed supplemental spending measure containing $161.8 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, expanded veterans education benefits, emergency funding for Midwest flood relief, and a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance.

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FISA

The Senate will consider last week’s House-passed bill updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Although the bill does not explicitly grant immunity for telecom companies who participated in warrantless wiretapping, it does provide for federal district courts to waive lawsuits against them if they can provide evidence that they received written assurances that the program was legal and authorized by the White House.

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Foreign Affairs

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law will hold a hearing, “From Nuremberg to Darfur: Accountability for Crimes Against Humanity." CAP’s Gayle Smith will testify.

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Privacy

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights will hold a hearing, “Returning Travelers Privacy Violations.” CAP’s Peter Swire will testify.

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Consumer Credit

On Thursday, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing, “Problem Credit Card Practices Affecting Students.” Campus Progress’ Erica Williams will testify.

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