This Week in Congress: July 12 – 16, 2010

Congress this week tried to wrap up financial regulatory reform and discusses small businesses, energy manufacturing, and Elena Kagan's nomination.

Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Financial regulatory reform

The Senate may consider the conference report to H.R. 4173, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, on the floor this week. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) previously voted against the Senate-passed version of the regulatory reform bill, but is expected to support the conference report. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) has announced his opposition to the conference report, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has not yet taken a position. Support from Sen. Cantwell, along with all of the four Republican senators who supported the Senate-passed version, should give the conference report 60 yea votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.

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Small businesses and banking

The Senate is expected this week to begin consideration of a small business bill that would establish a $30 billion fund for banks to expand credit availability to small businesses. The House has already passed a similar bill, but the Senate version differs by restoring bonus depreciation provisions and largely offseting the cost of the total package through a change in the way that 401(k) accounts roll over into Roth IRA accounts.

Supreme Court nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a confirmation vote this Tuesday for U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. But Republicans on the committee are likely to ask for a one-week delay in the vote, pushing the confirmation until July 20.

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The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection holds a hearing Thursday on the National Manufacturing Strategy Act.

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