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This Week in Congress: July 19 – 23, 2010

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Elena Kagan's nomination, the Senate will consider extending unemployment insurance benefits, and Sen. Harry Reid is expected to release a draft energy bill.

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)

Supreme Court nomination

This Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is likely to be the only Republican to vote for Kagan on the Judiciary Committee. The nomination is expected on the Senate floor the week of August 2, which is the last week before the Senate leaves for a month-long August recess.

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Energy and climate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will release a draft version of his energy package this week, which he has said he plans to bring to the floor next week. The broad outline of the package is expected to include four sections: oil disaster response provisions, clean energy and job-creation measures, tax provisions, and a utilities-only carbon cap. It is unclear whether opposition from moderate senators will cause the carbon cap for utilities component to be left out of the final package.

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Unemployment benefits

The Senate is expected to pass legislation that would extend unemployment benefits through November on Tuesday. The Senate will first swear in Carte Goodwin to be the interim replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-VA), who will serve as the 60th vote for the cloture vote that will follow immediately.

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