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This Week in Congress: July 27 – 31, 2009

This week Congress discusses defense spending, renewable energy, Sonia Sotomayor, health care reform, and more.

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)

Appropriations

The House of Representatives will take up the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill on the floor on either Wednesday or Thursday. The $636.3 billion measure will re-ignite debate on funding of the controversial F-22 fighter jet. The bill includes $369 million for 12 new jets as passed by the House Appropriations Committee, and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) is expected to offer an amendment removing the funding during floor debate. This comes due to the White House and Defense Department’s strong opposition to funding for more F-22s and last week’s Senate vote to cancel authorization of new F-22s in the Defense Authorization bill.

The Senate will meanwhile begin consideration of the $34.2 billion FY 2010 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. The bill provides the Department of Energy with $2.23 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, compared to $1.93 billion in FY 09.

For more information on the F-22, see:

For more information on renewable energy and energy efficiency, see:

SCOTUS nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday. A vote on her nomination could come before the full Senate at some point next week.

For more information on the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, see:

Health care

The House Energy and Commerce committee is scheduled to resume closed-door talks on health care reform this week. It hopes to reach an agreement between factions of the Democratic Party and resume markup of health care reform legislation after the Blue Dog caucus, led by Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) delayed the panel’s proceedings in objection to several provisions in the draft bill. Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has said that a deal must be struck between party leaders and the centrist Democrats by Tuesday at the latest in order to reach his goal of finishing markup by Friday.

For more information on health care reform, see: