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This Week in Congress: June 28 – July 2, 2010

This week Congress begins hearings on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination, votes on financial regulation, and continues work on energy and climate legislation.

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

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings today on the nomination of U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Kagan will be giving an opening statement today after being introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Scott Brown (R-MA). Questioning of the nominee will begin Tuesday and go through the last hearing of the week on Thursday.

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Financial regulatory reform

This week, both the House and Senate are expected to take up the conference report of H.R. 4173, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, on the floor. More Senate Republicans may end up voting for the final bill than the four who voted in favor of the Senate-passed version: Sens. Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Chuck Grassley (IA). No House Republican votes for passage are expected, however.

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Energy and climate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says he intends to bring some type of clean energy bill with an oil spill component to the floor sometime in July. Despite enthusiasm from much of the Democratic caucus several moderates remain skeptical of moving any kind of legislation forward, and many moderate Republican senators have also indicated their support is unlikely for any bill including a cap-and-trade plan or carbon tax.

President Barack Obama will meet this Tuesday with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss moving forward energy and climate legislation. The meeting is expected to include Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Dick Lugar (IN), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Judd Gregg (NH), Susan Collins (ME), and George Voinovich (OH).

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