This Week in Congress: July 12 – 16, 2010

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.