July 05, 2005

Last Week In The Other Washington

Congress was in session last week, and Washington State's congressional delegation was unusually collegiate in voting together in favor of pretty much everything. Following are summaries of the major legislation that was passed.

The House

H.R. 3057 appropriates funds for foreign operations and export related programs, including the Export-Import bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Peace Corps, international narcotics control, and several foreign aid programs. The bill passed the House of Representatives 393-32. Yes: Brian Baird (D), Norman Dicks (D), Doc Hastings (R), Jay Inslee (D), Rick Larsen (D), Jim McDermott (D), Cathy McMorris (R), Dave Reichert (R), Adam Smith (D).

H.R. 3058 appropriates funding for the judiciary, the Executive Office of the President, the District of Columbia, the Federal Election Commission, and the Departments of Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, as well as other independent agencies. The bill passed the House of Representatives 405-18. Yes: Brian Baird (D), Norman Dicks (D), Doc Hastings (R), Jay Inslee (D), Rick Larsen (D), Jim McDermott (D), Cathy McMorris (R), Dave Reichert (R), Adam Smith (D).

H.R. 3130 appropriates an additional $975 million for veterans medical services. The passed the House of Representatives 419-0. Yes: Brian Baird (D), Norman Dicks (D), Doc Hastings (R), Jay Inslee (D), Rick Larsen (D), Jim McDermott (D), Cathy McMorris (R), Dave Reichert (R), Adam Smith (D). This will come very much in handy, as the Veternas Administration recently announced a $1 billion shortfall, and had also previously announced that they were going to have to care for many more soldiers than originally estimated.

The Senate

H.R. 6 The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs energy research and development in the areas of energy efficiency, (some) alternative and (plenty of) fossil fuels, and an expansion of oil and gas exploration on federal lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill passed the Senate 85-12. Yes: Maria Cantwell (D), Patty Murray (D). Color me disappointed in my senators, and the Democratic caucus at large over this one. Senator Cantwell said that they were able to remove a few bad provisions from the House version and add in some improvements, but exploration in the Alaskan wildlife refuge and in sensitive coastal areas such as exist off the coast of WA State are still there. However, this turkey still has to go to committee, so there may still be time for the Democratic caucus to tank it as they've done in previous sessions. As an extra side note: If Congress were to pass an energy bill limiting emissions, 86 percent of Americans would favor it, putting President Bush far outside the mainstream of both American and world opinion.

H.R 2361 appropriates funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service, Indian health and several cultural development programs. The bill passed the Senate 94-0. Yes: Maria Cantwell (D), Patty Murray (D).

S. 1307 approved the implementation of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. The bill passed the Senate 54-45. Yes: Maria Cantwell (D), Patty Murray (D). With crossover votes from both caucuses, CAFTA would be dead in the water if the Democratic caucus had stuck together. There's still hope, however, that it will fail in the House.

H.R. 2419, an energy and water development bill, appropriates funding for the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of the Interior for waterway projects, and to the Department of Energy for fossil energy research and nuclear waste management. The bill passed the Senate 92-3. Yes: Maria Cantwell (D), Patty Murray (D).

Posted by natasha at July 5, 2005 02:03 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |
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