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Washington
Congress That busy unpredictable time of year
WASHINGTON (12/11/07)—It is shaping up to be a busy and unpredictable week in Congress, a situation that Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill noted Monday is nothing unusual for this time of year. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, has announced the House is in session this week and will conduct votes through Friday. This is an extension from a previously announced December House schedule and more changes are expected. However, Hoyer has stated intentions to complete the year’s legislative business by the end of this week. In the House that includes several suspension bills, which are considered noncontroversial and able to attract the necessary two-thirds vote for passage, as well as the Democrats’ omnibus appropriation bill. Also slated for the week, the House is expected to consider conference reports for the Intelligence Authorization Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, as well as a seven-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) program. Also possible, Magill said, is a House vote on an energy bill, and a State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill, as well as “some kind of a patch” on the Alternative Minimum Tax. On the Senate side, the Finance Committee Thursday has scheduled a hearing on housing issues under the committee's jurisdiction. Likely to be considered are proposals from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to aid homeowners by excluding debt forgiveness from taxation and making available tax-exempt financing for borrowers struggling to pay their mortgages. Also, on Thursday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is expected to chair a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on spending trends and consumer protection issues during the holiday season. Also possible, action on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and, possibly, an omnibus appropriations measure. And at the White House, President George W. Bush’s 2008 State of the Union address is now scheduled for Jan. 28.


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