Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today in Congress, July 6, 2011

Today in Congress
July 6, 2011

The Senate will take up S. 1323, a "sense of the Senate" that "any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1 million or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort."  This is a political measure intended to force Republicans into taking a hard vote.  I'd expect Republicans to keep it from coming to a vote, forcing a "cloture" vote to shut off debate.  That will fail (requiring 60 votes) but it will put Republicans on record for the 2012 election as the "party of the rich."

The House will take up the bill funding the Department of Defense, as well as two items deemed to be non-controversial: a bill to reauthorize the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 and a resolution on the Israeli-Palestian conflict.  The latter reaffirms its support for a two state solution in the Middle East, achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.  Most substantively it calls on the administration to exercise the US's veto power in the UN for any attempt to establish a Palestinian state outside Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.  Both measures are being placed on the suspension calendar, which provides for only short debate, and requires a 2/3 vote of the House.  This indicates that the House leadership does not expect serious opposition (not that they aren't occassionally surprised).

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