- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DEBATES & VOTES TO WATCH

House:

A military spending package that would pay for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next spring as well as provide for a significant expansion of college aid for war veterans could make it to the chamber floor as early as Wednesday.

The “war supplemental” measure was still being drafted Monday, but the total cost is expected to well exceed $200 billion. The package may include more than $10 billion for domestic spending for items such as aid to states affected by Hurricane Katrina. Democratic leaders also may include an expansion of unemployment benefits in the bill.

The similar measure easily passed the Senate in May after Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to include a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and other war-policy restrictions, such as a prohibition on permanent U.S. bases in Iraq and a time limit on combat deployments.

The House, which passed an earlier version of the war-funding measure in May, may trim some of the money slated for domestic purposes that was included in the Senate proposal, such as a low-income energy-assistance program and “emergency” highway projects.

President Bush has threatened to veto the package, saying he prefers a “clean” war supplemental bill without the extra spending proposals.

Senate:

Debate began Monday on another Democratic energy bill that probably has little chance of passage. The package includes a controversial repeal of some tax breaks for oil and gas companies, a provision that would make gas price-gouging a federal crime, and a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies, with the money to be used for research and development of renewable energy.

Republicans oppose repealing the tax breaks, saying it would lead to higher gas prices. President Bush also has threatened to veto the bill, which could be voted on as early as Tuesday.

The proposal comes on the heels of another controversial Democratic energy package that failed last week in the Senate, which called for a cut in emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases by about 70 percent over the next four decades.

COMMITTEE HEARINGS TO WATCH

House:

m The Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee hears testimony at 1 p.m. Tuesday on addressing gang violence. Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237.

m The Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday hears testimony on the long-term prognosis for the supply of oil and its demand worldwide. Longworth House Office Building, Room 1300.

m The Homeland Security Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday hears testimony on the challenges of improving border security. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will testify. Cannon House Office Building, Room 311.

Senate:

m The Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday hears testimony on the reliability of coercive interrogation techniques. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226.

m The Finance Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday hears testimony regarding the 47 million Americans without health care insurance. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 215.

m The Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday hears testimony on the conditions of the nation’s infrastructure from the perspective of mayors. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 538.

m The Energy and Natural Resources Committee at 2:15 p.m. Thursday hears testimony on the relationship between renewable fuel polices and food prices. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 366.

m The Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security Subcommittee at 2:30 p.m. Thursday hears testimony on the U.S.-Pakistan strategic relationship. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 342.

Joint:

m The Joint Economic Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday hears testimony regarding future costs of funding the Iraq war. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106.

Source: The Washington Times

EVENTS AROUND WASHINGTON

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday will give the keynote address at the National Small Business Summit. Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW. Call 800/634-2669.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s three-day membership conference concludes Tuesday at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Events begin at 8 a.m. Call 212/519-7808.

Source: The Washington Times

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