Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Senate Live - June 28, 2006

The Senate is scheduled to open at 9:30 AM for a period of morning business to last 2 hours.

Senator Frist laid out two items of business that he expected to occur in the next hours.

One item relates to a Free Trade Agreement with Oman, which was sent to Congress by President Bush on Monday; and the other being a nomination of Henry Paulson. Mr. Paulson has been nominated to eight different positions over the course of the Bush administration, and was nominated for the position of Secretary of the Treasury on June 19. His nomination is currently before the Committee on Finance.

Other items recently elevated as if for consideration are an estate/death tax bill (H.R.5638, which is on the Senate's legislative calendar) and a legislative line-item veto (H.R.4890), which was passed by the house but has yet to be read first and second times in the Senate.

In other news, if I was in Chris Cannon's district in Utah, my vote against him would have come down on the losing side of the race -- Chris Cannon won his primary challenge handily.

UPDATE @ 13:30

Some reading to pass the time while the Senators drone about whatever floats their boats.

Paulson Gives Pause
By The Prowler - Published 6/28/2006

According to sources familiar with the prep sessions with Paulson, the former Wall Street executive and well-known supporter of and financial contributor to Democrats could not get in line with the Bush administration's support for ending the estate or "death" tax, and permanent extension of the capital gains tax and other tax cuts that are due to expire in the next three years.

Link to Senate Hearing regarding Presidential Signing Statements

Iraq PM says insurgents who kill denied amnesty under reconciliation plan

"The fighter who did not kill anyone will be included in the amnesty, but the fighter who killed someone will not be," Maliki said ...

Judge Boyle deserves a vote
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole

I hasten to add, Haynes, Myers, and a further half a dozen other Circuit Court nominees deserve votes, too.

UPDATE @ 16:35

Henry Paulson was CONFIRMED for the position of Secretary of the Treasury on a voice vote. I think only Frist and Coburn were in the chambers.

Waiting now for Senator Frist to describe the schedule of events for the balance of the week.

UPDATE @ 18:26

Senator Frist closed shop. Some bill (number escaped me) with a purpose to condition Medicaid (Medicare?) payments on being a citizen was read a first or second time; and H.R.4912 (to amend section 242 of the National Housing Act to extend the exemption for critical access hospitals under the FHA program for mortgage insurance for hospitals) was passed.

The Senate will open tomorrow at 9:30, followed by 2 hours of morning business. After that, debate and a vote on S.3569, the Free Trade Agreement with Oman.

It appears that neither the estate tax measure, nor the legislation line item veto, nor any judicial nominations will be taken up by the Senate. Winding down for the Fourth of July recess.

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