Monday, November 19, 2007

Pre Thanksgiving Recess Congressional Action (Courtesy of APTA)

The U.S. House and Senate are out of session until Tuesday November 27th. They were unable to complete work on spending measures before Thanksgiving, and are considering a new spending bill to wrap up the remaining 11 approps bill into an omnibus package. The new bill will “split the difference” of the $22 billion that Congress intends to appropriate over the level proposed by the President. This leaves approximately $484 billion for the remaining 11 bills.

In action before the recess:

· On Wednesday (11.14), the House approved the Transportation-HUD approps bill (H.R. 3074) by 270-147, eight votes shy of the veto-proof margin. The White House reiterated the veto threat, as the bill is $3 billion above the level requested by the President. The Senate failed to consider the spending bill before leaving for Thanksgiving recess.
· The President vetoed the Labor-HHS (H.R. 3043) spending bill. The House subsequently failed to override the veto by a 277-141 margin.
· The President did sign into law the appropriations bill for the Department of Defense (H.R. 3222); attached was the CR to fund the government to Dec. 14.
· Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) introduced two bills (H.R. 4122 and H.R. 4123) on Nov. 8th to support the development of high-speed rail in the US and provide for the creation of a national high-speed rail authority , respectively. Both bills were referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

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