Federal Relations

March 9, 2011

Senate Passes Patent Overhaul Bill

By a vote of 95-5, the Senate approved S. 23, a measure aimed at updating the nation’s patent system for the first time in decades.  Supporters of the bill believe it will foster innovation and bolster US economic growth and competitiveness around the world.  The debate now moves to the House where it faces an

March 7, 2011

FY11 Debate Continues…

After approving another continuing resolution (CR) last week to run through March 18th, Congress must now get serious about how to fund the remaining six months of FY11, which has been operating roughly at FY10 levels since the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010.  The Republican controlled House and the Democratic controlled

January 19, 2011

Federal Spending Cuts Planned

House Republicans are still considering options for how best to keep their campaign promise to cut federal spending and the overall size of government. Today they will consider a resolution that would require the House Budget Committee Chairman to set FY11 non-security discretionary spending limits at FY08 levels. The full House expects to vote on

January 10, 2011

Tucson Tragedy Puts Legislative Schedule on Hold

The shooting over the weekend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others has prompted House leaders to cancel pending action on legislation this week, including their plans to vote on repealing health care reform. Instead, the House will be in session for two days this week but the only business will occur Wednesday when

December 21, 2010

COMPETES Reauthorization Passes (Update)

**12/21 Update** Today, the House passed the America COMPETES Act, as already agreed to in the Senate. The legislation now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it. Additional details will be provided shortly *********************************** On December 17th, in somewhat of a surprise move, the Senate voted to pass the America COMPETES Act.

December 20, 2010

Congress Passes Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act

On Friday Congress passed an altered version of the existing Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is designed to address issues that arose with the previous legislation. The updated bill will:  –  provide full tuition for those attending a public school in their home state and up to $17,500 in tuition payments for those attending private schools

December 9, 2010

DREAM Act Passes House, Awaits Vote in Senate

The House passed its version of the DREAM Act late Wednesday, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented children who graduate from college or serve in the military. The Senate today decided to kill its own version of the bill – most likely because of the expectation that it would not receive enough

December 1, 2010

Second Temporary Spending Measure Likely (Updated)

**12/3 Update: Congress has approved a CR (referenced below) that will last through 12/18, allowing lawmakers additional time to attempt an omnibus spending bill that would closeout the FY11 appropriations process.** The House of Representatives is close to a vote on a second continuing resolution (CR) that would continue the level funding of government operations through December

November 30, 2010

US Senate to Vote on Earmark Ban

The Senate postponed until this morning a vote on a measure that would ban all earmarks for the next three years. The chamber will vote on an amendment to food safety legislation proposed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) that would create a Senate rule effectively prohibiting the chamber from considering any measure containing earmarks.  Coburn’s amendment

November 24, 2010

First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely

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