Saturday, January 17, 2009

Arizona's week in the House in review

...Stacy over at AZ Congress Watch does a good job of keeping up with this stuff (though not this week :) ). This is just a summary.

This upcoming week will be a fairly short one, with the first half of the week being taken up with Inauguration activities and the MLK holiday and with the expectation that the House will finish its legislative business by Thursday evening.

Last week, however, had some activity of note -

Over in the House, work started on H.R. 384, a bill to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). A number of amendments were heard (some passed, some didn't), and more are scheduled for this coming week. The highlight for AZ'ers in that area is a proposal by Jeff Flake (R-CD6) to expand the powers of the TARP's Special Inspector General.

That one is expected to be heard on Wednesday or Thursday.

In other business, the House passed H.R. 2, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 by a vote of 289 - 139. The AZ delegation voted along party lines - Democrats Giffords, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Mitchell, and Pastor in favor; Republicans Flake, Franks, and Shadegg against.

Bill sponsorships...

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8) sponsored three bills - H.R. 551 (study of water augmentation alternatives in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed), H.R. 552 (to designate the Arizona National Scenic Trail), and H.R. 576 (a refundable investment credit, and 5-year depreciation, for property used to manufacture solar energy property). The text of the bills aren't available online yet.

Congressman Harry Mitchell sponsored H.R. 498, a bill to make permanent some capital gains and estate tax cuts.

Floor speech action...

...Giffords urged her colleagues to vote 'yes' in a 'one-minute' speech in support of H.R. 2. Her press release on the bill is here.

...During debate on H.R. 2, Congressman John Shadegg (R-CD3) spoke against passage of the bill.

...Mitchell also gave a 'one-minute' on H.R. 156, his bill to block Congress' automatic pay raise.

"Extensions of Remarks" (statements submitted for the record)...

...Mitchell gave his reasons for sponsoring H.R. 498, a bill to make permanent recent cap gains and estate tax cuts.

...Mitchell also lauded Dave Graybill and the Pink Heals Tour, an organization dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness.

Press releases (all from House websites)...

...Jeff Flake highlighted his "egregious earmark of the week" here and his bill to deport illegal immigrants convicted of DUI here.

...Trent Franks' (R-CD2) press secretary was prolific this week, producing releases on Franks' vote against H.R. 2, criticizing the New York Times' article blowing the whistle on some U.S. efforts against Iran and Israeli requests for specialized weapons to use against Iran, and commemorating the fourth anniversary of a peace agreement in Sudan.

...Raul Grijalva (D-CD7) expressed his support of the SCHIP renewal bill.

...Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) may have had some press releases this week, but as a freshman Member of Congress, her House website is going to suck until spring. Possibly late spring.

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