Washington Summary
Daily Edition
August 7, 2008
Congressional Record, Vol. 154, Nos. 129-130 (July 31, 2008, and August 1, 2008))
CQ Daily, Vol. 44, No. 118 (August 1, 2008)
Federal Register, Vol. 73, Nos. 149-153 (August 1-August 7, 2008)
The Senate and House are in recess. They will reconvene on 9/8/08.
Administrative Law
Bills Introduced
HR 6706 ( Kucinich, R-OH), to provide for enhanced retirement benefits for administrative law judges; to Oversight and Government Reform. H7785, CR 7/31/08.
Presidential Action
On 7/30/08, the president signed PL 110-290 (HR 3564), the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2007, which authorizes the Administrative Conference of the United States through fiscal year 2011.
AIDS/HIV
Presidential Action
On 7/30/08, the president signed PL 110-293 (HR 5501), the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, which authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 for programs under the act.
Children/Families
Bills Introduced
S 3417 ( Levin, D-MI), to amend Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act to expand educational opportunities for recipients of temporary assistance for needy families; to Finance. S7905, CR 7/31/08.
H Res 1394 ( Towns, D-NY), applauding organizations that engage in the prevention of domestic violence and provide outreach and support services for victims; to Education and Labor. H7788, CR 7/31/08.
HR 6788 ( Kuhl, R-NY), to amend Title XXI of the Social Security Act to extend through fiscal year 2012 funding under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program; to Energy and Commerce. H7806, CR 8/1/08.
Notices
On 8/6/08, the Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice, announced that the Violence Against Women in Indian Country Task Force will hold its first meeting on 8/20-21/08 in Washington, DC. Public oral and written comments are welcome. Written comments must be submitted by 8/11/08. FR 45474.
Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
Floor Action
On 7/31/08, the House passed, by a 247-178 vote, HR 1338, to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.
On 7/31/08, the House passed H Res 1357, to recognize the significance of the 20 th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which apologized and provided compensation to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II.
Courts/Judiciary
New Nominations
On 7/31/08, the Senate received the nominations of John J. Tharp Jr., of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois; J. Richard Barry, of Mississippi, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi; and Thomas Marcelle, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York.
Bills Introduced
S 3394 ( Sununu, R-NH), to prevent the undermining of the judgments of courts of the United States by foreign courts; to Finance. S7904, CR 7/31/08.
Criminal Law
Bills Introduced
HR 6776 ( Jackson Lee, D-TX), to prevent hate crimes and to provide support services for victims of hate crimes; to Judiciary. H7806, CR 8/1/08.
Floor Action
On 7/31/08, the House passed S 3295, to amend Title 35, United States Code, and the Trademark Act of 1946 to provide that the secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, shall appoint administrative patent judges and administrative trademark judges.
On 7/31/08, the House passed S 3294, to provide for the continued performance of the functions of the United States Parole Commission, clearing the measure for the president.
On 7/31/08, the House passed HR 6083, amended, to authorize funding for the National Advocacy Center to conduct a national training program for state and local prosecutors.
Presidential Action
On 7/30/08, the president signed PL 110-294 (S 231), to authorize the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program at fiscal year 2006 levels through fiscal year 2012.
On 7/30/08, the president signed PL 110-296 (S 3218), the Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2008.
Disability Law
Bills Introduced
S 3406 ( Harkin, D-IA), to restore the intent and protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, read the first time. S7905, remarks and text S7956, CR 7/31/08.
Election Law
Bills Introduced
S 3390 ( Durbin, D-IL), to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to provide for the treatment of institutions of higher education as voter registration agencies; to Rules and Administration. S7904, CR 7/31/08.
HR 6704 ( Schakowsky, D-IL), to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to provide for the treatment of institutions of higher education as voter registration agencies; to House Administration. H7785, CR 7/31/08.
HR 6778 ( Jackson Lee, D-TX), to secure federal voting rights of certain qualified ex-offenders who have served their sentences; to Judiciary. H7806, CR 8/1/08.
Emergency Preparedness
Bills Introduced
HR 6750 ( Maloney, D-NY), to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to modify terms of the community disaster loan program; to Transportation and Infrastructure. H7786, CR 7/31/08.
Gun Violence
Bills Introduced
HR 6691 ( Childers, D-MS), to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia; to Oversight and Government Reform. H7784, CR 7/31/08.
Health Law
Bills Introduced
S 3387 ( Hatch, R-UT), to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to pain care; to Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. S7904, remarks and text S7946, CR 7/31/08.
Homelessness/Housing
Bill Introduced
HR 6751 ( Melancon, D-LA), to provide additional funds for affordable housing for low-income seniors, disabled persons and others who lost their homes as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; to Financial Services. H7786, CR 7/31/08.
HR 6785 ( Jackson Lee, D-TX), to reform the provisions requiring “one-strike” eviction from public and federally assisted housing; to Financial Services. H7806, CR 8/1/08.
HR 6803 ( Clarke, D-NY), to improve inspections of public housing and federally assisted multi-family housing conducted by the Real Estate Assessment Center of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; to Financial Services. H7807, CR 8/1/08.
Committee Action
On 7/31/08, the House Financial Services Committee approved HR 840, the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2007. The ABA sent a letter to the committee 7/18/08 supporting the legislation.
Notices
On 8/6/08, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), issued a proposed rule supporting HUD’s overall objective to streamline the regulations governing public housing programs and to facilitate the transition of public housing agencies to asset management. Comments are due 10/6/08. FR 45368.
Immigration Law
Bills Introduced
HR 6789 ( Gary Miller, R-CA), to remove the incentives and loopholes that encourage illegal aliens to come to the United States to live and work and provide additional resources to local law enforcement and federal border and immigration officers; to Judiciary. H7806, CR 8/1/08.
Committee Action
On 7/31/08, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S 3061, to authorize appropriations through fiscal year 2011 for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 after incorporating provisions to ensure that unaccompanied immigrant children receive humane and appropriate treatment while in the custody of the United States government, including access to pro bono legal counsel.
On 8/1/08, the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, House Judiciary Committee, approved HR 5882, amended, to recapture unused visa requests and to prevent losses of family- and employment-based immigrant visas in the future.
International Law
Bills Introduced
H Res 1402 ( Crowley, D-NY), supporting a transition to democracy through free, fair, credible, peaceful and transparent elections in Bangladesh; to Foreign Affairs. H7788, CR 7/31/08.
H Res 1410 (Moore, D-WI), supporting efforts to advance U.S. international diplomacy and engagement in order to restore U.S. credibility abroad; to Foreign Affairs. H7808, CR 8/1/08.
Law Library of Congress
Committee Action
On 7/30/08, the House Administration Committee approved, as amended, HR 6589, the Charles H.W. Meehan Law Library Improvement and Modernization Act. The ABA sent a letter to the committee 7/29/08 supporting the legislation.
Legal Education
Bills Introduced
HR 6698 ( Baird, D-WA), to provide for non-discrimination by eligible lenders in the Robert T. Stafford Federal Student Loan Program; to Education and Labor. H7784, CR 7/31/08.
Floor Action
On 7/31/08, the president signed S 3352 (PL 110-300) to temporarily extend the programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965 through 8/15/08.
On 7/31/08, the House and Senate passed the conference report to accompany HR 4137, to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, clearing the measure for the president. The ABA sent a letter to conferees on 7/30/08 supporting passage of the conference report.
Legal Services
Bills Introduced
HR 6711 ( Hensarling, R-TX), to provide for increased funding for veterans health care for fiscal year 2009 by transferring amounts from the Legal Services Corporation and certain Title X family planning funds; to Veterans’ Affairs. H7785, CR 7/31/08.
Military Law
Bills Introduced
S 3379 ( Kerry, D-Mass.), to provide grants to establish veterans’ treatment courts; to Judiciary. S7904, CR 7/31/08.
S 3419 ( Clinton, D-NY), to amend Title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to modernize the disability benefits claims processing system of the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure the accurate and timely delivery of compensation to veterans and their families and survivors; to Veterans’ Affairs. S8034, CR 8/1/08.
Floor Action
On 7/31/08, the Senate failed, by a 51-39 vote, to garner the three-fifths vote needed to close further debate on the motion to proceed to consideration of S 3001, the fiscal year 2009 defense authorization bill.
National Security
Bills Introduced
S 3386 ( Bond, R-MO), to prohibit the use of certain interrogation techniques, and for other purposes; to Select Intelligence. S7409, CR 7/31/08.
S 3401 ( Graham, R-SC), to provide for habeas corpus review for terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; to Judiciary. S7904, CR 7/31/08.
S 3405 ( Feingold, D-WI), to prohibit secret modification and revocations of the law; to Homeland Security, and Governmental Affairs. S7905, remarks and text S7955, CR 7/31/08.
S 3437 ( Feinstein, D-CA), to limit the use of certain interrogation techniques, to require notification of the International Committee of the Red Cross of detainees, to prohibit interrogation by contractors, and for other purposes; to Select Intelligence. S8035, remarks and text S8044, CR 8/1/08.
HR 6705 ( Smith, R-TX), to provide for habeas corpus review for terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; to Judiciary. H7785, CR 7/31/08.
Tort and Insurance Law
Bills Introduced
HR 6766 ( Udall, D-CO), to amend the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 to expand the category of individual eligible for compensation, to improve the procedures for providing compensation, and to improve transparency; to Judiciary. H7787, CR 7/31/08.
Youth at Risk
Bills Introduced
S Res 646 ( Shelby, R-AL), recognizing and supporting the goals and ideals of National Runaway Prevention Month; to Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. S8036, text S8049, CR 8/1/08.
Committee Action
On 7/31/08, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S 3155, to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), including an amendment to repeal the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception to the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders core requirement. The ABA sent a letter to the committee on 7/14/08 supporting JJDPA reauthorization and approval of the amendment repealing the VCO exception.
Floor Action
On 7/31/08, the House passed H Res 1332, to recognize the importance of connecting foster youth to the workforce through internships programs, and to encourage employers to increase employment of former foster youth.
On 8/1/08, the Senate passed S Res 624, designating August 2008 as “National Truancy Prevention Month.”
 

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