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Washington Summary
Daily Edition
January 30, 2008  

Congressional Record, Vol. 154, No. 14 (January 29, 2008)
CQ Daily, Vol. 44, No. 11 (January 30, 2008)
Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 20 (January 30, 2008)

The Senate is in session today.
The House is not in session today.
The House will reconvene on Wednesday, 2/6/08.



The Senate, Health, Education and Labor Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the economic downturn, focusing on helping working families during hard times. 2/7/08, 10 am, 430 Dirksen.


Presidential Action

On 1/7/08, the president signed HR 660 [P.L. 110-177], to amend Title 18, United States Code, to protect judges, prosecutors, witnesses, victims and their family members.

Criminal Law

Bills Introduced

HR 5178 ( Grijalva, D-AZ), to enhance public safety by improving the reintegration of youth offenders to the families and communities to which they are returning; to Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce; H556, CR 1/29/08.


The Crime and Drugs Subcommittee, Senate Judiciary Committee, will hold a hearing titled “Federal Cocaine Sentencing Laws: Reforming the 100-10-1 Crack /Powder Disparity.” 2/12/08, 2 pm, 226 Dirksen.

Presidential Action

On 1/7/08, the president signed S 863 [P.L.110-179], to amend Title 18, United States Code, with respect to fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency funds.

On 1/8/08, the president signed HR 2640 [P.L. 110-180], to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Disability Law

Bills Introduced

HR 5176 ( Gene Green, D-TX), to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to mental health services; to Energy and Commerce. H555, CR 1/29/08.

Elder Law


The Senate Special Aging Committee will hold a hearing titled “Elder Voters- Opportunities and Challenges.” The ABA will submit a statement making recommendations for addressing the needs of voters with disabilities.1/31/08, 10:30 am, 216 Hart.

Election Law


On 1/30/08, the Federal Election Commission announced it will revise its written rules for conducting its activities to provide for the circumstance when the commission has fewer than four members. FR 5568.

Insurance Law

Presidential Action

On 12/26/07, the president signed HR 2761 [P.L. 110-160], to extend the Terrorism Insurance Program of the Department of the Treasury.

Legal Education

Bills Introduced

HR 5157 ( Frank, D-MA), to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to repeal the provisions prohibiting persons convicted of drug offenses from receiving student financial assistance; to Education and Labor. H554, CR 1/29/08.

Legal Services Corporation


On 1/30/08, the Legal Services Corporation issued a notice updating the specified income levels to qualify for services, reflecting the annual amendments to the Federal Poverty Guidelines as issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. FR 5458.

National Security

Bills Introduced

HR 5167 ( Braley, D-IA), to amend the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008 to remove the authority of the president to waive certain provisions; to Judiciary. H554, CR 1/29/08.

HR 5170 ( Carney, D-PA), to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide for a privacy official within each component of the Department of Homeland Security; to Homeland Security. H554, CR 1/29/08.


On 1/29/08, the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Senate Judiciary Committee, held a hearing on changes in the state secrets privilege. ABA President-Elect H. Thomas Wells, Jr. testified on the association’s behalf.

Floor Action

On 1/29/08, the House HR 5104, to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for 15 days.

On 1/29/08, the Senate passed HR 5104, to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for 15 days, clearing the measure for the president

Presidential Action

On 1/28/08, the president signed HR 4986 [P.L. 110-181], to provide for the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008.