Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

D.C. Highlights - January 17th, 2007

Here is today's overview of interesting items from our nation's Capitol:
  • Representative Jay Inslee will lead an hour of debate on the House floor tonight (at around 7 PM Pacific Time) on an energy bill slated for consideration tomorrow. H.R. 6, or the Clean Energy Act, is the last of six bills House Democrats pledged to pass as part of their agenda for first 100 hours of the new Congress. H.R. 6 would close tax loopholes and exemptions currently enjoyed by big oil and natural gas companies. It sets up a reserve to fund clean-energy and energy-efficiency proposals with an estimated $14 billion in savings over 10 years. Tune into C-SPAN tonight at 7 PM if you want to watch Inslee in action.
  • Maria Cantwell's office has announced the Senator will host a coffee for constituents who are visiting Washington, D.C. most Thursdays at 8:30 AM. If you will be in the District of Columbia and would like to attend, please get in touch with her staff (202) 224-3441 so they can hold a spot for you. Her first two constituent coffees of the year are set for Thursday, January 18th and Thursday, February 1st.
  • The House today passed the College Student Loan Relief Act (H.R. 5), 356 to 71, which was introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) on January 12, 2007 with 211 co sponsors. The bill made it out of committee and to the floor in short order. Some Republicans attempted to delay the legislation but their motion to recommit failed. H.R. 5 reduces interest rates for student loans, ensures that all student loans are one hundred percent insured, and removes loopholes for banks, among other things.
  • Senators Joseph Biden (D-Del), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) and Carl Levin (D-Mich) have introduced a resolution in the Senate which denounces Bush's escalation plan. Hagel, of Nebraska, said he would "do everything I can to stop the president's policy" while Levin and Biden warned Bush and his advisors not to ignore Congress.
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