Not a great week here in the capital, though, the Medicare vote was a silver lining. Here’s round-up from DC intern Bobby Allyn:
In the House … Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced a resolution to impeach President Bush for lying to the American public when he sought approval in 2002 for taking military action against Saddam Hussein. Speaker Pelosi said Thursday that she expects the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on an impeachment resolution. The House announced a vote on a new energy bill could happen as early as next week. The bill would seek to speed the development of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, force US oil companies to relinquish unused land, and prohibit oil companies from obtaining the rights to drill on new public land. Speaker Pelosi said, “This call for drilling in areas that are protected is a hoax. It’s an absolute hoax on the part of the Republicans and this Bush administration.” House Republicans threatened to keep Congress in session this summer until they pass an energy bill that ensures more drilling.
In the Senate … Sen. Obama joined the majority in the Senate to pass a new FISA bill that would grant retroactive immunity to telecom companies that participated in the White House’s illegal domestic wiretapping. (Sen. McCain supported to the bill but didn’t show up for the vote). The Democratic leadership hailed the bill’s passage as a compromise; however, opponents in the Senate, including Russ Feingold, denounced it as “capitulation.” “Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq,” Feingold said in an official statement, ” Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.” The Senate passed a a Medicare bill Wednesday that would prevent doctors from receiving a 10 percent cut in Medicare payments. In a surprise visit to the chamber’s floor, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has been undergoing cancer treatment since May, gave the bill a decisive “aye” vote. The Democrats were joined by 18 Republicans, giving the bill a final passage of 69-30. The White House threatened to veto the bill, but the Senate maintains a majority that would overturn the President’s veto. Senate Republicans successfully stymied the bipartisan