This week, the House considers two financial bills under suspension, HR4332 and HR5519, which would, respectively, create a financial consumer hotline and loosen restrictions on credit unions (a bill the Independent Community Bankers’ Association opposes out of concern that it deviates from credit unions’ mission of helping the underserved and well-defined niche groups). On the heels of last week’s Senate action, the House is expected to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which Sen. Kennedy hails as “the first civil rights bill of the new century of life sciences.” The House will also vote on whether to force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue rules regulating combustible industrial dusts that can accumulate and explode, a proposal that’s gained momentum since the February worksite explosion in Port Wentworth, Georgia that killed 12 workers. While the dangers of combustible dust have been well-known for years, OSHA has refused to issue any such guidelines. The Democrats may also bring the supplemental war spending bill to the floor.
On the Senate side, members will vote on a bill to reauthorize spending on the Federal Aviation Administration, a bill delayed by controversy over a $25-per-flight surcharge to pay for air traffic control modernization and dogged by recent airline regulation scandals.
Meanwhile, Congress holds hearings on subprime home lending, implementation of the REAL ID Act, secret law and oversight of defense department acquisitions.
Note: Our site makeover seems to have caused some bugs with last week’s Friday Capitol Letter. Here it is again, posted below for your reference.