This week, the House debates the $300-billion farm bill, which contains key funding for various food programs, but meanwhile–in a time of food crisis and record farm income expected to hit $92.3 billion–remains heavily saddled with farmer subsidies. While Bush has continued to oppose the legislation, it’s possible that both chambers have enough votes to override his threatened veto. Speaker Pelosi may also try to bring up the lraq war supplemental, which last week was stymied by Blue Dog opposition to the bill’s proposed expansion of veterans’ benefits (which the group argues would violate pay-go).
Also this week, the Senate will continue debate on the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007. Beginning Tuesday, several attached energy amendments are up for consideration, including Sen. McConnell’s proposal to drill in ANWR and Reid’s proposal to suspend filling the national reserve if the 90-day average price of crude oil remains above $75 a barrel. Following its expected House passage, the Senate is likewise expected to take up the farm bill, and attempt to proceed to consideration of HR980 (passed 314-97 by the House in July), which would grant police, fire fighters and other local safety officers minimum collective bargaining rights.
Meanwhile, Congress holds hearings on the global food crisis, domestic responses to nuclear terrorism, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act (a bill that would allow merchants a role in negotiating credit card interchange fees, which have risen 117% since 2001, and Visa and Mastercard continue to unilaterally set), and the U.S. responsibility to help victims of Agent Orange.