Beginning in mid-February, Congress took a couple of weeks off and returned to business in early March. Nevertheless, there has been no slowdown in the introduction of bills and, at press time, there were 1,133 bills introduced in the House and 533 in the Senate. A number of bills that failed to make the grade in the 108th Congress were reintroduced with the expectation that some could be enacted into law this go-around.
United States Congress
• H.R.2115, the “Flight 100-Century of Aviation Revitalization Act” introduced in May by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), was combined with S.824, the “Aviation Investment and Revitalization Act,” introduced in April by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate in late November. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for four years and provides $59 billion in funding.
— Congress returned from a 10-day break over St. Patrick’s Day but scheduled another recess in mid-April for Easter. Looking ahead, Congress anticipates shutting down shop in October in preparation for the November elections. Time is running out fairly rapidly for the 109th Congress, and it appears that the second session will meet fewer than 130 days.
• Congress recessed for the 4th of July, as it generally does when there is a national holiday, but, before adjourning, lawmakers passed a $94.5 billion emergency spending bill that included funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, hurricane recovery on the Gulf coast, a border security plan and avian flu preparedness.
• The dog days of August descended on the Capitol right on schedule, and Congressional lawmakers escaped the doldrums as they usually do–by recessing for the month. Most headed for their home districts to catch up locally and
to prepare for the coming elections.
- Page 3