August 8, 2007

Something before August recess

Since Democrats took control of Congress seven months ago, they provoked several showdowns over the Iraq war and fired off hundreds of probes of the Bush administration. But until recently they passed few laws. As Congress's approval ratings hover near record lows, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were under the gun to produce something before their August recess, and they did, passing bills ranging from lobbying and ethics to healthcare and homeland security. Democrats had promised action on the Iraq war when they were swept into power after 12 years of GOP control. But they have yet to tie war funding to conditions on ending the war or redeploying US forces. That fight will have to wait until September. Before Congress adjourned early Sunday morning, House Democrats passed a $459.6 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2008, two energy bills, $250 million to repair the collapsed bridge in Minneapolis, and a measure to expand health coverage for poor children, which President Bush has threatened to veto.

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