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On the Agenda: Week of September 30-October 4

Meghan Groob,
Media Strategist,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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September 30, 2013

“What a fun week in Congress!” said absolutely no one in Washington last Friday.

Government shutdown madness is still in full swing on Capitol Hill. After the House passed a spending bill to keep the government running until mid-November, the Senate signed off on an amended version on Friday. Now it makes its way back over to the House for one last vote. Even the President weighed in late last week to urge the House to pass the bill as quickly as possible.

Sounds simple, right? Not quite. The Senate version stripped out language defunding the Affordable Care Act, and if you think House Republicans are going to let that slide by them, you haven’t been watching enough C-SPAN. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tried in vain to stop the Senate from axing the Obamacare language during his not-quite-a-filibuster—which covered everything from Dr. Seuss to Duck Dynasty—but the stalemate continues. Stay tuned!

Of course, the looming government shutdown isn’t the only thing happening in Congress right now. Check out what our Washington Legislative Office has on its plate for this week.

Tuesday, October 1st

The Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on tracking foreign visitor visas titled “Implementation of an Entry-Exit System: Still Waiting After All These Years.”

Criminal Justice
ACLU Legislative Counsel Jennifer Bellamy will moderate a panel discussion, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) in collaboration with the National Employment Law Project, on the impact of inaccuracies in the FBI background check system.

Wednesday, October 2nd

The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” Issues covered may include the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive that mandates the “Parole of Arriving Aliens Found to Have a Credible Fear of Persecution or Torture.”

The House Education and Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, will hold a hearing, “Examining Recent Actions by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.”

NSA Surveillance
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Continued Oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA Director Gen. Alexander are scheduled to be witnesses.

Happening This Week

NSA Surveillance
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to mark up a FISA reform bill.

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