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House - January 17, 2007

From dKosopedia

House - January 17, 2007 - week 3
110th - United States Congress
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Previous January 16, 2007
Next January 18, 2007

This is the daily summary of the actions in United States House of Representatives in the 110th United States Congress for January 17, 2007 during week 3 of this Congress' term. For a summary of the actions in the Senate click here, and for Congress as a whole on this date, click here.


House Daily Summary


Wednesday resumed the Democrats’ “100 Hours” agenda and per the schedule released by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House considered the fifth signature proposal by the new Democratic majority. H.R. 5 moves to cut student interest rates in half. The House also considered a series of symbolic resolutions. Everything you need to know is covered below.

Schedule wise, the House began its day at 10 A.M. with a prayer from the Reverend Daniel Coughlin. It did not recess until the end of the day’s expected legislative activity. _______

College Student Loan Relief Act (H.R. 5)

Passes 356-71 (Roll Call No. 32) | Text of H.R. 5

Path to Action

H.R. 5 was introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) on January 12, 2007. It was submitted to the House Clerk with 211 co-sponsors. Pursuant to the rules laid out in Title IV of H.Res. 6, the bill leapfrogged the committee process and moved right to the House floor. A three-hour debate session began at 1:18 P.M. on Jan. 17, 2007. A final vote was called for at 4:46 P.M., but was interrupted by a motion introduced by the Republican caucus to table the bill and recommit it to the House Committee on Education and Labor with instructions to report back with an amendment stabilizing interest rates for wealthier students and suspending them for those who undertake military service. That motion failed by a vote of 186 supporting and 241 against. The House proceeded to a final vote, where H.R. 5 was passed by a vote of 356 supporting and 71 against.

Legislative Analysis

Currently, the interest rate for Stafford and other federal student loans is fixed at 6.80 percent. Over the next five years, H.R. 5 will reduce those interest rates to 3.40 percent. The schedule for these reductions works out like this: (1) on July 1, 2007, the interest rates will decrease to 6.12 percent; (2) on July 1, 2008, the interest rates will decrease to 5.44 percent; (3) on July 1, 2009, the interest rates will decrease to 4.76 percent; (4) on July 1, 2010, the interest rates will decrease to 4.08 percent and finally; (5) on July 1, 2011, the interest rates will decrease to 3.40 percent. Keep in mind, when you are calculating your expected debt upon college graduation, these decreases go to your principle unpaid balance. This means 6.12 percent of interest will be accumulated on all you owe until July 1, 2008. After that date, until July 1, 2009, you will be charged 5.44 percent interest on all you owe.

The legislation also does a number of other things. First, it insures one hundred percent of all student loans that are disbursed following the enactment of the law. It slows the rate at which the Secretary of Education is expected to reimburse the banks that are contracted to provide the money to college students. It removes the special consideration given to banks that receive “exceptional performer status”.

There is also language which provides a rebate to students to pay ninety percent of their principle and interest obligations. The way it works is, when you have reached the threshold of 90 percent, the government will issue you a rebate of 1.30 percent of the total balance remaining.

Political Analysis

Like most bills, H.R. 5, in its current form, will not be the law that takes affect when this language is finalized. The Senate is likely to take it up as a part of a broader education package when the House gets around to lifting the cap on Pell Grants to $5,100. The President has said that he opposes this bill, but politically, he understands that a veto is not something that would be well-received in the public. Just about every parent in America has a child that will one day need to take out federal student loans to pay for their college tuition. But, even if he wanted to veto, he couldn’t. There was a veto-proof majority approving the bill, with more Republicans supporting it than not. Republican whips would never be able to find the votes they needed to sustain.

So, to summarize, this proposal will be law. Not in the form of H.R. 5, but you can rest assured that, it will be eventually.

More Information

What is a Stafford loan?

What is a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan?

How did my Congressperson vote on this bill?

Small Business Investment Act extension (H.R. 434)

Passes (via suspension) 413-2 (Roll Call Vote No. 28) | Text of H.R. 434

Path to Action

H.R. 434 was introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on January 12, 2007. It was referred to the House Committee on Small Business, but skipped consideration and moved right to the floor. It was brought up under suspension of the rules at 10:54 A.M. and debated for forty minutes. At 12:59 P.M., a vote was held without objection. The bill passed by a vote of 413-2.

Legislative Analysis

H.R. 434 is a one-liner and, thus, very simple to explain. Under the Small Business Act of 1958 and subsequent amendments to that act, there are a series of breaks and credits for property taxes and development fees. Those were extended until February 2, 2007 under the provisions of H.R. 6159. Now they will be extended to December 31, 2007. Political Analysis

This bill passed with a super veto-proof majority. Even if the President objected, he’d be overridden as quickly as the bill passed. But he’s not opposed to it, so as soon as the Senate gets around to passing it, the President will sign it and it will become law.

Other Actions

H.Con.Res. 31 is a resolution honoring the accomplishments of the Mare Island Original 21ers for their efforts to remedy racial discrimination in employment at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. It passed the House under suspension of the rules by a vote of 416 in favor and nobody against. The Mare Island Original 21ers are a great story that you will do well to look up and read about.

H.Res. 58 is a resolution to honor Muhammad Ali, global humanitarian, on the occasion of his 65th birthday and to extend best wishes to him and his family. It passed the House by a vote of 421-0. Hardly anything to oppose.

On the Floor

The above link is to the consolidated congressional record of what occured on the floor of the House on this date.

NOTE: This area's structure and format are still in development.
This note should be removed when content is added, by removing the {{House Daily Floor-NO CONTENT}} code from the article this message appears within.

In the Committees

The above link is to the consolidated congressional record of what occured in any House committees that had activity on this date.

Note: This area's structure and format are still in development. The above header text will become a link to a culled and consolidated portions congressional record of the committees of the House that had activity on the date this page is about. This blurb here will also eventually have a format on how to link to the relevant committee articles in the Congressional Committees Project. I envision that the portions of the congressional record that will be at this link (formated similar to the floor portions of the record would be a also utilized (and with luck, maintained by those signing up for the various committees by that project.
This note should be removed when content is added, by removing the {{House Daily Committees-NO CONTENT}} code from the article this message appears within.


See also


External Links

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This page was last modified 00:54, 4 February 2007 by dKosopedia user Lestatdelc. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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