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Congress facing major bills before adjournment Jan. 4

Unfinished business

The 111th Congress still has a lot of legislation on its plate before it adjourns on Jan. 4. Some highlights:

Spending measure

Status: Now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has abandoned the $1.3 trillion catch-all spending bill, lawmakers will have to approve a stopgap funding bill that would keep the government running.

The DREAM Act

Status: The measure that would allow children of illegal immigrants to seek citizenship has passed the House. Senate Democrats are short the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. An attempt to get them is expected to be made today.

Gays in the military

Status: The repeal of the ban on openly gay troops has cleared the House. A vote to cut off debate in the Senate, which requires 60 votes, is expected to be made today. With the support of four Republicans, it is expected to clear.

Nuclear arms treaty

Status: In debate in the Senate. Influential Senate Republicans have objected to the new START pact with Russia.

Food safety

Status: Different versions have passed in both houses; but the House version now has to go back to the Senate, where the earlier version was delayed for months by Republican objections.

Congress facing major bills before adjournment Jan. 4 12/17/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 17, 2010 10:10pm]
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    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.
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