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Just a quick report on last week's votes on HR 5 (student aid) and HR 6 (energy):

A group of Georgetown students went to the Hill for the vote on HR-5 last Wednesday night. The vote was incredibly successful, (and veto-proof- though what kind of a president would veto a vote making more kids able to go to college?) winning by a 356-71 vote margin. It was funny to see how many Republicans voted against the bill, realized it was going to pass in a landslide, and then changed their votes to yes. Now who's flip-flopping?

Afterwards we had a few words with my Congressman, Maurice Hinchey (NY-22). He was glad to see us there, and obviously happy about the outcome of the vote, but he made sure to let us know that this was really only the first step. He seemed cautiously hopeful about the possibility of progress, both from the Senate and in other methods of making college more affordable. We'll see what happens, but I expect both the College Dems and GULA (GU legislative advocates, for anyone not familiar with the group) to be highly involved, and hopefully change some stubborn Congressional minds.
Congressman John Hall (NY-19) was also very supportive of the bill, agreeing that tuition prices are really nothing short of outrageous.

HR 6- the "Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act," was not such a piece of cake for the Dems. The GOP first tried their now-traditional motion to recommit the bill (aka stall it in committee) which failed. Then they pulled out a new (well, old, but unexpected) trick, calling for a 3/5 majority vote because they claimed the bill ammended something about the tax code. I'm not really sure on the specifics, but the chairwoman pretty much shut them down. For anyone watching, it was actually kind of entertaining. She called for yea's and nay's, and when the shouting was almost exactly the same volume on each side, ruled in favor of the nay's, because she could. The Republicans were pretty angry, though, and appealed the ruling of the chair. The vote to table the appeal was then held, which passed by a margin of only 35 votes. When those shannanigans were over, the vote was held and the bill passed 264-163.

And that's all folks, for the 6 for '06. Let's see how the Senate does.

And, just for fun, check out how members of Congress voted on HR-6 by astrological sign.

2 comments:

OrSkolnik said...

I'm glad to see my fellow Cancers are solidly among the good guys. But why are the Capricorns so conservative? Such a shame.

A. Pasternak said...

I was a little disappointed the student loan bill wasn't any stronger. Students next year will still have an interest rate of 6%, and the interest rate won't fall to its lowest level till 2011, well after we're out of college (I hope).