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In Congress this week: Spending to dominate


The so-called “war on women” will take center stage this week when the House is expected to consider renewing the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that Democrats and Republicans have agrede to fund at $650 million a year for five years.

The money goes to organizations and programs that help prevent domestic violence and other violent crimes against women, however human rights activists are already complaining that it doesn’t do enough to help immigrants.

The House is also expected to vote on legislation to authorize defense spending for the next year, and will take up other spending bills that are ready for floor action.

Meanwhile, the Senate has several issues on its plate that could come up for a vote this week including a bill to renew the lending authority of the Export-Import Bank, legislation to keep student loan rates at 3.4 percent and reauthorization of FDA user fees that regulates drug approvals.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing Tuesday on how to solve the long-term unemployment crisis for older workers, and the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday will examine how the taxation of labor and transfer payments affect growth and employment.

In the House, the Natural Resources Committee will host a field hearing Monday to discuss the elimination of federal red tape and excessive litigation to create healthy forests, jobs and abundant water and power supplies.

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold an oversight hearing on tax-exempt organizations on Wednesday, and the House Financial Services Committee will also conduct oversight work on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Structured Transaction Program.