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This week in Congress: Bush tax cuts and oil moratorium

With August recess just a few weeks away, House Majority Whip Eric Cantor has termed this work period “red tape reduction week.”

With August recess just a few weeks away, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has termed this work period ‚??red tape reduction week,‚?Ě which is aimed at placing a moratorium on government regulations and giving U.S. businesses and the economy more opportunity to make a recovery.

In addition to the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, the House is expected to take a vote to extend the Bush tax cuts. While the measure is likely to pass the House easily, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised last week to block a vote on the extension when it arrives on his floor.

In the Senate, legislators may consider an alternative proposal that only extends the cuts for those making $250,000 or less and caps rates on capital gains and dividends at 20 percent. Senators may also begin consideration of a cybersecurity bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) that allows the government and private companies to share information about threats.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Homeland Security will hold a full-panel hearing on existing threats to the homeland, and the House Committee on Natural Resources will question administration officials about President Barack Obama‚??s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Senate Committee on Finance will take up education tax incentives and tax reform Wednesday, while the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a subcommittee panel hearing on Iran‚??s support for terrorist activity the same day.

Legislators for both houses and parties will continue to use every opportunity to beat the gong on the pending specter of sequestration as the countdown to ‚??devastating‚?Ě budget cuts to defense and domestic programs ticks to within 160 days.

Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope‚??s email is