New & notable legislation
The Senate re-approved the defense-authorization bill this week, after President Bush vetoed it over Christmas break because of the provision allowing Iraq to be held legally liable for actions perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s regime. The bill was amended to remove the provision. The House passed the revised version last week, and President Bush is expected to sign it.
The Senate is also considering legislation that would do two things: expand government healthcare on Indian reservations and also expand the Davis Bacon Act, which requires prevailing wages and benefits be paid to contractors brought in for the work of building new facilities on the reservations.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) introduced the Middle Class Jobs Protection Act (H.R. 4995), a significant part of which would reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Former presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) reintroduced the Secure Fence Act Wednesday, which mandates construction of double-layered fencing along the U.S. /Mexico border within six months, something that the Homeland Security Department has been apparently loath to do. “Today, DHS has built approximately 75 miles of new fence along the border, of which only five miles is double-layered,” Hunter said. “The Secure Fence Act was clear in that it required double-layered fencing, separated by a road for Border Patrol vehicles, extending over 700 miles of land border.”