the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/15 ~~ the House

matthew 25

The Senate will convene at 1:00pm on Sunday, December 15, 2013.

The Senate will meet for legislative business only.  Majority Leader Reid is expected to file cloture on the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget agreement and the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the Defense Authorization bill. There will be no roll call votes on Sunday.

The next roll call votes will be at 5:30pm on Monday, December 16th:

-          Confirmation of the Patterson nomination

-          Motion to invoke cloture on the Johnson nomination

-          Confirmation of the Johnson nomination

-          Additional procedural votes are possible.  Senator Reid is expected to file additional cloture motions on several nominations.

Senator Reid moved to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act, and filed cloture on the motion to concur. He then filled the amendment tree.

He then moved to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.3304, the legislative vehicle for the National Defense Authorization Act, and filed cloture on that motion.

The filing deadline for first degree amendments to the motions to concur re: H.J.Res.59, and H.R.3405 is 4:00pm on Monday, December 16.


No Roll Call Votes

Legislative items

Senator Reid filed cloture on the motion to concur in H.J.Res.59, the Budget Resolution, and H.R.3304, the National Defense Authorization Act.

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.1824, Drinking Water Supply Assistance Act.

No additional Executive items 


Last Floor Action:12/12
9:33:30 P.M. – The House adjourned
pursuant to H. Res. 434.

The next meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on
December 16, 2013.

Rape Insurance?


GOP War on Women, Michigan Edition

After the 2010 elections swept Republicans into power in legislatures across the country, they set about passing an unprecedented number of restrictions — 135 in 2011 and 2012 and 84 more so far this year — on abortion rights.

Michigan has been no exception. A year ago, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed one of the nation’s most extreme anti-abortion laws.

Now lawmakers have used a quirk in Michigan law to push through a bill mandating rape insurance. Yes, you read that right: rape insurance.

ThinkProgressTara Culp-Ressler explains:

On Wednesday evening, both chambers of the Michigan legislature approved a measure that will require women to purchase an additional insurance rider if they want abortion coverage, even in cases when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. It will take effect 90 days after lawmakers adjourn, making Michigan the ninth state to restrict coverage of abortion on the private insurance market — an increasingly popular method of imposing barriers to the procedure.

Opponents decried the legislation as a “rape insurance” bill, pointing out that victims of sexual assault would be forced to pay out-of-pocket for an abortion procedure unless they had thought ahead and purchased a separate rider. In the lead-up to the vote, State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) called the bill “one of the most misogynistic proposals” that has ever been up for debate in the legislature, adding that forcing women to consider purchasing extra insurance in case they’re raped in the future is “truly despicable.”

And Republicans endorsed the measure even after their own colleagues shared their personal stories of sexual assault and miscarriage. Last year, two female Michigan state representatives were temporarily banned from speaking on the Michigan House floor after they dared speak the word “vagina” during the debate on a different draconian anti-abortion bill.

Snyder had vetoed the bill last year but it will become law this year without his signature because “citizen-initiated” bills (bills advanced following a signature gathering drive) approved by the legislature don’t require his approval. The legislature could have disapproved, in which case the measure would’ve been put before Michigan voters in 2014. Instead, they endorsed the offensive and cruel notion of rape insurance.

Harsh anti-abortion measures like this are just one example of a nationwide campaign by right-wing activists to impose their own theological doctrines onto others using public policy.

BOTTOM LINE: If Republicans don’t want to be accused of waging a war on women, they should stop passing bill after bill that attack women and their families.

Eye on the Amazon

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“Don’t Worry, Mom – Go Fight for Us”Mayalu, with her sister Matavitsa and Maira Irigaray-Castro at National Indigenous Mobilization in Brasilia in OctoberOur third partner profile is someone you will recognize as Amazon Watch was proud to have Mayalu Txucarramãe as our guest of honor at our 2013 annual Luncheon. Daughter of Kayapó Chief Megaron and grand niece of legendary Chief Raoni, Mayalú comes from a long line of Xingu warriors whose unwavering strength and skills led to the demarcation of the Xingu Indigenous Park. She was born a warrior – fierce and determined to defend the rights of her people. “Resistance is in my blood!” she proclaims. Mayalu continues the fight against the devastating Belo Monte Dam complex – we stand with her.

Fearless, strong, and a mother of two, Mayalu’s motivation springs from her ancestral roots and the dream that her children and grandchildren will inhabit a healthy Amazon, with its rivers and forests preserved and thriving for future generations.

Read the rest on Eye on the Amazon »

Official Google blog …

Conquer the Lonely Mountain in Chrome

In “The Hobbit,” a company of Dwarves tries to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor from Smaug the Terrible, a fire-breathing Dragon. While the Dwarves’ quest is fraught with danger, your journey to Erebor is just a click away in “A Journey Through Middle-earth,” the Chrome Experiment released a few weeks ago from Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).
You can now follow the Dwarves’ journey to Erebor and try to outsmart Smaug on your desktop, mobile phone or tablet. But it might be wise to first pay a little visit to the folks who live in nearby Thranduil’s Hall and Lake-town—locations that recently became accessible in this Chrome Experiment—just in case you need their help against the mighty Dragon.

To best equip you on your journey, you may want to stop by Google Play. There you’ll find all sorts of Hobbit-related apps, games, books, music and films*. Together with the recent recording of a Google+ Hangout with director Peter Jackson and actors Evangeline Lilly and Richard Armitage, these can also help you get up to speed for the upcoming release in theaters of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
And for those of you more interested in web development than Dragon-slaying, check out the second technical case study on “A Journey Through Middle-earth” (the first one is already available on HTML5 Rocks). You can also watch a Hangout with North Kingdom, the team of designers and hackers who built it, on December 18. We’ll be posting more updates for the developer community on +Google Chrome Developers.
Posted by Adrian Soghoian, Product Marketing Manager & a Fool of a Took
*Available content and promotions vary by country.


seafoodsourceSubstantial changes to EU aquaculture development needed

By Nicki Homyard

A combination of factors means that EU aquaculture production will need to be stepped up to fill the potential supply gap, in order to ensure food security. However, to make this happen substantial changes to both strategic and practical approaches to aquaculture development are needed.

Read more >

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