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This Week on the Hill 7/28/08 – 8/1/08

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July 29, 2008

One week more before the House and the Senate adjourn for recess, and much of Washington, DC falls into a long August slumber. The Hill looks like a slightly more urban version of a Countrytime Lemonade commercial. But with the help of cold beverages and central A/C, we at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office toil on. These long congressional recesses give us time to regroup, strategize, get around to those projects there never seem to be time for. (“I’m sure there was a desk under this pile at one time…”)

So this’ll be our last edition of the congressional thumbnails until they reconvene on Monday, September 8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29

Attorney-Client Privilege

Senator Arlen Specter will be speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday morning at 11:30 about repairing the damage done in recent years to the attorney-client privilege, and will focus on his legislative fix which is supported by a left-right coalition of organizations including the ACLU.

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Representative Waxman‘s (D-Calif.) classification bills, the “Over-Classification Reduction Act” (H.R. 6575) and the “Reducing Information Control Designations Act” (H.R. 6576), could be up for a vote on the House floor today or this week.

Employment Verification

Legislation on Employment Verification is expected to come up for a vote in the House on Tuesday, July 29, or Wednesday, July 30.

First Amendment

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Music and Radio in the 21st Century: Assuring Fair Rates and Rules across Platforms.”

Wednesday, July 30

Electronic Voting Senate Rules and Administration Committee will hold a hearing on S. 3212, which would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to provide for auditable, independent verification of ballots.


Hearing in House Armed Services Committee on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush. The hearing will start on Wednesday with a panel of outside lawyers and finish on Thursday with a panel of administration witnesses.

Homeland Security

The House Homeland Security Management, Investigations, and Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.

Paycheck Fairness Act

On Wednesday, July 30 or Thursday, July 31, the House will consider the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338).

Thursday, July 31

DHS On Thursday, July 31, and Friday, August 1, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will hold a two-day meeting of the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) Advisory Committee, whose agenda includes “an update on efforts concerning the improvement of HSIN, the development of the Next Generation of HSIN and discussions to develop a methodology of collecting and validating HSIN community user input and user based requirements.”

JJDPA Reauthorization

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up JJDPA reauthorization (S. 3155). The ACLU has submitted a letter to the committee urging support for the legislation.

State Secrets

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing on the State Secrets Protection Act of 2008. ACLU Legal Director Steve Shapiro will testify.


The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up S. 3061, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.

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