WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Two major tragedies, rebuilding bridges and a whole lot of bills that were never going to become law. Here’s your Capitol Edge with what happened in Congress in the past week and what’s still ahead.
- Highway Trust Fund passes
- Lawmakers react to two major shootings
- Senate Republicans pass bills repealing Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood
- The beer industry will go before the Senate Tuesday
HIGHWAY TRUST FUND BILL PASSES
The Senate and House overwhelmingly passed a bill that will fund U.S. transportation programs (and create new ones) for the next five years. Money will be available for states and cities to repair roads, bridges, and rail. Lawmakers chose not to raise the gas tax, and will instead pay for the projects by tapping reserve funds.
“I predict that this bill is going to give the economy a big boost,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
LAWMAKERS REACT TO TWO SHGOOTINGS
Democrats pushed for new gun laws after shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado and San Bernardino, California. None of the proposals gained enough support to pass.
Republican lawmakers did not talk guns. Instead, they pushed mental health reform.
“One of the common denominators in these tragedies is mental illness,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said.
Senate Republicans squeezed by a repeal of Obamacare and a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. It was a success for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Obama has promised to veto the bills, which means neither bill will become law.
THE BEER BUSINESS
Senators called the CEO of Anheuser-Bush InBev to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. They will look at InBev’s plan to buy SABMiller for 106 billion. The buy positions the company to produce more than a third of the world’s beer.
Senators and the House of Representatives must pass certain spending bills by Dec. 11 next week or the government will shut down. We’ll be keeping an eye on it for you.