Part of the Bay Area News Group

Today’s Congressional odds and ends

By Josh Richman
Monday, January 29th, 2007 at 2:46 pm in Afghanistan, Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, General, Iran, Iraq, Jerry McNerney, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Lantos, U.S. House.

  • Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, introduced his first bill today: the Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2007, which will authorize $125 million in funding for projects to increase usable water supply by encouraging innovation in water reclamation, reuse, and conservation. With parts of California experiencing one of the driest Januaries ever and the impact on California’s water supply caused by rising global temperatures, this bill authorizes critical funds to develop alternative sources of clean drinking water, his news release said. The bill — of which the first original co-sponsor is Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo — is scheduled to be considered by House Transportation and Infrastructure‘s Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment on Wednesday. McNerney and Tauscher both sit on that subcommittee.
  • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will host a forum at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Cannon House Office Building on “Iran: Engagement and Diplomacy, Alternatives to Preemption,” a reaction to what she says is the Bush Administration’s increased sabre-rattling toward that nation. The discussion of current U.S. policy towards Iran; the potential implications of preemptive war there; non-military alternatives to Iran’s nuclear ambitions; and engaging Iran in bolstering regional stability by ending Iraq’s civil war will be conducted by Ken Katzman, a Middle East policy expert from the Congressional Research Service; Georgetown University Security Studies Professor Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner; and National Iranian-American Council President Trita Parsi.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; and other members of a bipartisan Congressional delegation which visited Iraq and Afghanistan in recent days will discuss the trip in a news conference tomorrow in the Rayburn House Office Building.
  • UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m. — Crank up your C-SPAN: Barbara Lee will be wielding the House’s gavel as Speaker pro tempore from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PST tomorrow, surely striking fear into the hearts of conservatives far and wide.

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