Morning Roundup: Legislative Priorities

We’ve got two weeks to go before the highway bill expires and student loan interest rate doubles. So obviously Republicans are taking action on these critical items – oh, wait. No, they’re not. Instead they’re focusing on… deadly force to protect salmon? We’re sure Americans across the country who are looking for work are relieved to know Republicans are on top of it.

From National Journal: Conservation Bill on Tap In House

“The House will take up the Conservation and Economic Growth Act this week. This package of 14 bills is advertised the way all bills are advertised these days, as being a jobs bill. There are some gems in this one, including a provision allowing deadly force to protect salmon in the Columbia River from ‘aggressive California sea lions,’ and a provision that supports an increase in venues for recreational shooting.”

From Roll Call: House Schedule Is Tight, Political

“Entering a crucial stretch for the student loan debate and transportation reauthorization conference committee, House negotiators will continue churning away this week while the floor debate will be dominated by election-year energy messaging.”

From Washington Post: Congress faces an agenda full of front-burner issues

“Unless Congress acts, the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans will jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, raising the cost of college for millions of students. On the same day, without congressional intervention, a short-term measure funding the nation’s highway and bridge-building program will also expire, forcing construction workers off the job.”

From CQ: Deadlines Put Squeeze on Congress

“The bills stalled in front of approaching deadlines are measures that previous Congresses have easily completed. After all, voters across the political spectrum welcome roads and other transportation projects that offer tangible benefits to their communities. And millions of students and their parents are glad to save money on interest payments.”