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House Adjourns for August After Passing Flurry of Measures

Following a marathon Saturday session to complete several big-ticket legislative items, the House recessed for the remainder of August early Sunday morning. In their final action before beginning a monthlong break, House lawmakers approved the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill, 395-13, in a relatively condensed floor debate following two days of delays prompted by partisan disagreement over the Democratic majority’s management of a late-Thursday night procedural vote on a different appropriations bill. In addition, the House completed work on an energy package Saturday evening, as well as providing funds to rebuild a collapsed interstate bridge in Minneapolis and voting to approve a temporary extension of a domestic spying program requested by the Bush administration, 227-183, despite objections by Democratic leadership. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the latter measure prior to the vote, asserting that it “does violence to the Constitution,” and directed both the Judiciary and Intelligence panels to revisit the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before the six-month extension expires. The House is scheduled to reconvene Sept. 4, following the Labor Day weekend. — Jennifer Yachnin

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