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Senate prepares for busy schedule in 2006.

The U.S. Senate faced a packed agenda when it returned on Jan. 18, despite a flurry of activity prior to its break over the holidays. The election-year work schedule will make progress even more difficult because senators up for re-election will be returning home frequently to campaign. Expect confirmation hearings and a host of old and new legislative issues to dominate the agenda during the first part of the year.

Tax cuts, yet another important issue from 2005, also will remain in the Congressional spotlight in the coming months. The House of Representatives is expected to increase the size of the final reconciliation tax-cut package to $70 billion, but some Republican moderates in the Senate are planning to fight the package once it comes to a vote. These moderates disagree with a five-year extension of the 15% maximum tax rate for capital gains and dividends.

Expect both the House and Senate to take up pension overhaul legislation (H.R. 2830, S. 1783) in the first half of 2006 as well. These bills are aimed at forcing companies to better fund their pension plans and shore up the financial health of the federal agency that insures private pension plans. More specifically, the per-worker premium that companies pay to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) would increase from $19 to $30 for 2006. To read the text of the pension overhaul legislation, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:3:./temp/~c109rTyOvj.

For more information on the Senate's schedule for 2006, visit www.senate.gov.
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Comment:Senate prepares for busy schedule in 2006.
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:256
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