This Week While You Weren't Watching - 7/11/17

If you're curious about what the House and Senate do on a daily basis, you can check the previous day's action at this link:

If you don't want to bother reading through that, I'll do my best to pick out the fun, quirky, weird, or *gasp!* important things the US Congress does that aren't getting reported widely.

First, some of the funny.  The US House Convened at 10:00 a.m.  They dismissed at 10:02 a.m.

The Senate did a little better, they convened at 3:00 p.m. and adjourned at 6:39 p.m.

Lots of speeches and recognitions to filter through.  Those are sometimes fun to read, if you care about the 125th Anniversary of Sissleton, South Dakota for example.

One of the two things that caught my attention was a bill introduced by Senator Nelson from Florida that would  "amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reduce the interest rate caps for Federal Direct student loans, to eliminate loan origination fees on all Federal Direct student loans, and to provide for refinancing of Federal Direct student loans and Federal family education loans"

Student loans currently held by banks exceed $1.3 Trillion with a T Dollars.  That is more than all of the US Credit Card debt combined.  This bill would simply allow students to get the best rate possible to unburden themselves faster.   It would also eliminate fees.  This seems like a pretty cut and dry bill that would help students and the economy.  Which, of course, means it probably won't ever be introduced!

The other was a Senate Authorization of arms sales.  The US Congress is required to review and approve arms sales, for obvious reasons.  This week, looks like the US of A is selling:
  1. $101.4 Million in upgrades for F-18 Jets and $50 worth of tank ammo to Australia
  2. $58.2 Million in Apache Helicopter upgrades to the Netherlands
  3. $3.8 Billion worth of Patriot Missiles, equipment, and training to Romania
  4. $1.035 Billion worth of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to the UK
Why is this interesting?  Two NATO members, a Neighbor of Russia, and Australia - all countries we've had public "spats" with recently, still lining up at the cash register.

Until next time!