Although it was passed in May by an overwhelming majority by the House of Representatives, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 is stalled in the Senate. During 45 minutes of partisan debate late last month, Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) verbally sparred with his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid (Nev.), the one accusing the other of dragging his feet on bills each sponsored.
On Thursday, Democrats in the Senate blocked an attempt by Republicans to enforce a provision of a 1980s law requiring all contractors doing business with the federal government to send out notices of potential layoffs four days before the presidential election in November.
By a vote of 17-13 the Senate Appropriations Committee voted against an amendment offered by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would have overridden a policy directive issued earlier this week by the Labor Department informing federal contractors that they may ignore the law and not send out preemptive pink slips to their employees.
By a bipartisan vote, the House joined the Senate in passing a bill that removes the "advice and consent" requirement from many presidential appointments.
On Thursday, the United States Senate voted to move forward on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, clearing the way for amendments to be proposed. To the dismay of Second Amendment advocates, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer proposed an amendment that introduces new gun control.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve Bank easily passed the House of Representatives July 25 by a vote of 327-98. Every House Republican voted for the bill except freshman Rep. Bob Turner of New York, while Democrats were about evenly split.