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View from the Hill

Professional Bail Agents of the United States

"The National Voice of the Bail Agent"

View from the Hill

Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS) has a long and successful history of focusing not on the political party or the person but on their support of bail; we are all, at heart, Bailocrats and Bailicans. With the Primary Election season finally over, we focus our attention on the General Election, little more than four weeks away.

As of today, Congress has packed up and gone home. All House members are up for re-election and want to continue campaigning. With 1/3 of Senate up for re-election, they too plan to hit the campaign trail; if not for themselves, then for colleagues and friends.

The anticipation is that in the 112th Congress there will be a shift in the control of the House, and possibly in the Senate as well. Of course, no one knows the outcome of any election until the final votes are counted. Planning, however, is well underway for when Congress returns after the Nov. 2nd election and, according to my sources, the majority is poised to bring 20 bills forward in the lame-duck session.

Stuffing, not the Thanksgiving kind, but that which seeks to combine as many ideas, promises, pledges and compromises into one existing bill will only add to the frenzy in the final days of this session. But as challenging it is, we have to look at each bill, to look at each phrase and each sentence if you will, to see what is included that has the potential to impact our profession.

The array of bills competing for floor time shows the sense of urgency among lawmakers to act before the start of the 112th Congress. But, given the traditional slow pace of the Senate, it also guarantees that they will be hard-pressed to pass even a small number of these bills. While difficult to sort out, many agree that the highest-profile item for November and December is the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which expire at year’s end. Another priority is the defense authorization bill. There is also a promise by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senates second-ranking Democrat to push for a vote on the DREAM Act. Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) wants the Senate to consider a package of tax-relief extensions he has been working on all year.

As you know, all pending bills die at the end of a Congress and must be reintroduced at the start of a new two-year term. For some returning Members, that means that if their bill did not pass, then they will have to repeat the challenging tasks of holding committee hearings, markups and possibly rounds and rounds of strategy sessions and negotiations before their bill is brought to the floor in 2011 or 2012.

If Congress returns to Washington the week after the election and works right up until Christmas, allowing for a week off at Thanksgiving, it would have 6 weeks to pass legislation. This does not leave much time to do a whole lot of good but it does allow enough time for a sentence or a phrase to be included in a bill that could adversely impact our profession. PBUS will continue to monitor this legislative session and keep you informed of any potential threats to our profession.

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PBUS Office Location

1320 N. Semoran Blvd.
Suite 108
Orlando, FL 32807

Office (202) 783-4120
(800) 883-7287
FAX (202) 783-4125

Association Manager

Michelle Tremaine
Meeting Planner