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Last Week

The House prevented a 24% reduction in physician payments under Medicare, which the Senate is expected to pass today. In addition, both bodies passed aid to Ukraine, with a final agreement to be voted on once more this week before being sent to the President for his signature.

In addition, the House passed legislation that amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to require state programs for regulation of surface coal mining to incorporate the necessary rule concerning excess spoil, coal mine waste, and buffers for perennial and intermittent streams published by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on Dec. 12, 2008. It also prohibits issuance of any regulations regarding stream buffer zones or protection before publication of the report, other than a rule necessary to implement incorporation of the December 2008. And it requires each state with an approved program for regulation of surface coal mining to submit program amendments incorporating such rule within two years of enactment of this act. more

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