CTblogger and ConnecticutMan1 were there with their video camera. Here are the highlights on domestic issues. ConnecticutMan1 has a great post on Afghanistan:
- He will introduce a bill on FISA next week to "uphold the rule of law" and prohibit retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies. He pointed out that it took years to get credit card reforms through, and that this needs another airing. He specifically thanked the blogosphere for not letting this issue rest.
- Student loan legislation will be introduced next winter
- Overdraft legislation will be introduced to provide consumers with choice -- allow the customer to decide if he wants the card rejected when it hits the credit limit or when there isn't enough to pay a debit card purchase, or if he wants the overdraft.
- The Banking committee will look at interchange fees and related contract terms that merchants are subjected to when they agree to take credit cards for payment. As CTKeith pointed out, small business owners who once accepted only cash can't survive today without credit cards, but the fees and terms are hurting business terribly. Dodd said this is a particularly complicated issue, but they are committed to tackle it
- The Senator will co-manage the floor debate on healthcare and the Democratic caucus wants the bills to come to the floor so there can be debate on the merits of the bills in full view of the public.
- Dodd said that dealing with the big issues is long overdue. They've been working "around the edges" for too many years and now there is a lot of work that needs to be done. He said, "We are given moments historically..." and that now is the time to act on these pressing domestic issues of healthcare and finance.