U.S. Senate

Governor Robert Bentley testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington yesterday. Alabama Public Radio’s Stan Ingold reports the Governor was highlighting Alabama’s prison reform efforts.

The goal of the committee’s hearing is to share lessons on successful criminal justice reform from states like Alabama. Several federal reform bills are currently before the U.S. House and Senate covering topics like reducing repeat offenders, changing federal sentencing rules and guidelines, and improving prison practices.

The Associated Press

A spokesman to Sen. Mike Enzi says the Wyoming Republican is seeking the chairmanship up the Senate Budget Committee, setting up a showdown next month with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama for the important post.

Sessions is currently the top Republican on the Budget Committee but Enzi technically has seniority over Sessions even though both were elected to the Senate in 1996.

http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/lanier/ / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A water plan passed by the U.S. Senate will not limit Georgia's water use from two federal reservoirs, a restriction sought by lawmakers in Alabama and Florida.

The Senate voted 83-14 on Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing a number of water projects nationally.

A long-running water dispute in the Southeast provoked a political clash over the bill.

"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.

So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.