After tabling several pieces of legislation, Congress recessed on 29 September so that members could return home to campaign for the November midterm elections on 7 November 2006. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot, and one-third of Senate seats will be decided. Additionally, a number of high-profile state and local races with the potential to impact science education will be decided this November.
Before recessing, the Senate approved the "Secure Fence Act of 2006" (H.R. 6061) and agreed to conference reports on the 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 5441) and the 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 5631). A continuing resolution was attached to the conference report for H.R. 5631 for "continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for those departments and agencies for which appropriations will not be enacted into law before October 1, 2006."
Although the Mark Foley scandal and a recently released book by Watergate reporter Robert Woodward have captured national headlines and given the Sunday morning political pundits new discussion topics, some in the science community plan to ensure that the integrity of science is also a campaign issue. On 27 September 2006, a group of well-known scientists announced the launch of Scientists and Engineers for America (SEFORA). The group was established as a section 527 organization "dedicated to electing public officials who respect evidence and understand the importance of using scientific and engineering advice in making public policy," according to the group's website. The group plans to support candidates who support the group's mission and scientific bill of rights.
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