The Cloakroom: February 14 – 18
An interesting week in the House of Representatives will ensue with the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government for the remaining part of the fiscal year coming to the floor to be debated under an open process. Additional cuts were pushed to the forefront throughout last week by House conservatives demanding stronger action to tackle America’s abysmal debt. A package from the Appropriations Committee was proposed on Friday evening in the range of $100 billion in cuts relative to President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request.
Legislation to extend expiring provisions of the Patriot Act through December 8, 2011, is expected to come under a rule and be voted for at some point later in the day on Monday. Also on Monday, the Obama administration will release its 2012 budget and the House Budget and Ways and Means Committees will hold hearings on their proposals.
The Senate returns to Washington after a brief recess for the Democratic Retreat on Monday to resume consideration of the FAA Reauthorization Bill. A few votes will be held Monday evening on judicial nominations, but beyond that, it is unclear how much of the week will be consumed with votes on amendments to the FAA Bill. There are multiple amendments filed to the bill, including an amendment sponsored by Senator Wicker (R-MS) that would prohibit the TSA from unionization, but it’s not clear if Senator Reid will allow a vote on the amendment.
Expect the Senate to begin action on the Continuing Resolution (CR) as soon as the House completes work and sends it to the Senate for consideration.
Major House Floor Action:
- CR – The current CR expires on March 4 and will need a further extension to complete the remainder of the year.
- H.R. 514 – To extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
Major Senate Floor Action:
- S. 223: FAA Reauthorization Bill
Major House Committee Action:
- The House Ways & Means Committee and the House Budget Committee will both hold full committee hearings on the “Fiscal 2012 Budget”
- The House Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform will hold a hearing on “Unfunded Mandates and Regulatory Issues”.
- The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Economy will hold a hearing on “Environmental Regulations, the Economy and Jobs”.
- The House Judiciary Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the “Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate” and a subcommittee hearing on “Public Employee Pensions and State Financial Problems”.
Major Senate Committee Action
- The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing entitled: Agriculture: Growing America’s Economy on Thursday, February 17.
- The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to consider the Defense Authorization Request for FY 2012 on Thursday, February 17.
- A hearing focusing on the President’s FY 2012 Budget Proposal will be held in the Senate Committee on the Budget also on Thursday the 17.
- The Senate Finance Committee will also hold hearings on the President’s FY 2012
- Budget Proposal on Tuesday the 15th and Wednesday the 16th.
Maggie Piggott contributed to the analysis.