Cloakroom: December 12 – December 16

House Cloakroom: December 12 – December 16

Analysis:  This week the House will take up two large year-end packages.  The first will be the extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, TANF and the “doc fix.”  The cost of the bill is offset through a federal pay freeze, means testing of Medicare, flood insurance reform and increases in fees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The bill also includes a provision to speed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and stop the EPA’s Boiler MACT regulations.  The House will also take up the “megabus” that includes the all the appropriations bills for FY 2012 that have yet to pass the House and Senate.  The current continuing resolution funding the government will expire on Friday, December 16.

Major Floor Action:

  • HR 3630 – Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011
  • HR 2055 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (contains all remaining appropriations bills for FY 2012)

Major Committee Action:

  • The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on the “Criminal Code Overhaul” including testimony by Former Attorney General Ed Meese.
  • The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on “California’s High-Speed Rail Plan.”
  • The House Budget Committee will hold a markup of the “Expedited Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act.”
  • The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on “Nuclear Regulatory Commission Leadership.”

 

Senate Cloakroom: December 12 – December 16

Analysis:  This will be a very busy week on the Senate floor.  The week will begin with a vote on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte to be the ambassador toEl Salvador.  She currently holds the position through a recess appointment.  The Senate will then debate and vote on two versions of a Balanced Budget Amendment as required by the Budget Control Act.  The Republican version includes an 18% spending cap, a three-fifths vote to raise the debt ceiling and a two-thirds vote to raise taxes.  The Democrat version does not include a cap, allows the amendment to be waived by a three-fifths vote and includes a carve out for Social Security.  The Senate will also take up the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, TANF and “doc fix” extensions bill once it is approved by the House along with the “megabus” appropriations bill.  It is also possible that they will take up the conference report on the Department of Defense Authorization bill if the conferees reach an agreement or the detainee provisions may be included in the defense section of the “megabus” appropriations bill.

Major Floor Action:

  • Nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte to be the Ambassador toEl Salvador
  • SJ Res 10 – A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to balancing the budget (Republican version)
  • SJ Res 24 – A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution relative to requiring a balanced budget (Democrat version)
  • HR 3630 – Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011
  • HR 2055 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (contains all remaining appropriations bills for FY 2012)

Major Committee Action:

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