USCapitol

Cloakroom: The Second Term Edition

House Cloakroom: January 21 – January 25

Analysis:  This week on Capitol Hill will begin with Inauguration of President Barack Obama to a second term in office.  He will be sworn in on the west front of the Capitol at noon on Monday, January 21 with the House and Senate in attendance.  It appears that the major issue on the floor the rest of the week will be a short-term extension of the debt limit.  The bill would be structured as an increase in the debt limit for three months with a requirement that the Senate pass a budget.  If the Senate does not pass a budget Members of Congress will not receive their pay.  A bill that would prevent an increase in federal employee pay from going into affect this year will also be on the floor this week.

Major Floor Action: 

  • Legislation to increase the debt ceiling for three months and force passage of a Senate budget
  • HR 273 – To eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees 

Major Committee Action:

  • The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the debt limit
  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the “Investigation of the Benghazi Attack” with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

 

Senate Cloakroom: January 21 – January 25

Analysis:  After the inauguration, the Senate will turn to a discussion of their rules and the House passed disaster legislation.  There are numerous proposals to attempt to reform the rules of debate in the Senate and specifically the filibuster.  Liberal senators are eager to limit the ability of the minority to block legislation.  These reforms could potentially allow the passage of legislation that conservatives have been strongly opposed to in the past because of weakened minority rights.  The $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package that contains a fair amount of questionable spending will be on the floor and is likely to pass. 

Major Floor Action:  

  • Filibuster Legislation
  • HR 152 – Disaster Relief Appropriations Act

Major Committee Action:

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the “Investigation of the Benghazi Attack” with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to the office of Secretary of State.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of former Senator Charles Hagel (R-NE) to the office of Secretary of Defense.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Gun Violence Issues.”
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