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  • House and Senate Cloakroom: May 17–21, 2010

    House Cloakroom:  May 17 – 21

    House Analysis:

    Last week Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the House would not be taking up a budget this year, which would be the first time since the modern budget process was created in 1974 that the House failed to pass a budget. The reason becomes clear when you take into account a previous statement Hoyer made, “It’s difficult to pass budgets in election years because they reflect what the [fiscal] status is.” The House Republicans successfully used their last chance to amend the bill known as the “motion to recommit” to force a vote that stalled the passage of the $85.6 billion authorization bill for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and research programs at the Department of Energy. This bill is expected to come back this week with some modifications. The other major bill likely to move this week is a $200 billion tax extender bill that will also extend spending programs like Unemployment Insurance, COBRA, TANF, and FMAP and will likely also include a Medicare Doc Fix. The final bill is not yet available as they are still working on several of the provisions.

    Major Floor Action:

    • Modified version of HR 5116 – America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010
    • Modified version of  HR 4213 – American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010

    Major Committee Action:

    • The House Armed Services Committee will complete the mark up of the 2011 Defense Authorization bill.
    • The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight will hold a hearing on Afghanistan reconstruction.
    • After a high profile hearing in the Energy and Commerce committee last week on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico several other committees are preparing to hold hearings as well including this week in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

    Senate Cloakroom: May 17 – 21

    Analysis:

    Legislative action stalled out last week on Senator Dodd’s (D-CT) financial regulation and bailout bill, as political and policy problems emerged.  Chief among them are what to do with Senator Lincoln’s (D-AR) derivative language, which was added to Dodd’s bill despite broad opposition.  Senator Corker (R-TN) suggested the problem would not be resolved until after Lincoln’s primary challenge is resolved on Tuesday.  Of course, even if that problem is resolved, the Dodd bill remains riddled with problems, including the failure to address taxpayer-owned housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Major Floor Action:

    • The Senate looks to complete action on Senator Dodd’s financial regulation and bailout bill (S.3217).
    • Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) may seek a test vote on whether to saddle FedEx with crushing union work rules.
    • Senator Murkowski (R-AK) may force a vote on whether to nullify the EPA’s backdoor global warming regulations.

    Major Committee Action:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

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