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  • The House and Senate Cloakroom: March 28 – April 1

    Analysis provided by Heritage Action for America.

    House Analysis:

    The House returns this week after a one week district work period to consider a variety of legislation. On Tuesday evening, the body will consider two pieces of legislation, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011 as well as the Home Affordable Modification Program Termination Act of 2011. On Wednesday, the House will consider the SOAR (Scholarships and Opportunities for Results) Act sponsored by Speaker of the House John Boehner which would reauthorize the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. A vote is also expected that evening on the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011. Thursday, the House begins debate on the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 with a final vote on the measure expected on Friday. Throughout the week, the committee hearing schedule is packed with issues such as the 2012 budget, union transparency, gasoline prices, and the pending free trade agreements.

    Major Floor Action

    • HR 471 – Scholarships for Opportunities and Results Act (SOAR)
    • HR 1079 – Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011
    • HR 839 – Home Affordable Modification Program Termination Act of 2011
    • HR 872 – Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011
    • HR 658 – FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

    Major Committee Action

    • The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the “Fiscal 2012 Budget” and their members’ views.
    • The House Education & the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing on “The Future of Union Transparency and Accountability”.
    • The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on “The Costs of Implementing the Dodd-Frank Act: Budgetary and Economic”.
    • The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “US Security Interests in Libya”.
    • The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Addressing Rising Gasoline Prices”.
    • The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade will hold a hearing on the “Panama Trade Promotion Agreement”.

    Senate Analysis

    The Senate returns to Washington after a week long recess to resume consideration of the Small Business bill (a bill that aims to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs until Fiscal Year 2019). There are currently a total of 10 amendments pending to the bill, including an important amendment offered by Senator McConnell that prohibits EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions (amendment #183). It’s unclear how long it will take the Senate to dispose of these amendments and how many Senator Reid will allow votes on. Also, the latest short-term Continuing Resolution is set to expire on Friday, April 8.

    Major Floor Action

    • S. 493: SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011

    Major Committee Action

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to The House and Senate Cloakroom: March 28 – April 1

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      SOAR 2009 was a federally funded program. According to the ADW – "Opportunity Scholarships cost the city nothing. In fact, the program brings new money to the District. It is part of a three-sector initiative to strengthen all education in the District, with $40 million in extra federal funding for public and charter schools along with $14 million in support for scholarships for low-income students to attend non-public schools."

      This IS costing DC AND the nation! As nice as this may sound, we cannot afford it. It also does not fall under the "general wealfare" clause of the consitution as this funding only benefits the District of Columbia – not everyone equally (the real intent of the clause to begin with). Madison is well known for hs opinion that the federal government is no place for charity. These are hard days and therefore we should be applying this money to the debt.

      Airport and Airways: According to Open Government: "To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to streamline programs, create efficiencies, reduce waste, and improve aviation safety and capacity, to provide stable funding for the national aviation system, and for other purposes."

      This is not a defined task for the federal government. It should be better left to the states and localities in charge of Airports. But that being said, lets hope that for every dollar spend more than a dollar is saved from the intent of the law. I would support adding to this law an outside volunteer (NON-FED) oversight body that ensures efficencies and waste reduction are ACTUALLY happening while costs of repairing and enhancing our airports is spent with an eye on keeping costs as low as possible. We cannot trust the federal workforce to do this work without strict supervision.

      Home Affordable Modification Program Termination Act of 2011 – Lib groups are worried about this one. Get this bill done. Vote for it, and get it moving along. There be savings here! This program has cost America billions in unrecoverable funds. It needs to end.

      Hawaii Reporter: "House Bill HR 872, also called the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act” proposes to exempt all pesticide and herbicide use in and near waterways from requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act, (NPDES or National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit)."

      Unfortunately the title sounds far more exciting than the content of this bill. It would be far better to set on this and make it far more broad to cover ALL REGULATIONS. The feds are a massive burden on commerse in America and their reach is far more damaging to prosperity than their limits on the use of pesticides.

      FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 – simple idea: Don't hold the hearing, don't write the bill, don't vote on the bill and don't send the bill to Obama. If there is no reauthorization of the FAA to start with there need not be the arduous task of expecting the feds at the FAA to do their job correctly. They just stop coming to work – the best reform act one can implement for these goons.

      SBIR – Small Business Innovation Research , STTR – Small Business Technology Transfer. Administered by SBA. Why do we need the federal government get involved in business? Close down SBA altogether, yet alone these programs. It is just a redistribution of hard earned tax dollars to federally connected mostly defense but also some non-defense contractors. Looks like a great place for corrupt congress people to give kickbacks for big campaign contributors.

    2. Dave Solomon says:

      While Rome burns, they fiddle. This is pathetic, the priorities they set to

      work on, when the government has so many national issues with our

      finanical state. This is sick, sick.

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I hope this cloakroom isn't like Biden's Closet, where he locks up Reporters to keep them from "talking." You Go! Sen. Mitch McConnel and you TEA Party guys notice Mitch is doing the EPA dismantle for us. See? R and D are not "the same!"

      George Colgrove is a wonderful writer working like crazy for free here at Morning Bell and I delight in his insights. He is right, these Federal Programs are largesse for Demo-crats and I hazard a guess, political pay offs more than 'good of the People.' I like defunding the defunct. An even playing field is what business needs. You can't know how destructive these Federal Programs are, it would be hate speech to describe them. So I am all aboard the Truth Train. Can we make the targets a little bigger? Like take out whole departments! Most of them have outlived their usefulness, their work was done at the outset with viable standards. They live on like cancers, Going After Americans! Visit Overcriminalization.com on Heritage. Under all that perfidy there are real grinders at work on Americans. I think it is criminal what the DINOs have done to America! Highly Criminal, if ye get my drift.

      All this overblown Charity is really theft! You can't enforce charity, it isn't charity. Program money begins deficient, displacing money the greater Economy needs. Notice that nothing substantial has ever been done by Federal "charity." These crazy birds want to spend all the money there will ever be! I wish I were exaggerating. See? The truth has become "hate speech!" Unspeakable Political Truths. I want whole Departments of the Federal Government to be abolished for the High Crimes, hundreds of them, Going After Americans and breaking their hearts!

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