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  • Cloakroom: The Sequester and Hagel Nomination

    House Cloakroom: February 25 – March 1

    Analysis: Sequester week begins in Washington! The House returns from a recess week to take up the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization. The Senate has passed a flawed reauthorization bill. The Senate version contains an unconstitutional expansion of tribal sovereignty, not to mention spending on programs of questionable effectiveness. Heritage Action key voted against passage of the bill. The House will have a modified version of the bill on the floor this week that addresses some of the most problematic sections of the Senate bill; however, many conservative concerns remain.

    Major Floor Action:

    • S 47 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (House version)

    Major Committee Action:

    • The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the “Medicare Benefit Design.”
    • The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Targeting American Terrorists Overseas.”
    • The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on “School Safety Issues.”
    • The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a hearing on its fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill.
    • The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on its fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill.

    Senate Cloakroom: February 25 – March 1

    Analysis: The Senate returns to Washington to vote, once again, on President Obama’s struggling Defense Secretary nominee, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. As stated in the Heritage Action key vote against Senator Hagel, “Hagel displayed a quiet incompetence that makes him unfit to lead America’s armed forces, which must be capable of proactively protecting the nation and its citizens.”

    From there, the Senate is expected to turn to bills to replace the automatic spending cuts, or sequester, that will take effect on Friday, March 1. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will almost certainly bring gimmicky tax increases to the floor as means of “paying for” the sequester cuts. Republican Senators have proposed plans as well to replace sequestration with other spending cuts. However, it is widely expected that the sequester, which was passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama in 2011, will take effect on Friday.

    Major Floor Action:

    • The nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to the office of Secretary of Defense
    • Sequester Replacement Bills

    Major Committee Action:

    • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Gun Violence Issues.”
    • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on “Improvements in Medicare and Medicaid.”
    • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the “FHA Financial Condition and Challenges.”
    • The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the “Impact of Federal Investments.”
    • The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on the “Future Northeast Passenger Rail Corridor.”
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

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