Senate Analysis –
An extension of unemployment insurance benefits will occupy the Senate for most of the week. Not only is extending jobless benefits the wrong way to address the lack of jobs, but Senators are likely to attach more misguided policies – like an extension of the homebuyers tax credit – to the provision. It should be noted the Senate had planned on taking up some version of Obamacare this week. Another significant slip in the timetable is noteworthy, especially after the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the ‘doc fix’ early last week.
Major Senate Floor Action –
- Extending unemployment insurance benefits (HR 3548) is a top priority for the President and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pledged to get the bill done next week after several unsuccessful attempts.
- Several spending bills remain incomplete, including the Military Construction-VA appropriations bill (HR 3802) and the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (HR 2847) . The latter has been blocked by Reid, who does not want to consider an amendment by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) on whether or not illegal immigrants should identify their status in the upcoming census.
Major Senate Committee Action –
- The Environment and Public Works Committee will hold three hearings on the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill.
- The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will chime in with two hearings on cap-and-trade – one on natural gas and the other on national parks.
- Blurring the lines of federalism, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on distracted driving.