House Cloakroom: February 22 – 26
The House will be back in session this week after two weeks off because of the snow and the scheduled President’s day recess. The biggest event this week will actually be off the Hill and over at the White House Health Care Summit, an effort to push forward a deal to get health care reform passed this year.
Back on the Hill, the House expects to take up several pieces of legislation including the controversial Native Hawaiians bill which would set up a race-based government of “indigenous, native people of Hawaii,” one that opponents argue is unconstitutional. For more on this subject, read a column by Brian Darling, Director of Senate Relations at Heritage, who wrote about this problematic legislation back in December. Also of concern for next week could be a House Resolution to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Lastly, the House plans to take up the Intelligence Authorization bill.Major Floor Action:
- HR 2701 Fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization
- H.R. 2314 Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009
- Possible House Resolution under War Powers Act withdrawing troops from Afghanistan
Major Committee Action:
- The House Appropriations Subcommittees will be holding a series of hearings on proposed fiscal 2011 appropriations.
- The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold two hearings this week. The first will be on “Hard Lessons Learned in Iraq and Benchmarks for Future Reconstruction Efforts” and the second will be a full committee hearing on the State Department budget for fiscal year 2011.
- Both the House Oversight and Government Reform and Energy and Commerce committees will hold hearings concerning the issues surrounding Toyota vehicles.
Senate Cloakroom: February 22 – 26
The Senate was supposed to focus on jobs this week, but floor action is likely to be eclipsed by several major policy developments. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) is expected to unveil a new financial overhaul bill. The White House, in advance of its “bipartisan” health care summit, is expected to announce a deal that would move health care reform forward. That deal is likely to include the controversial use of reconciliation. Ironically, both proposals are likely to destroy jobs.
Major Floor Action:
Before adjourning for recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced his $15 billion stimulus plan that includes a hiring tax credit, expensing provisions and an extension of highway funding. Reid also used a procedural tactic called “filling the tree” to prevent any amendments from being offered. Press reports suggest there is bipartisan opposition to his proposal.
Major Committee Action: