A recent Gallup poll shows the mounting debt tops American fears and yet Congress continues to pursue legislation that would deepen the debt crisis. This week the House will move to consider legislation intended to increase the availability of credit to small businesses but with a price tag of $33 billion with no offsets made to pay for the program it will only grow the level of our unsustainable debt. Additionally, one should question the necessity of this measure when it clearly duplicates efforts made in the original $700 TARP bill. Also on the docket for the week is the FY 2010 War Funding Supplemental bill meant to pay for on going operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The total cost of the bill is $84.3 billion dollars, although only $33 billion is actually war funding and the rest is a whole list of other “emergency” priorities including $23 billion to bailout the states. Lastly, the House may consider the DISCLOSE Act, the Democrats response to the Supreme Court case Citizens United.
Major Floor Action:
- H.R. 5297 – Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (aka TARP III)
- FY 2010 War Funding Supplemental (text still not available)
- H.R. 5175 — DISCLOSE Act
Major Committee Action:
- The inquiries into the gulf oil spill continue to dominate committee action. This week there are a total of five hearings, four of which are in the different subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the last in the Natural Resources Committee.
- The House Armed Services Committee will hold a full committee hearing on developments in Afghanistan featuring General Petraeus, Commander, U.S. Central Command.
- The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on “China’s Trade and Industrial Policies.”
- The House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing on renewable energy development. Heritage outlines what renewables really cost Americans here.
- Lastly, Heritage Analyst Anthony Kim will testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection on “Foreign Manufacturers’ Liability and Clean Energy Assistance.”
The Senate will continue its work on the so-called tax extenders package, which raises taxes, spending and the deficit. It is clear the Senate has missed the message from the American people.
- The Senate will continue work on the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (HR4213).
- Several District Court judges are likely to be confirmed – Tanya Pratt, of Indiana, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana; Brian Jackson, of Louisiana, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana; and Elizabeth Foote, of Louisiana, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana.
- The Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the situation in Afghanistan.
- The Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees will hold hearings on the New START Treaty.
- The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the health impacts of the Gulf Coast oil spill.