House Cloakroom: September 13-17, 2010

Analysis:

The House returns from their six week recess with a light schedule this week, heading towards a potential adjournment date of October 1st. House leaders are signaling attempts to get their members home a week earlier than expected in anticipation of Election Day. There are several measures that are expected to be taken up before the recess. The Senate is expected to pass a Small Business Jobs Bill (HR 5297) that will have to come back to the House to accept any changes before it will go to the President’s desk. The House will also consider a bill that would authorize the Agriculture Secretary to enable consumer loans to implement energy-efficiency measures. This week will mainly include a slew of votes under suspension of the rules but much of the inward discussion in the coming weeks will focus on President Obama’s proposed tax hike that would affect jobs across all of the United States during a down economy and what should Congress do.

Major Floor Action

  • HR 2039 - Congressional Made in America Promise Act of 2009
  • HR 5297 – Small Business Tax Bill
  • HR 4785 – Rural Energy Savings Act

Major Committee Action

  • The House Ways and Means Committee will hold two days of hearings regarding Chinese currency exchange policy including Treasure Secretary Geithner on Thursday. Possible legislation could be coming quickly, but the extent of the yuan’s misalignment is unclear according to Heritage’s Derek Scissors, and so designing real remedies is almost impossible.
  • The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the evolving nature of terrorism. A number of disturbing incidents at home have underscored the dangers posed by Islamist organizations and their influence on domestic radicalization.

Senate Cloakroom: September 13-17, 2010

Analysis:

The Senate returned from the August recess yesterday with yet another aggressive agenda set out for the October work period.

Today, the Senate will move yet again to the Small Business Bill. An amendment introduced by Senator Johanns of Nebraska will be considered, and a vote on final passage is expected before the end of the week. On Thursday, the Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to consider the New START treaty; it is possible the treaty will be up for consideration in the full Senate during this work period or in a Lame Duck session later this year.

Senator Harry Reid continues to push an extremely aggressive agenda for the remainder of this Congress, with talks of completing DOD Reauthorization and some sort of legislation addressing the upcoming scheduled tax expirations in the next three weeks.

Major Floor Action:

  • H.R. 5297: The Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010

Major Committee Action: