Senate Cloakroom: January 28 – February 1

Analysis: This week, the Senate will take up the House-passed Sandy relief bill and hold a confirmation vote on Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for the office of Secretary of State. The Sandy bill is expected the pass the Senate, although there will be a vote on an amendment introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to offset the spending in the bill. As we have mentioned here before, the relief package is full of questionable spending and comes with a price tag of more than $50 billion. It is also possible that the Senate will take up and pass the three-month debt ceiling suspension that passed that House last week. The bill would also force the passage of a budget by withholding congressional pay.

Major Floor Action:

  • HR 152 – Disaster Relief Appropriations Act
  • The Nomination of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to be Secretary of State
  • HR 325 – To ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013

Major Committee Action:

  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to be Secretary of Defense. This hearing was postponed from the previous week.
  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on “Pension Savings.”
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Gun Violence Issues.”

The House of Representatives is not is session this week.