The Week Ahead in CongressMarch 6, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
There’s pretty much one game in town this week: negotiating a plan to keep the government funded and operating beyond the March 18 deadline. That debate will continue to rage in the back halls of Congress this week, with Democrats and Republicans still about $30 billion off on their preferred top-line spending levels and with a myriad of differences on what to cut and what to save.
In front of the C-SPAN cameras, however, the Republican-controlled House will spend most of their work week on two bills repealing Obama foreclosure relief programs. One would eliminate the “short refi” program, which was created by the 2009 stimulus bill and designed to help broker refinancing deals between underwater mortgage holders, lenders, and the FHA. The other would eliminate the “Emergency Mortgage Relief Program,” which hasn’t gone into effect yet but is designed to provide federal bridge loans to unemployed homeowners who are reasonably likely to be able to resume repayment of their mortgages when they find a new job.
The Senate will continue plowing through debate of overhauling the U.S. patent system. After passing several amendments last week, the bill is scheduled for a cloture vote this afternoon and will likely see final passage a little later in the week.
Here’s the official House schedule for the week:
MONDAY, MARCH 7H
On Monday, the House is not in session.
TUESDAY, MARCH 8TH
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for morning hour and 4:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 570 – The Dental Emergency Responder Act (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess / Energy and Commerce Committee)
2) H.R. 525 – The Veterinary Public Health Workforce and Education Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tammy Baldwin / Energy and Commerce Committee)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9TH
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 am for legislative business and recess immediately. The House will reconvene at approximately 11:00 am for the purpose of receiving, in a joint meeting with the Senate, the Honorable Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia.
H.Res. __ – A resolution providing for consideration of H.R. 830, The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act (Special Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop / Rules Committee)
H.Res. __ – A resolution providing for consideration of H.R. 836, The Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (Special Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions / Rules Committee)
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, MARCH 10TH AND 11TH
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday.
H.R. 830 – The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Robert Dold / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 836 – The Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling / Financial Services Committee)
And here’s what we know of the Senate schedule so far:
Morning business until 4:30pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.
At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following nominations:
-Calendar #4, Anthony Battaglia, of CA, to be US District Judge for the Southern District of CA
-Calendar #32, Sue Myerscough, of IL, to be US District Judge for the Central District of IL
-Calendar #33, James Shadid, of IL, to be US District Judge for the Central District of IL
There will be one hour for debate equally divided between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees.
Upon the use or yielding back of time, Calendar #32, Sue Myerscough, of IL, to be US District Judge for the Central District of IL will be confirmed.
The Senate will then proceed to a series of 3 roll call votes on the following:
-confirmation of Executive Calendar #33, James Shadid, of IL, to be US District Judge for the Central District of IL
-confirmation of Executive Calendar #4, Anthony Battaglia, of CA, to be US District Judge for the Southern District of CA
-motion to invoke cloture on S.23, the America Invents Act
5:00pm Filing deadline for all 2nd degree amendments to S.23, the America Invents Act.