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The Week Ahead in Congress

October 3, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Congress comes back today, and they’re actually going to be working on a bill that could create jobs and is bipartisan, so stands a chance of becoming law this session.

The bill is the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011. It would put new saction on China for manipulating their currency and making their exports cheaper and their imports more expensive. The U.S. trade deficit with China that has been caused at least in part by artificially manipulated Chinese currency has cost us as many as 2.8 million manufacturing jobs over the past decade. This bill could help restore those positions. The bill is being taken up in the Senate starting today and is expected to pass by a wide margin later in the week.

The big question is whether the House will follow the Senate’s lead and bring upthe bill for a vote. If they do, it will almost certainly pass. A similar bill passed the House last session by an overwhelming bipartisan vote that won support from a majotity of both parties. However, both Speaker John Boehner [R, OH-8] and Majority Leader Eric Cantor [R, VA-7] bucked their party on that vote and voted agains the bill. They are the one who ultimately decide if the bill gets a vote this year. On the other hand, the Obama Administration is against the bill, so they may be tempted to support it. Then again, it may be good for jobs, so they may think it would be bad for them politically. Lots of dynamics in play here…

Meanwhile the House is pursuing two hyper-partisan bills form their Fall Jobs Agenda this week that stand virtually no chance of passing. Links to those bills and more in the official House summary below:

THE WEEKLY WHIP: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

First Vote Of The Week: Monday 6:30 p.m.
Last Vote Predicted: Thursday 3:00 p.m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011
On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Suspensions (7 Bills)

  1. H.R. 686 – Utah National Guard Readiness Act (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Natural Resources)
  2. H.R. 765 – Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Natural Resources)
  3. H.R. 489 – To clarify the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the C.C. Cragin Dam and Reservoir, and for other purposes (Rep. Gosar – Natural Resources)
  4. H.R. 473 – Help to Access Land for the Education (HALE) of Scouts Act (Rep. Boren – Natural Resources)
  5. H.R. 470 – Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2011, as amended (Rep. Heck – Natural Resources)
  6. H.R. 670 – To convey certain submerged lands to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in order to give that territory the same benefits in its submerged lands as Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have in their submerged lands (Rep. Sablan – Natural Resources)
  7. S.Con.Res. 29 – Authorizing the use of the rotunda of the United States Capitol for an event to present the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. `Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr., Michael Collins, and John Herschel Glenn, Jr., in recognition of their significant contributions to society (Sen. Nelson (FL) – House Administration)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2011
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendments to H.R. 2608 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012(Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations) (Subject to a Unanimous Consent Agreement)

H.Res. __   – Rule Providing for consideration of H.R. 2681 – the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, and H.R. 2250 – the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (Rep. Nugent – Rules)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2011 AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business with last votes no later than 3:00 p.m. On Friday, the House is not in session.

Suspension (1 Bill)
H.R. 1343 – To return unused or reclaimed funds made available for broadband awards in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to the Treasury of the United States (Rep. Bass (NH) – Energy and Commerce)

H.R. 2681 – Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (Rep. Sullivan – Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule)

H.R. 2250EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (Rep. Griffith – Energy and Commerce)(Subject to a Rule)

And here’s what we know about the official Senate schedule so far:

Senate Floor Schedule for Monday, October 3, 2011

The Senate will convene for a pro forma session only on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:45pm.

Following the pro forma session, the Senate will adjourn until 2:00pm on Monday, October 3, 2011.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 3:30pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1619, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act with the time until 4:30pm equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees.

At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following nominations:

  • Cal #113 Henry F. Floyd, of South Carolina, to be US Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit
  • Cal #171 Nannette Jolivette Brown, of Louisiana, to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Cal #172 Nancy Torresen, of Maine, to be US District Judge for the District of Maine
  • Cal #173 William Francis Kuntz, II, of New York, to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of New York
  • Cal #184 Marina Garcia Marmolejo, of Texas, to be US District Judge for the Southern District of Texas
  • Cal #357 Jennifer Guerin Zipps, of Arizona, to be US District Judge for the District of Arizona

With one hour of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees.  Calendar numbers 171, 172, 173, 184 and 357 will be confirmed by unanimous consent.

At 5:30pm, there will be 2 roll call votes in relation to the following:

  • Confirmation of Calendar #113, Henry F. Floyd, of South Carolina, to be US Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, and
  • Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #183, S.1619, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act.
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