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The Week Ahead in Congress

October 24, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Again, just one chamber in session this week. This time it’s the House; the Senate has given themselves a week-long recess because, well, why not? It’s not like there’s a jobs crisis out there to deal with.

The House starts off the week with its usual slate of minor suspension bills, but by midweek they’ll debate and vote on a package of bills they say is about creating jobs. The first is actually a piece of the Obama jobs package. It would allow federal contractors to take all of their payments up front instead of having to let the government withhold 3% as a down payment on their tax liabilities. The Republicans say that letting the contractors keep that 3% will lead to more job creation.

The second bill is a pay-for for the first. According to the Congressional Budget Office, eliminating the 3% withholding requirement will cost the government $11 billion over the next ten years since some contractors will find ways to cheat the tax code and pay less than 3%. To make up for that lost revenues, the Republicans are also bringing up a bill to make fewer people eligible for Medicaid benefits under the 2009 health care law. Specifically, the bill would add Social Security benefits to the formula for calculating income, thereby preventing 500,000 to 1 million people from enrolling in Medicaid each year. Those people would then be required to attain private insurance, or pay a fee under the individual mandate. The CBO says the bill would save the government $13 billion over ten years.

The full House schedule is below:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 24TH
On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 295 - To amend the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 to authorize funds to acquire hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe navigation, delineating the United States extended continental shelf, and the monitoring and description of coastal changes, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young / Natural Resources Committee)

2) H.R. 441 – Kantishna Hills Renewable Energy Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young / Natural Resources Committee)

3) H.R. 818 – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to allow for prepayment of repayment contracts between the United States and the Uintah Water Conservancy District (Sponsored Rep. Jim Matheson / Natural Resources Committee)

4) H.R. 1160 – McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Rep. Larry Kissell / Natural Resources Committee)

5) H.R. 320 – Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act (Sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert / Natural Resources Committee)

6) H.R. 461
– South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz / Natural Resources Committee)

7) H.R. 2594
– European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. John Mica / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25TH, AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes for the week are expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

On Friday, the House is not in session.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 2447 – To grant the congressional gold medal to the Montford Point Marines (Sponsored by Rep. Corrine Brown / Financial Services Committee)

2) H.R. 2527
– National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (Sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna / Financial Services Committee)

3) H.R. 2042 – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 3(Sponsored by Rep. Rick Larsen / Homeland Security Committee)

H.R. 1904 - Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar / Natural Resources Committee)

H.R. 2576 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for certain healthcare-related programs (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Diane Black / Ways and Means Committee)

H.R. 674 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Wally Herger / Ways and Means Committee)

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