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The Week Ahead

May 24, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

With financial reform off the floor and almost into conference committee, Congress is using this final week before their Memorial Day recess to wrap up some stuff they have been pushing aside for the past few months. As weeks in Congress go, this one is actually going to be quite substantial. Hot-button issues including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” extended unemployment benefits, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will all be up for important votes.

Here’s what the House has on their calendar for the week:

First Vote of the Week… Monday 6:30 p.m.
Last Vote Predicted… Friday p.m.

MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010

On Monday, the House will meet at 12:30 p.m. for Morning Hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Suspensions (13 Bills):

  1. H.Res. 1258 – Expressing support for designation of May 2010 as Mental Health Month (Rep. Napolitano – Energy and Commerce)
  2. H.Res. 1382 – Expressing sympathy to the families of those killed by North Korea in the sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan, and solidarity with the Republic of Korea in the aftermath of this tragic incident (Rep. Faleomavaega – Foreign Affairs)
  3. H.Res. 584 – Recognizing the importance of manufactured and modular housing in the United States (Rep. Donnelly – Financial Services)
  4. H.Con.Res. 137 – Expressing the sense of the Congress that the lack of adequate housing must be addressed as a barrier to effective HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and that the United States should make a commitment to providing adequate funding for developing housing as a response to the AIDS pandemic (Rep. Nadler – Financial Services)
  5. H.R. 5330 – Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Extension Act (Rep. Johnson (GA) – Judiciary)
  6. H.R. 1017 – Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act (Rep. Filner – Veterans’ Affairs)
  7. H.Con.Res. 278 – Expressing the sense of Congress that a grateful Nation supports and salutes Sons and Daughters in Touch on its 20th Anniversary that is being held on Father’s Day, 2010, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the District of Columbia (Rep. Halvorson – Veterans’ Affairs)
  8. H.R. 3885 – Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act (Rep. Brown (SC) – Veterans’ Affairs)
  9. H.R. 5145 – Assuring Quality Care for Veterans Act (Rep. McNerney – Veterans’ Affairs)
  10. H.Res. 1353 – Supporting the goals and ideals of Student Financial Aid Awareness Month to raise awareness of student financial aid (Rep. Bishop (NY) – Education and Labor)
  11. H.Res. 1169 – Honoring the 125th anniversary of Rollins College (Rep. Grayson – Education and Labor)
  12. H.Res. 1161 – Honoring the Centennial Celebration of Women at Marquette University, the first Catholic university in the world to offer co-education as part of its regular undergraduate program (Rep. Moore (WI) – Education and Labor)
  13. H.Res. 1372 – Honoring the University of Georgia Graduate School on the occasion of its centennial (Rep. Broun – Education and Labor)


On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:30 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business

Suspensions (5 Bills):

  1. H.R. 2711FBI Families of Fallen Heroes Act (Rep. Rogers (MI) – Oversight and Government Reform)
  2. H.Res. 1172 – Recognizing the life and achievements of Will Keith Kellogg (Rep. Schauer – Oversight and Government Reform)
  3. H.Res. 1189 – Commending Lance Mackey on winning a record 4th straight Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (Rep. Young (AK) – Oversight and Government Reform)
  4. H.Res. 1316 – Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (Rep. Honda – Oversight and Government Reform)
  5. H.Res. 1385 – Recognizing and honoring the courage and sacrifice of the members of the Armed Forces and veterans (Rep. Skelton – Armed Services)

Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment with a House Amendment to H.R. 4213 - The American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (Rep. Levin – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule)

H.R. 5136 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Rep. Skelton – Armed Services) (Subject to a Rule)

Further Action on The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Gordon – Science and Technology) (Subject to a Rule)

Possible Consideration of H.R. 5175 – Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act (Rep. Van Hollen – House Administration) (Subject to a Rule)


  • Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.
  • Motions to go to Conference should they become available.
  • Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

Rep. Patrick Murphy [D, PA-8] is expected to propose an amendment to the 2011 Defense bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allow gay men and women to serve openly in the military. In the other chamber, the Senate Armed Services Committee is marking up their version of the Defense bill and will also be taking a vote on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Will either of the amendments pass? It’s unclear at this point. Democrats who would otherwise support the repeal are hesitating due to mixed signals from Obama and the White House. Last month, the White House sent a letter to Congress supporting Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen’s idea to delay a vote until the military has conducted a study on the issue.

The tax extenders bill contains, among other things, an extension of unemployment benefits insurance until the end of 2010. Right now, unemployed people in states with high unemployment rates can receive up to 99 weeks of benefits in four different tiers. This bill would not extend that. It would extend the filing deadline for people expiring tiers 1-3 and applying to move into the next tier.

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

Convenes: 2:00pm There will be a period of morning business until 3:00pm with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each.

At 3:00pm, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of H.R.4899, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.

At approximately 5:30pm, the Senate will proceed to a series of 2 roll call votes. Those votes will be in relation to the Brownback and Hutchison motions to instruct conferees with respect to Wall Street Reform.

That bill on the Senate schedule contains about $33 billion in Iraq/Afghanistan spending. This is likely the last the wars will get “supplemental” funding outside of the regular budgeting process, and it’s largely a left over effect of Bush’s insistence on funding the wars in supplementals.

The financial reform conference committee may begin this week as well, and it looks like it will be televised. The negotiators have some really big decisions to make on things like whether or not to require banks to spin off their derivativestrading activities, and whether the new consumer financial protection body should be housed at the Federal Reserve or fully independent. You can get a god rundown of the differences between the House and Senate financial reform bills here. We’ll be covering it all here, so grab the RSS and stay tuned.

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