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The Week Ahead in Congress

November 28, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Today begins the final Democratic working period of the U.S. Congress for the foreseeable future. This is the beginning of the end of the lame duck — when Congress reconvenes again next year, it will be an entirely new session with a Republican-led House of Representatives and a severely weakened Democratic majority in the Senate. Obviously, there’s a lot the Democrats want to get done in these final few weeks before the Republicans step up their influence in the federal legilative process. But don’t cross your fingers – most pundits don’t expect much more than the bare minimum to be accomplished in these last weeks.

Still, the Democrats are keeping their ambitions alive. They’re still pushing for comprehensive food safety legislation, the immigration-related DREAM Act, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” extending unemployment insurance benefits, and passing tax cuts for all people earning less than $250,000, among other things.

Besides the food safety bill, none of this has made it onto the offical calendar yet. That all still has to be hashed out, and the exact scheduling is definitely going to be the topic of many a back-room conversation on Capitol Hill this week. But before we get to deep into speculating about these known unknowns, let’s take a look at what we know will be happening in the Senate and the House this week.

First, the House schedule for the week as it stands right now:

On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:00 p.m.
Suspensions (9 Bills)
  1. Senate Amendment to H.R. 5712 – The Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010 (Reps. Levin/Waxman – Ways and Means/Energy and Commerce)
  2. H.R. 5877 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 655 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, as the “Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo, United States Marine Corps Post Office Building” (Rep. Capuano – Oversight and Government Reform)
  3. H.Res. 771 – Supporting the goals and ideals of a National Mesothelioma Awareness Day (Rep. McCollum – Oversight and Government Reform)
  4. S. 806 – Federal Executive Board Authorization Act of 2009 (Sen. Voinovich – Oversight and Government Reform)
  5. H.R. 6392 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 5003 Westfields Boulevard in Centreville, Virginia, as the “Colonel George Juskalian Post Office Building” (Rep. Wolf – Oversight and Government Reform)
  6. H.Res. 1622 – Honoring the historic contributions of veterans throughout all conflicts involving the United States (Rep. Baca – Veterans’ Affairs)
  7. H.R. 5953 – To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to display in each facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs a Women Veterans Bill of Rights (Rep. Filner – Veterans’ Affairs)
  8. H.Res. 1644 – Expressing support for designation of a “National Veterans History Project Week” (Rep. Kind – Veterans’ Affairs)
  9. H.R. 5866 – Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010 (Rep. Gordon – Science and Technology)
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 (21 Bills)
  1. H.Res. 1585 – Honoring and recognizing the exemplary service and sacrifice of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, the 349th Air Mobility Wing, the 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, and the 615th Contingency Response Wing civilians and families serving at Travis Air Force Base, California (Rep. Garamendi – Armed Services)
  2. H.Res. __ – Recognizing and honoring the National Guard on the occasion of its 374th anniversary (Rep. Latta – Armed Services)
  3. H.Res. 1217 – Honoring Fort Drum’s soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division for their past and continuing contributions to the security of the United States (Rep. Owens – Armed Services)
  4. H.Res. 1724 – Commending the City of Jacksonville, Arkansas, for its outstanding support in creating a unique and lasting partnership with Little Rock Air Force Base, members of the Armed Forces stationed there and their families, and the Air Force (Rep. Snyder – Armed Services)
  5. H.Res. 1430 – Honoring and saluting golf legend Juan Antonio “Chi Chi” Rodriguez for his commitment to Latino youth programs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (Rep. Baca – Education and Labor)
  6. H.Res. 1638 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National GEAR UP Day (Rep. Fattah – Education and Labor)
  7. H.Res. 1598 – Expressing support for the designation of the month of October as National Work and Family Month (Rep. McCarthy (NY) – Education and Labor)
  8. H.Res. 1576 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that a National Day of Recognition for Parents of Special Needs Children should be established (Rep. Burton – Education and Labor)
  9. H.Res. 1313 – Expressing support for designation of May as “Child Advocacy Center Month” and commending the National Child Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on their 25th anniversary in 2010 (Rep. Griffith – Education and Labor)
  10. H.Con.Res. 323 – Supporting the goal of ensuring that all Holocaust survivors in the United States are able to live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years (Rep. Wasserman Schultz – Education and Labor)
  11. H.Res. 1690 – Supporting the observance of American Diabetes Month (Rep. DeGette – Energy and Commerce)
  12. S. 2847CALM Act (Sen. Whitehouse – Energy and Commerce)
  13. H.Con.Res. 325 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day (Rep. Hastings (FL) – Financial Services)
  14. H.R. 6411 – To provide for the approval of the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen – Foreign Affairs)
  15. H.Res. 527 – Commending the NATO School for its critical support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) efforts to promote global peace, stability, and security (Rep. Tanner – Foreign Affairs)
  16. H.Res. 528 – Commending the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies for its efforts to promote peace, stability and security throughout North America, Europe, and Eurasia (Rep. Tanner – Foreign Affairs)
  17. H.R. 6308SMART Research and Development Compact (Rep. Bartlett – Judiciary)
  18. H.Res. 1540 – Supporting the goal of eradicating illicit marijuana cultivation on Federal lands and calling on the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a coordinated strategy to permanently dismantle Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating on Federal lands (Rep. Herger – Judiciary)
  19. S. 1338 – To require the accreditation of English language training programs (Sen. Carper – Judiciary)
  20. S. 1421 – Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (Sen. Levin – Judiciary)
  21. H.R. 3353 – To provide for American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas to be treated as States for certain criminal justice programs (Rep. Sablan – Judiciary)
Senate Amendments to H.R. 4783 - Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Rep. Rahall – Natural Resources) (Subject to a Rule)
S. 3307Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Sen. Lincoln – Education and Labor) (Subject to a Rule)
Further Action on Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 (Rep. Obey – Appropriations)
Possible Action on the America Dream Act
* Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.
* Motions to go to Conference should they become available.
* Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

And here’s what we know about the Senate:

[Monday 11/29/2010] Convenes: 2:00pm

Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 4pm with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes.

At 4:00pm, the Senate will resume consideration of S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, as provided for under the previous order.

At 6:30pm, the Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on the substitute amendment to S.510. Under the agreement reached on Thursday, if cloture is invoked, 4 motions to suspend the rules would be in order. Upon disposition of the motions, the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bill, as amended. Senator Reid would like to complete action on the Food Safety bill on Monday. As a result, senators should expect a late night of voting.

Post-cloture and upon the use or yielding back of the time allotted in the agreement (1 hour for motions re: 1099 and 4 hours for Coburn motions), the Senate will proceed to vote on the motions in the following order:

- Johanns (1099 forms)
- Baucus (1099 forms)
- Coburn (earmarks)
- Coburn (substitute)

Pic from MikeSheridan89 used under CC.

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  • Rationalview 11/29/2010 5:54am

    Can’t believe that Congress will spend so much time renaming facilities (no disrespect to those honored individuals) but come on – what about the people holding their breath waiting for their unemployment checks? And how about giving Tier V some floor time?

  • Adambomb 11/29/2010 6:15am

    I agree or if anything, at least a temp. ext. through the holidays. I cant belive that its not a top priority. this country is built on the backs of the common man and thats who the government is shiting on right now!

  • Adambomb 11/29/2010 6:20am

    In my opinion we are only in this economy because of Rep. EX-president Bush. It seems like all they care about is getting the rich richer. We didnt ask for this if something doesnt change soon the government is gonna see the people rise up, when things are getting so hopeless, people have got nothing to lose

  • SunshineHybrid 11/29/2010 7:57am

    Well while all those with jobs(Congress) and the wealthy celebrate the Holidays I hope you have nightmares about how you are treating those who are struggling and have lost everything and have no warm homes or food. Scrugge is alive and well and working overtime. There are so many just like the old tale of Christmas that think that those who have nothing should just die so they are not around to remind them of the tragedy that lies before them. America home of the land of the free does not care about its own. No jobs (businesses all gone overseas), no homes ( banks and loan agencies throw out families because they cannot pay instead of trying to work with them), no food ( how long will what little food stamps go on) yeah that os something for our country to be proud of.

  • PleaseHelpTheUnemployed 11/29/2010 8:54am

    This country is already DEAD. There is no more “United States of America”. Very, very sad. The corruption of this country is not of this nation but from those who represent and lead it. The corruption and deception of the people in Congress is overwhelming. Of course they don’t care. Tax cuts for the upper class? These screwed up Republicans, who were probably abused as a kids and now want revenge against the world only pretend to be concerned about the deficit. I can’t believe that sorry a** John Boehner with his fake cry. Mitch McConnell wants revenge towards the world and all the other Republicans are puppets!!!! Just doing whatever the majority does, following wherever they go. The Dems are weaklings. The President is too nice. In this case, whoever the nice people are including the President, Nice people finish last. A**holes finish first. But, in the end, The corruption, deception, and greed will fall and Truth will Prevail.

  • mobilmedic 11/29/2010 5:44pm

    When are you going to act on SEVRA: it’s been in the process for over three years now!

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