OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

The Week Ahead in Congress

July 5, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate had originally set this week aside as a vacation period, but Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] decided last week that keeping the Senate around to work on debt ceiling negotiations was more important than more time off, so he’s called the Senate back. The Senate and the House both convene today with only 9 working days left before the July 22nd deadline that the White House has set for Congress to pass a debt limiting increase in order to avoid default in early August. Needless to say, debt talks will be ongoing all week, and there’s still a lot on the table to discuss — how much the ceiling should be increased by, whether it should last beyond the 2012 elections or not, and, of course, what spending and revenue measure should be attached to it.

While those discussions happen behind the scenes, both chambers have set full legislative floor schedules for themselves as well. The House will be voting on the massive $649 billion Department of Defense spending bill for 2012, among other things, while the Senate kicks things off with a resolution to authorize U.S. military involvement in Libya.

Here’s the House floor schedule:

MONDAY, JULY 4TH
On Monday, the House is not in session.

TUESDAY, JULY 5TH
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 1:00 p.m. in Pro Forma session.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. Members are advised that the 6:30 p.m. vote series is expected to last longer than usual.**

Continue Consideration of H.R. 2219 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012 (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Young / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.Res. 268 – Reaffirming the United States’ commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 515
– Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2011, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)

THURSDAY, JULY 7TH, AND FRIDAY, JULY 8TH
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Friday, 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.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 2219 - Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012 (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Young / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Begin Consideration of H.R. 2354 - Energy and Water Appropriations Act, 2012 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen / Appropriations Committee)

Begin Consideration of H.R. 1309 – Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert / Financial Services Committee)

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

  • The Senate will convene at 11:30am on Friday, July 1st for a pro-forma session only, with no business conducted.
  • The Senate will re-convene at 2pm on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #88, S.J.Res.20, the Kerry-McCain resolution regarding Libya.
  • The first vote of the week will be on Tuesday, July 5th on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.J.Res.20.  Senator Reid announced this vote will run longer than usual to accommodate Senators returning from the Independence Day holiday.

As I explained last week, the Libya resolution is designed to appease nearly everyone, and for that reason may end up passing both the Senate and the House. In essence, it would give the President congressional approval for the military mission, limit that authorization to 1 year, state that the mission does in fact involve “hostilities,” block funding for ground troops. Note that since it is a joint resolution it needs to be passed by both chambers, in identical form, and be signed into law for it to have any effect.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.