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The Week Ahead in Congress

December 5, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

After a pair of failing votes last week — one on a Democratic plan and one on a Republican plan — the Senate will pick up will they left off on trying to extend several programs that are set to expire at the end of the month, including the payroll tax holiday, extended unemployment insurance, and more. Both Republicans and Democrats say they want to extend the programs, but they disagree about how to pay for them. According to Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND], the Democrats are will be introducing a new plan today to be voted on in the first half of this week. No info on the details yet, but Conrad says it “will be paid for in a way that’s credible and serious.”

In the House, it’s business as usual, which is to say lots of minor suspensions bills (of varying interest) and a couple more substantial bills designed to deregulate various industries.

The full House schedule is below:

On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. No votes are expected in the House. Any requested recorded votes will be postponed until Tuesday.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 2351 – North Cascades National Park Service Complex Fish Stocking Act (Sponsored by Rep. Doc Hastings / Natural Resources Committee)

2) H.R. 944
– To eliminate an unused lighthouse reservation, provide management consistency by incorporating the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, into the California Coastal National Monument managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and meet the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County’s rocks and small islands, and for other purpose (Sponsored by Rep. John Campbell / Natural Resources Committee)

3) H.R. 2360
POWER Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Landry / Natural Resources Committee)

4) H.R. 643
– Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis / Natural Resources Committee)

5) H.R. 1560
– To amend the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act to allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to determine blood quantum requirement for membership in that tribe (Sponsored by Rep. Silvestre Reyes / Natural Resources Committee)

6) S.683 – Box Elder Utah Land Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee / Natural Resources Committee)

7) S. 535
- Fort Pulaski National Monument Lease Authorization Act (Sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson / Natural Resources Committee)

8) S.Con.Res. 32
– A concurrent resolution to authorize the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make technical corrections in the enrollment of H.R. 470, an Act to further allocate and expand the availability of hydroelectric power generated at Hoover Dam, and for other purpose (Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman / Natural Resources Committee)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. Members are advised that first votes on Tuesday are possible as early as 1:00 p.m. as per any usual second day in session.

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

On Friday, the House is not in session (at this time).

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 1254 – Synthetic Drug Control Act(Sponsored by Rep. Charlie Dent / Energy and Commerce Committee)

2) H.R. 2405
– Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) / Energy and Commerce Committee)

3) H.R. 3237
SOAR Technical Corrections Act (Sponsored by Rep. Trey Gowdy / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

4) H.R. 2297
– To promote the development of the Southwest waterfront in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

5) H.R. 313
– Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)

6) H.R. 2471
– To amend section 2710 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that a video tape service provider may obtain a consumer’s informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the Internet (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte / Judiciary Committee)

7) H.R. 1021
– Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeships Extension Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)

8) S.J.Res. 22
– A joint resolution to grant the consent of Congress to an amendment to the compact between the States of Missouri and Illinois providing that bonds issued by the Bi-State Development Agency may mature in not to exceed 40 years, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill / Judiciary Committee)

9) S. 1639
- A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to authorize the American Legion under its Federal charter to provide guidance and leadership to the individual departments and posts of the American Legion, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester / Judiciary Committee)

10) S. 1541 – A bill to revise the Federal charter for the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. to reflect a change in eligibility requirements for membership (Sponsored by Sen. Michael Bennet / Judiciary Committee)

H.R. 10 – Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011 (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis / Judiciary Committee / Rules Committee)

The rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:

Rep. Pete Sessions Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Reps. Hank Johnson / Sheila Jackson Lee Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Kurt Schrader Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. David McKinley Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Gwen Moore Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

H.R. 1633 – Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Possible Motions to go to Conference and Motions to Instruct Conferees

Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to Expiring Provisions of Current Law

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

On Monday, December 5, the Senate will convene at 2:00pm.

Following Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 4:30pm with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the nominations listed below. There will be up to 1 hour for debate on the nominations.

#363 Edgardo Ramos – to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York 

#364 Andrew L. Carter, Jr. – to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York 

#365 James Rodney Gilstrap – to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas 

#406 Dana L. Christensen – to be United States District Judge for the District of Montana

At 5:30pm there will be a roll call vote on confirmation of one of the judicial nominations. We expect the remaining three judges to be confirmed by consent. As a reminder, cloture was filed on the nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia. That cloture vote will occur at noon on Tuesday.

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