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This Week in Washington – June 7, 2010

Rahm Emanuel on November 19, 2008 in a Wall Street Journal video product 2008 Shaping the New Agenda uttered the now famous words:

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  What I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Evidently, the left will not allow the Gulf of Mexico oil spill “crisis to go to waste.”  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is planning on using the crisis to push through a so called “energy bill” that will use the crisis as a pre-text to impose higher energy taxes on American consumers.  Expect a hurricane of hearings to continue in the House and Senate this week studying the oil spill in the Gulf as Americans watch President Obama for signs of leadership.

The Senate may take a run at passing the tax extenders bill this week that includes an extension of unemployment benefits.  The Senate will have a vote on a Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) resolution of disapproval for the Environmental Protection Agency’s findings this Thursday on a measure that would prevent extensive bureaucratic power over the regulation of so called greenhouse gasses.  The House has a bill allowing the FHA to raise mortgage insurance rates on the schedule and a small business bill.

The issues to watch this week in Washington are the following:

  • Energy Policy – Senator Harry Reid is working toward yet another comprehensive piece of legislation.  According to Alexander Bolton at The Hill, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) alerted Senate committee chairmen Thursday that he plans to move comprehensive energy legislation in July. Reid asked the chairmen to recommend legislation to deal with the Gulf oil spill before July 4 so that leaders can include those ideas in the comprehensive energy package.” Before the next Senate recess, Reid would like to have a package ready to move on the Senate floor.  More from The Hill, “Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the authors of the Senate’s leading energy and climate proposal, applauded Reid’s call to action. ‘The disaster in the Gulf has intensified the feeling of urgency on all sides, and Senator Reid’s letter is crystal clear that he expects the Senate to step up to the challenge this year,’ the lawmakers said in a joint statement. ‘The time is ripe for action on the American Power Act. Our approach creates 200,000 jobs a year, all while reducing our oil dependence by 40 percent.'”  This seems like an opportune time for the left to attempt a complete ban on offshore drilling, the creation of more government “green” jobs and an increase on energy taxes to punish productive activities.  Get ready for a battle on this issue to commence in late July.
  • START Treaty – The Obama Administration is going to put on a full court press to pass the START Treaty out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by the August Recess in anticipation of final Senate passage by the end of September.  Two thirds of Senators would have to approve of the START Treaty under the Senate’s constitutional duties in approving treaties. Reuters reports that “the U.S. negotiator on the new START arms reduction treaty with Russia voiced optimism on Thursday that the Senate would ratify the pact by late September, before the White House’s official year-end target.”  The problem with the Treaty is that it may inhibit the deployment of missile defense.  Conservative Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is working to make sure that these hearings produce a complete record of what the Obama Administration promised the Russian government about missile defense in consideration for their signature on the arms reduction treaty. 

The schedule for the Senate this week according to the Senate Majority Leader’s web site:

Convenes: Monday at 2pm

The Senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each.At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following nominations:

  • #730, Audrey Fleissing, of Missouri, to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of MO
  • #731, Lucy Koh, of California, to be US District Judge for the Northern District of CA
  • #759, Jane Magnus-Stinson, of Indiana, to be US District Judge for the Southern District of IN

At 5:30pm, the Senate will proceed to vote on confirmation of the nominations in the order listed. After the first vote, the succeeding votes will be limited to 10 minutes each.

On Thursday, June 10, following Leader remarks, the Republican Leader or his designee will be recognized to move to proceed to S.J.Res. 26, a joint resolution disapproving the EPA Administrator’s endangerment finding. There will be up to 6 hours for debate on the motion to proceed to the joint resolution, with the time equally divided and controlled between Senators Boxer and Murkowski or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on the motion to proceed.If the motion is successful, there would be up to 1 hour for debate on the joint resolution and upon the use or yielding back of time the Senate would proceed to vote on passage of the joint resolution.If the motion to proceed is defeated, then no further motions to proceed to the joint resolution would be in order.

No amendment or motion on the subject of the EPA greenhouse gas regulations or relating to the endangerment finding is in order prior to consideration of the motion to proceed to S.J.Res. 26.

No amendments are in order to the joint resolution and all other provisions of the statute governing consideration of the joint resolution remain in effect during the pendency of this agreement.

The schedule for the House this week according to the House Majority Leader’s web site.

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2010

On Monday, the House is not in session.

TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:00 p.m., which is a change to the previously announced schedule.

Suspensions (5 Bills)

  1. H.Res. 989- Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should adopt national policies and pursue international agreements to prevent ocean acidification, to study the impacts of ocean acidification, and to address the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and coastal economies (Rep. Inslee – Natural Resources)
  2. H.R. 4349- Hoover Power Allocation Act (Rep. Napolitano – Natural Resources)
  3. H.R. 2008- Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower Facilitation Act (Rep. Matheson – Natural Resources)
  4. H.R. 1061- Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homelands Act (Rep. Dicks – Natural Resources)
  5. H.Res. 518- Honoring the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, explorer, researcher, and pioneer in the field of marine conservation (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen – Natural Resources)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010 AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK

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 (6 Bills)

  1. H.R. 2142- Government Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance Improvement Act (Rep. Cuellar – Oversight and Government Reform)
  2. H.Res. 1330 – Recognizing June 8, 2010, as World Ocean Day (Rep. Farr – Oversight and Government Reform)
  3. H.R. 5278 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 405 West Second Street in Dixon, Illinois, as the “President Ronald W. Reagan Post Office Building” (Rep. Foster – Oversight and Government Reform)
  4. H.R. 5133- To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 331 1st Street in Carlstadt, New Jersey, as the “Staff Sergeant Frank T. Carvill and Lance Corporal Michael A. Schwarz Post Office Building” (Rep. Rothman – Oversight and Government Reform)
  5. H.Res. 1381 – Recognizing the National Museum of American Jewish History, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, as the only museum in the Nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and preserving the American Jewish experience (Rep. Brady (PA) – House Administration)
  6. H.R. 5026- GRID Act (Rep. Markey (MA) – Energy and Commerce)

H.R. 5072 – FHA Reform Act of 2010 (Rep. Waters – Financial Services) (Subject to a Rule)

Possible Consideration of H.R. 5297 – Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (Rep. Frank – Financial Services) (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. 

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