This Week in Washington – September 12, 2011
Congress is expected to receive the President’s Stimulus 2.0 this today. According to National Journal the President will submit legislation to Congress tonight.
President Obama will send a $447 billion jobs bill to Congress on Monday night, according to an administration official. He will announce the move in a Rose Garden ceremony surrounded by teachers, firefighters, police officers, construction workers, small business owners, and veterans, the official said. Obama first announced the proposal to Congress last week.
The Senate, controlled by Democrats, is expected to take up this legislation soon. The President has demanded immediate consideration of his stimulus, so expect Senate Democrats to try to force some early votes on the package. The House is expected to break up the President’s plan and take up parts easier to pass. The White House claims that the bill will cost $447 billion, but the Congressional Budget Office has yet to score this legislation. Furthermore, Congress is expected to load up this package with some pet projects and more costly ideas, so it is reasonable to expect this package to come in much higher than the President’s own price tag.
This will be a busy week in the House and Senate with hearings and legislation. The end of Fiscal Year 2011 is looming on September 30th, so expect some movement and talk of a Continuing Resolution. Also, expect another meeting of the Super Committee.
The House is expected to vote on a Resolution of Disapproval for a debt limit increase. A similar resolution failed in the Senate last week on a 45-52 vote on a motion to proceed to consideration of the resolution. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted with Republicans to consider the resolution. Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) voted with Democrats to oppose the resolution of disapproval.
The House will meet on Monday to vote on three bills placed on the Suspension Calendar: H.R. 2076 (Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act), H.R. 2633 (Appeal Time Clarification Act); and, H.R. 1059 (To protect the safety of judges). Later in the week, the House is expected to take up a Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act and complete consideration of H.R. 2218 (Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act ). The House and Senate will be gathering this evening at 6 p.m. for a September 11 ceremony.
Also on the House schedule is expected consideration of H.R. 2867 (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2011), H.J.Res. 77 (Resolution of Disapproval for debt limit increase), and H.R. 2587 (Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act). H.R. 2587 would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from ordering an employer to close, relocate or transfer employment. This bill was introduced by Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) in response to the Obama Administration controlled NLRB blocking Boeing from relocating some facilities to South Carolina, a right to work state. Labor Union Report an excellent blog post explaining that the NLRB is discriminating against South Carolina employees and overstepping their authority to act.
The House has an active schedule of hearings for the week. The House Armed Services Committee will have a hearing today on the future on national defense and the military 10 years after 9/11. The House and Senate Select Intel Committees will have hearing on security threats post 9/11 on Tuesday. House Oversight will have a hearing on the President’s stimulus plan titled “Take Two: The President’s Proposal to Stimlate the Economy & Create Jobs” and a hearing later in the week to study the economic impact of regulations. On Thursday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will have a hearing on EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on a motion to proceed to H.J. Res. 66, a joint resolution approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. This bill is expected to be a vehicle for Senate Democrats for legislation to reauthorize transportation programs that are expiring. The Senate Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to have a hearing on terrorists threats to the U.S. with Secretary of DHS Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Conservatives need to keep a close eye on the Super Committee and progress on the President’s stimulus plan. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Super Committee, is having a hearing on Tuesday to take testimony from Doug Elmendorf of the Congressional Budget Office.