This Week in Washington – April 19, 2010
As President Obama prepares to throw some fastballs at the heads of the American taxpayer, Conservatives need to be aware of the issues at the plate on Capitol Hill. Liberals in Congress have plans that will transform America into a European style social democracy. The Senate is gearing up for another battle over a liberal Supreme Court nominee and Congress has quite a few left wing legislative issues in the on deck circle. Bailouts, Global Warming, nominations, the War Supplemental and guns are big issues this week in Washington. If you are a Tea Partier who cares about conservatism, the Congressional agenda is full of ideas that will raise your taxes, reinterpret the Constitution and use your tax dollars to bailout terrible business decision’s of Wall Street.
The issues for conservatives to watch are the following:
- Financial Regulatory Overhaul – Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may file cloture and attempt to commence debate in the Senate on the Dodd bill conservatives call “TARP II.” The legislation crafted by Senator Chris Dodd(D-CT) includes a provision creating a $50 billion slush fund for Wall Street bailouts. The President last Friday requested that this provision be removed from the bill, yet this legislation contains other provisions providing bailout authority for the Federal government that have yet to be removed. Conservatives argue that this legislation perpetuates “too big to fail” policies that lead to massive exposure by the taxpayer for the errors by the financial services sector of the economy. Nowhere in this bill will you see real reform in the form of a repeal of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) or Fannie and Freddie reform.
- Goodwin Liu – Last Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee commenced a contentious hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be justice on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Congressional Quarterly reports (subscription required), “Senate Judiciary Republicans appear to be laying the groundwork for a possible filibuster of Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based on his qualifications, rather than simply his judicial philosophy.” Conservatives argue that Liu has evidenced a liberal activist bent and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told CQ that Liu is at the “forefront of a progressive legal movement.” As quoted in the Washington Post, Liu defended himself at the hearing by arguing that “whatever I may have written in the books and the articles would have no bearing on my action as a judge.” If a new standard is set up in the Senate where Senators disregard explicit writings by nominees, then there is no way to discern a nominee’s judicial philosophy. The Senate might as well just become a rubber stamp for (insert name of Administration)’s nominee.
- War Supplemental – Markup later this month for the $33 billionWar Supplemental. It will be interesting to see what language is inserted to deal with Gitmo detainees and if funding relating to timelines for withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan are referenced in some way.
- Kerry-Graham Global Warming Bill – A draft is expected to be released next week from Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) addressing so called “Global Warming.” Conservatives should keep a close eye on this job killing idea. According to the New York Times, “President Obama expects the Senate to move on to comprehensive energy and climate change legislation once it finishes work over the next few weeks on Wall Street regulatory reform.” Cap and Tax legislation has already passed the House and the Senate is expected to walk the political plank of Global Warming as things heat up in Washington, D.C.
- DC Guns – The House is scheduled to take up the so called “District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act” with language inserted by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) to grant gun rights to the residents of the District of Columbia. Big question is how the House will deal with this issue. Will they leave the gun language in the bill and send to the President or will they remove the language and schedule a vote on a separate bill that will never make it to the President’s desk? Conservatives are winning gun votes in Congress and the liberal gun grabbers are using every procedural maneuver possible to thwart the efforts of Second Amendment Democrats and Republicans to enact important civil rights legislation restoring the 2nd Amendment to all Americans.
- For more information of what to expect out of Washington, check out my Human Event’s Legislative Lowdown Column this week. My title was “Repeal Obama’s Ideas and Replace with Conservative Ones.” Now that is a “Repeal and Replace” theme that all conservatives can support.
The schedule for the Senate this week according to the Senate Majority Leader’s web site:
Senate convenes at 2pm today and enters a period of Morning Business until 3:00pm with senators permitted to speak therin for up to 10 minutes each.
Following morning business, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to debate the nomination of Lael Brainard to be Under Secretary of the Treasury. At 5:30pm, the Senate will proceed to roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Brainard nomination.
As a reminder, Senator Reid filed cloture on the following nominations:
- Lael Brainard, of the District of Columbia, to be an Under Secretary of the Treasury;
- Marisa J. Demeo, of the district of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia;
- Christopher H. Schroeder, of North Carolina, to be an Assistant Attorney General;
- Thomas I. Vanaskie, of Pennsylvania, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit; and
- Denny Chin, of New York, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.
5:30pm cloture vote on the nomination of Lael Brainard to be Under Secretary of the Treasury.
The schedule for the House this week according to the House Majority Leader’s web site:
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
On Monday, the House will not be in session.
TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:30 p.m. for Morning Hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Suspensions (6 Bills)
- H.R. 4178 - Deposit Restricted Qualified Tuition Programs Act (Rep. Cleaver – Financial Services)
- H.Res. 1257- Supporting the goals and ideals of National Financial Literacy Month, 2010 (Rep. Hinojosa – Financial Services)
- H.R. 3553 – Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act (Rep. Kirkpatrick – Financial Services)
- H.Res. __ – Honoring the life and achievements of Dr. Benjamin Lawson Hooks(Reps. Conyers/Cohen – Judiciary)
- H.Res. 1104 – Supporting the mission and goals of 2010 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to increase public awareness of the rights, needs, and concerns of victims and survivors of crime in the United States (Rep. Costa – Judiciary)
- H.Res. 1116 – Supporting the goals and ideals of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week (Rep. Lee (CA) – Energy and Commerce)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 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 (10 Bills)
- S. 1963 - Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act (Sen. Akaka – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.Res. 855 – Expressing support for designation of May 1 as “Silver Star Service Banner Day” (Rep. Blunt – Oversight and Government Reform)
- H.Res. 1262- Expressing condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims of the fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington (Rep. Larsen – Oversight and Government Reform)
- H.Con.Res. 255 – Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and honoring the founder of Earth Day, the late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin (Rep. Obey – Oversight and Government Reform)
- H.Res. 1182- Congratulating Radford University on the 100th anniversary of the university (Rep. Boucher – Education and Labor)
- H.Res. 1239 – Commending the University of Connecticut Huskies for their historic win in the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament (Rep. Courtney – Education and Labor)
- H.R. 1585 – FIT Kids Act (Rep. Kind – Education and Labor)
- H.Res. 1263- Expressing support for Mathematics Awareness Month (Rep. McMorris Rodgers – Education and Labor)
- H.Res. __ – Recognizing the continued importance of volunteerism and national service and commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the landmark service legislation, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (Rep. George Miller – Education and Labor)
- H.Res. 1216- Congratulating Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin on his tenth year of service as Chaplain of the House of Representatives (Rep. Lipinski – House Administration)
Motion to Go to Conference on H.R. 2194 - Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (Rep. Berman – Foreign Affairs) Motion to Instruct Conferees.
H.R. 157 – District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (Rep. Norton – Judiciary) (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.
(HT to the Daily Kos for their own “This Week in Congress” product that gave RS the idea for a conservative educational weekly update)