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This Week in Washington – February 27, 2012

The House and Senate this week come back into session for five weeks of work before the next recess.  The highway bill will be the first order of business in the Senate.  The House has a full schedule of suspension bills and hearings on the FY 2013 budget.

Expect an extended debate in Washington on President Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan in the wake of the killings of four U.S. servicemembers over the past week.  Also, eyes from Washington will be on Arizona and Michigan to see if the Republican primary fight clears up.  Don’t expect much legislating to happen this week in Congress. 

The House comes in today to work on two suspension bills:  H.R. 1433, the Private Property Protection Act;  and, H.R. 347, Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.  Later in the week there are expected votes on H.R. 665, Excess Federal Building and Property Disposal Act (on Suspension Calendar), H.R. 3902, DC home rule bill (0n Suspension Calendar), H.R. 2117, an academic freedom bill, H.R. 1837, a water bill, and an unnumbered H.Res. bill (H.Res. __) to direct the Office of the Historian to compile a civil rights history. 

The academic freedom bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is an effort to stop the Obama Administration’s assault on for-profit educational institutions.  The legislation would repeal regulations coming out of the Department of Education that would specifically target for-profit educational institutions for discrimination in student loan eligibility requirements.  There is a massive effort on the part of the left to terminate educational opportunities for Americans who have chosen to utilize the vast choices provided by for-profit higher educational institutions.  Most of the pressure for these discriminatory regulations are coming from non-profit educational institutions.

The House has abandoned an effort for a five year highway bill and is expected to move forward on a short term measure in the next few weeks.  All eyes are on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, to see the contents of his FY 2013 budget.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has publicly stated that the Senate will not consider a budget this year.

The Senate is working through amendments on another version of the highway bill, S. 1813.  The Senate has scheduled a cloture vote on the nomination of Margo Kitsy Brodie to be a U.S. District Judge for the E.D. of New York.  Expect the Senate to be on the highway bill for at least the remainder of this week.

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