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Speculation on what happens if GOP comes up short by David Waldman Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 08:26:52 AM PDT

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Steve Benen enters a guess in the sweepstakes (or at least notes Roll Call's guess):

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But let's say Republicans come up short and win, say, 35 seats. Under normal circumstances, that would be a pretty good cycle for a discredited party that most the country neither likes nor trusts, but given GOP expectations about massive gains this year, failing to win a House majority would be a pretty devastating setback.

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As it turns out, though, even if Republicans fell short of a +39 cycle, they wouldn't necessarily wait until 2012 before trying to get that majority. Indeed, if the GOP came up a few seats shy of 218, they'd just try to flip some Blue Dogs.

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It's happened before. Or at least, party switching has happened before. The last major shakeup, though, was in 1994-95, after Republicans actually succeeded in taking over the House in their own right. Falling short and looking to pick up a few votes and collapse across the finish line is perhaps a different story.

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And just to add a twist, I wonder whether House Republicans really want it. There's a good argument for why Republicans might do best politically by falling just short of enough seats to actually have to govern. There's certainly no indication from their campaign "pledge" document that they've got anything concrete in mind, anyhow, so they might do just as well to play the frustrated minority in what they'll portray as an evenly-divided country, in the hopes of making a credible bid for the White House in 2012.

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After all, in truth, Republicans don't believe much in the power of the legislative branch. That, too, is evidenced by their lack of specificity in their pledge. They're pretty solidly dedicated to executive primacy, especially when they hold the executive. Recall that in the 40+ years since electing Nixon (whose executive primacy doctrine it is they still adhere to), Republicans have held the White House more than twice the amount of time as have Democrats. Even when they don't hold the White House, they still believe in a kind of executive primacy, which is why it's so very important to them to spend their energy as legislators not legislating, but working to undermine the legitimacy of any Democratic executive. It's more important that people have doubts about Bill Clinton's finances or personal life, or Barack Obama's birth or religion, than that they actually promulgate policy ideas. No matter who wins the White House, most Republican legislators put all their focus on the executive branch: rubber stamping it as a Politburo when the President is a Republican, and opposing and undermining it when the President is a Democrat. Even when the President is a Democrat who proposes adopting what were once Republican ideas. None of that is to say that Republicans wouldn't be pleased to have control of the House handed to them. Certainly John Boehner would like nothing better than to have the trappings of higher office available to him, which he might comfort himself as he's forced out the door by the up-and-comers who consider him something of a ridiculous and useless holdover from a Republican era gone by. But given that they clearly have no plan for what to do with a majority (besides issue subpoenas aimed at exactly what I told you they aimed at, above), I don't know how aggressively they'll pursue it. Besides which, any Blue Dog who survives this year is likely to be pretty well convinced of his own formula for success. And you couldn't fault them much for thinking it had something to do with being able to demonstrate a kind of independence from the Washington leadership of both parties. It seems much more likely to me that they'll see being part of a narrow majority of Democrats as much

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more valuable in terms of leverage than being part of a narrow majority of Republicans. Luring them into the GOP fold will most likely mean offering them leadership positions, which puts them on the spot for voting the leadership line. That's not how they convinced swing districts to vote for them, and it's not how they've built the leverage they've enjoyed as Blue Dogs. Their power comes from being able to be the last holdouts on every vote. Becoming Republican leaders, responsible for advancing a party line, would mean largely surrendering that power.

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Could it happen? Absolutely. A Blue Dog Democrat who's decided he's had enough of the constant struggle of walking the electoral tightrope might well be convinced to cross the line in exchange for two last years of relative comfort, followed by retirement (or the leap to K Street). But I think there are lot of other forces acting on the decision besides the simple numbers of majority making.

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Today in Congress by David Waldman Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 06:27:24 AM PDT Both houses finished up their work did what they could last night, and broke camp for the elections. That's some contrast, eh? A hundred and fifty-seven billion suspension bills, then a quick detour into funding the entire federal government in one bill, and then put out the lights and we're outta here! The early adjournment was somewhat unexpected, so there are still several committee meetings still scheduled. Some may yet be canceled or postponed, but for now, they're still on the books. Here's an item that's sure to make you glad to welcome your Senators home: Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday night to a Republican demand to block President Obama from making recess appointments while Congress is out of town campaigning for the midterm elections. Democratic leaders have agreed to schedule pro-forma sessions of the Senate every week over the next six weeks, a move that will prevent Obama from making emergency appointments, according to Senate sources briefed on the talks.

How's your forehead doing after that one? I hope you remembered to put your coffee down before you smacked it! Why in the world would a Democratic Senate do that to a Democratic President? Well, there's sort of a good explanation, at least technically: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had threatened to send Obama’s most controversial nominees back to the president if Democrats did not agree to schedule pro-forma sessions, according to a senior GOP aide. Senate rules give McConnell this power. That would have forced the president to resubmit the nominees to the Senate and Democrats to start their confirmation processes (including hearings) all over again.

For some reason -- and here's something ripe for reform when the rule books open up in January -- nominations still pending if the Senate recesses for more than 30 days are returned to the President. Renominating them when the Senate returns means sending them through the whole review process all over again.

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So rather than have to go through that, Dems were clearly tempted to agree instead to blocking recess appointments in exchange for an agreement to allow a unanimous consent waiver to keep these nominations on the books.

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But I couldn't blame you for wondering what that's really worth, considering that the likelihood of Republicans allowing any of these nominations to actually go forward when the lame duck Congress returns is probably slim to none. Still, I guess miracles do happen, so they left the door open should one turn up. There are no miracles for nominations that aren't actually pending.

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Why, besides just being a Republican, would McConnell do this?

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Congress Matters His move was seen retaliation for Obama’s decision to give Donald Berwick a recess appointment to serve as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

What? Who? Well, Berwick heads up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which used to be known as the Health Care Financing Administration, or HCFA. That's the agency that some of you may remember Newt Gingrich claimed he was talking about in his infamous "wither on the vine" statement. It's a reasonably important position, with a lot of authority over implementing key provisions of the health insurance reform bill. So that's what apparently got traded for the right to make any other recess appointments, ever. Just thought you should know. How's that forehead doing? Put down your coffee, I'm not done! Democrats agreed earlier in the day to a Republican demand to cut spending levels for government agencies in order to pass a stop-gap spending measure.

That continuing resolution to fund the government's operations? The one that had to pass because they couldn't pass any regular appropriations bills, since they'd all be filibustered? Well, normally they just pass CRs that say everyone gets funded at current levels until we pass a real appropriations package. But Republicans said no, if you want to avoid a shutdown right here and now (forget waiting until after the election), you'll have to accept across the board cuts right away. So... you know the rest. Have a nice election, everyone! Let's get out there and fight, fight, fight! Today's committee schedule, for those of you who haven't had enough of this, appears below. Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress

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by David Waldman Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 06:05:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:

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FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 House Meets At... 10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... Evening "One Minutes" (15 per side) H.R. 847 - James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (Rep. Maloney - Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule) H.R. 2378 - Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (Rep. Ryan (OH) – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule) Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2701 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Rep. Reyes – Intelligence) (Subject to a Rule) Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3081 - Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 (Rep. Obey – Appropriations) (Subject to a Rule) Suspensions (6 Bills) 1. Senate Amendments to H.R. 946 - Plain Language Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) 2. H.R. 6162 - Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 (Rep. Watt - Financial Services) 3. S. 3397 - Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Sen. Klobuchar - Energy and Commerce) 4. S. 1132 - Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010 (Sen. Leahy - Judiciary) 5. Senate Amendment to H.R. 3219 - Veterans' Insurance and Health Care Improvements Act (Rep. Filner Veterans' Affairs)

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Congress Matters 6. S. 3729 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (Sen. Rockefeller - Science and Technology) Postponed Suspension Votes (32 Bills): 1. H.R. 3685 - To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on the main page of the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a hyperlink to the VetSuccess Internet website and to publicize such Internet website (Rep. Stearns - Veterans' Affairs) 2. H.R. 5993 - SAVINGS Act of 2010 (Rep. Halvorson Veterans' Affairs) 3. H.R. 2853 - All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) 4. H.R. 4602 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1332 Sharon Copley Road in Sharon Center, Ohio, as the "Emil Bolas Post Office" (Rep. Boccieri - Oversight and Government Reform) 5. H.R. 5606 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 South 7th Street in Indiana, Pennsylvania, as the "James M. 'Jimmy' Stewart Post Office Building" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) 6. H.R. 5605 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 East Fayette Street in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, as the "George C. Marshall Post Office" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) 7. H.R. 6014 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 212 Main Street in Hartman, Arkansas, as the "M.R. 'Bucky' Walters Post Office" (Rep. Boozman - Oversight and Government Reform) 8. H.Res. 1442 - Supporting the goals and ideals of United States Military History Month (Rep. Duncan - Oversight and Government Reform) 9. H.Res. 1546 - Congratulating the Washington Stealth for winning the National Lacrosse League Championship (Rep. Inslee - Oversight and Government Reform) 10. H.Res. 1479 - Supporting the United States Paralympics, honoring the Paralympic athletes (Rep. Lance - Oversight and Government Reform) 11. H.R. 6118 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., in Washington, D.C., as the "Dorothy I. Height Post Office Building" (Rep. Norton - Oversight and Government Reform) 12. H.Res. 1617 - Supporting the goals and purpose of Gold Star Mothers Day, which is observed on the last Sunday in September of each year in remembrance of the supreme sacrifice made by mothers who lose a son or daughter serving in the Armed Forces (Rep. Roskam - Oversight and Government Reform) 13. H.Res. 1603 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as National Craniofacial Acceptance Month (Rep. Ross - Oversight and Government Reform) 14. H.R. 3243 - To amend section 5542 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that any hours worked by Federal firefighters under a qualified trade-of-time arrangement shall be excluded for purposes of determinations relating to overtime pay (Rep. Sarbanes - Oversight and Government Reform) 15. S. 3196 - Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010 (Sen. Kaufman - Oversight and Government Reform) 16. H.Res. 1326 - Calling on the Government of Japan to immediately address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan, to work closely with the Government of the United States to return these children to their custodial parent or to the original jurisdiction for a custody determination in the United States, to provide left-behind parents immediate access to their children, and to adopt without delay the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Rep. Moran (VA) - Foreign Affairs) 17. H.R. 6160 - Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010 (Rep. Dahlkemper - Science and Technology) 18. H.R. 3421 - Medical Debt Relief Act (Rep. Kilroy - Financial Services) 19. H.R. 4072 - AMERICA Works Act (Rep. Minnick - Education and Labor) 20. H.R. 512 - Federal Election Integrity Act (Rep. Davis (CA) House Administration)

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Congress Matters 21. H.R. 758 - Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act (Rep. DeGette - Energy and Commerce) 22. H.R. 2999 - Veterinary Public Health Workforce and Education Act (Rep. Baldwin - Energy and Commerce) 23. H.R. 5354 - GEDI Act (Rep. Engel - Energy and Commerce) 24. H.R. 2818 - Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act (Rep. McNerney - Energy and Commerce) 25. S. 3751 - Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Sen. Hatch - Energy and Commerce) 26. H.R. 1032 - Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act (Rep. Capps - Energy and Commerce) 27. H.R. 2408 - Scleroderma Research and Awareness Act (Rep. Capps - Energy and Commerce) 28. H.R. 1230 - Bone Marrow Failure Disease Research and Treatment Act (Rep. Matsui - Energy and Commerce) 29. H.R. 1347 - Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act (Rep. Pascrell - Energy and Commerce) 30. H.R. 2941 - To reauthorize and enhance Johanna's Law to increase public awareness and knowledge with respect to gynecologic cancers (Rep. DeLauro - Energy and Commerce) 31. H.R. 5462 - Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Awareness Act of 2010 (Rep. DeLauro - Energy and Commerce) 32. H.R. 1210 - Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act (Rep. Eshoo - Energy and Commerce) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30am Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 10:00am with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. At 10:00am, the Senate will debate the motion to proceed to H.J.Res 39 [link], a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule relating to status as a grandfathered health plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under a unanimous consent agreement, there will be 2 hours for debate equally divided and controlled between the Leaders or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time (approximately 12:00 noon), the Senate will proceed to vote on the motion to proceed to H.J.Res. 39. Under the agreement reached, if the motion to proceed is agreed to there would be 1 hour for debate on the joint resolution of disapproval prior to a vote on passage. If the motion to proceed is defeated, the Senate will immediately resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.3081, the legislative vehicle for the Continuing Resolution, post-cloture. By consent any time during the adjournment, recess, period of morning business, or with respect to S.J.Res. 30 will count post-cloture. We are working on an agreement to complete action on the Continuing Resolution tomorrow. Senators will be notified when any agreement on the CR is reached. The Senate will recess from 12:30 until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

Another banner day in the House, with 32 postponed suspension votes, plus six new suspensions, and action on four substantive measures, one of which (Intellilgence authorization) is new to the schedule, but none of which are the tax bill. As I mentioned on Monday, the first of the bills coming up under a rule is the 9/11 first responders health claims measure that was defeated under suspension of the rules back in July. Let that be a reminder of where we are in terms of partisanship. Wondering what's up with the currency reform bill? Try this on for size:

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Congress Matters

That's a 90 Second Summary from Main Street Insider, a new media consortium covering Capitol Hill happenings with original committee coverage, interviews, and analysis. It's the fifth Summary in the new series. Be sure to check out the other four. They're great tools for keeping activists up to date on key legislation. On the Senate side, essentially it's all about passing the continuing resolution (CR) -i.e, extending funding for the entire federal government in the absence of regular appropriations bills -- and they'll throw in a few other items to fill the time mandated by the cloture rules. Today, that's another of these resolutions of disapproval, this time about a rule dealing with a provision of the health insurance reform bill. Fun! Today's committee schedule appears below the fold, along with Jeremy's picks for hearings of note, including another in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee's series on the filibuster and rules reform. Permalink :: There's more...

Chancellor DeMint dissolves the Senate by David Waldman Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 07:19:44 AM PDT Roll Call (subscription): Traditionally, the Senate passes noncontroversial measures by unanimous consent at the end of most workdays, a process known as hot-lining. DeMint, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and others have fought against the practice for years and have dedicated staff members to reviewing bills that are to be hot-lined. As a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have generally given DeMint, Coburn and others time to review legislation before proceeding with unanimous consent agreements. But in a terse e-mail sent to all 100 Senate chiefs of staff Monday evening, Steering Committee Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt warned that DeMint would place a hold on any legislation that had not been hot-lined or been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday.

In my "travels" (like, two of them) speaking on the need for Senate rules reform, I'm often asked what it would mean to have eliminated or curtailed the filibuster if Republicans took the majority. And I usually answer that it's pretty unlikely that a Teabagger-infused Republican rank-and-file would stand for the "we don't have the votes" excuse, reminding people that the Mitch McConnell-led Republican Senate is a possibility long gone and that the next Republican Senate will be a Jim DeMint Senate. I probably should have added that we're already living with one. But the question most likely on your mind right now is, "Why do Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell hand over the keys to DeMint?"

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Congress Matters And the answer is: time. Let's say Reid wants to ignore DeMint's demands, and run the Senate his way. First he begins on the path to passing one of these "hotlined" bills by asking unanimous consent to bring it up for consideration on the Senate floor. DeMint objects. Round One is now over, and DeMint wins. Round Two: Reid makes a motion to proceed to the measure DeMint objects to. DeMint filibusters. Reid files a cloture petition. But cloture can't be voted on until the passage of a full calendar day after the day on which the petition is filed. So that's two days of Senate time wasted right there, even if cloture passes 99-1. Round Two is now over, and DeMint wins, because that's two days spent on debating whether or not to end debate on the question of whether or not to begin debate on this thing that DeMint objects to. And mind you, it's probably the naming of a post office, not the tax bill you'd rather be spending those two days on. Round Three: The cloture motion passes 99-1. Senate rules, however, provide for up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate. And because it's in the political interest of Republicans to waste as much time in a Democratic Senate as possible, DeMint's allies help him eat that time up. Round Three is now over, and DeMint wins, because another day and a half is wasted debating the already decided question of whether or not to end debate on the question of whether or not to begin debate on the bill. Round Four: Debate finally begins on this thing that DeMint objected to. DeMint filibusters again. Reid files another cloture petition, but once again has to waste two days before being allowed to vote on it. DeMint wins. Round Five: Two days after filing for cloture, the cloture vote is held, and it passes 99-1. But again, there are up to 30 more post-cloture hours to kill, which can't be spent debating the tax bill. DeMint wins. Round Six: A vote is finally held on naming that post office, and it passes 100-0! Everybody loved that bill after all! Reid "wins!" Approximate time elapsed: Eight days.*  Only 375 more bills passed by the House but untouched by the Senate to go! So, anyone for some Senate rules reform? Or do we think Chancellor DeMint isn't going to pull this ladder up behind him if the roles are reversed? * UPDATE: (Assuming a Monday cloture filing, "normal" working hours, and no weekend session.) Permalink :: Discuss

Today in Congress by David Waldman Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 House Meets At... 10:30 a.m.: Morning Hour 12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... No Votes Expected Last Vote Predicted... No Votes Expected "One Minutes" Suspensions (85 Bills) 1. H.Res. 1605 - Recognizing the service of the medical and air crews in helping our wounded warriors make the expeditious and safe trip home to the United States and commending the personnel of the Air Force for their commitment to the well-being of all our service men and women (Rep. Thompson (CA) - Armed Services) 2. H.Con.Res. 319 - Recognizing the anniversary of the tragic shootings that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009 (Rep. Carter - Armed Services) 3. H.Res. 1630 - Expressing support for National POW/MIA Recognition Day (Rep. Lipinski - Armed Services) 4. H.Res. 1378 - Condemning the theft from the Mojave National Preserve of the national Mojave Cross memorial honoring American soldiers who died in World War I (Rep. Lewis (CA) - Natural Resources) 5. H.Res. 1636 - Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Hoover Dam (Rep. Napolitano - Natural Resources) 6. Senate Amendment to H.R. 714 - To authorize the

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Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands in Virgin Islands National Park (Rep. Christensen - Natural Resources) H.R. 5360 - Blinded Veterans Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2010 (Rep. Herseth Sandlin - Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 6132 - Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010 (Rep. Filner - Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 3685 - To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on the main page of the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a hyperlink to the VetSuccess Internet website and to publicize such Internet website (Rep. Stearns - Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 3787 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to deem certain service in the reserve components as active service for purposes of laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Rep. Walz - Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 5630 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for qualifications for vocational rehabilitation counselors and vocational rehabilitation employment coordinators employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (Rep. Boozman - Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 5993 - SAVINGS Act of 2010 (Rep. Halvorson Veterans' Affairs) H.R. 2853 - All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4602 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1332 Sharon Copley Road in Sharon Center, Ohio, as the "Emil Bolas Post Office" (Rep. Boccieri - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 5606 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 South 7th Street in Indiana, Pennsylvania, as the "James M. 'Jimmy' Stewart Post Office Building" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 5605 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 East Fayette Street in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, as the "George C. Marshall Post Office" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 6026 - Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (Rep. Driehaus - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 6014 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 212 Main Street in Hartman, Arkansas, as the "M.R. 'Bucky' Walters Post Office" (Rep. Boozman - Oversight and Government Reform) H.Res. 1442 - Supporting the goals and ideals of United States Military History Month (Rep. Duncan - Oversight and Government Reform) H.Res. 1546 - Congratulating the Washington Stealth for winning the National Lacrosse League Championship (Rep. Inslee - Oversight and Government Reform) H.Res. 1479 - Supporting the United States Paralympics, honoring the Paralympic athletes (Rep. Lance - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 6118 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., in Washington, D.C., as the "Dorothy I. Height Post Office Building" (Rep. Norton - Oversight and Government Reform) H.Res. 1617 - Supporting the goals and purpose of Gold Star Mothers Day, which is observed on the last Sunday in September of each year in remembrance of the supreme sacrifice made by mothers who lose a son or daughter serving in the Armed Forces (Rep. Roskam - Oversight and Government Reform) H.Res. 1603 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as National Craniofacial Acceptance Month (Rep. Ross - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 3243 - To amend section 5542 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that any hours worked by Federal firefighters under a qualified trade-of-time arrangement shall be excluded for purposes of determinations relating to overtime pay (Rep. Sarbanes - Oversight and Government Reform) S. 3196 - Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010 (Sen. Kaufman - Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. __ - To authorize the transfer of naval vessels to certain foreign recipients (Rep. Berman - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. 1326 - Calling on the Government of Japan to immediately address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in

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Japan, to work closely with the Government of the United States to return these children to their custodial parent or to the original jurisdiction for a custody determination in the United States, to provide left-behind parents immediate access to their children, and to adopt without delay the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Rep. Moran (VA) - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. 1631 - Calling for the protection of religious sites and artifacts from and in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Cyprus as well as for general respect for religious freedom (Rep. Bilirakis - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. 1588 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the importance of the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to help ensure peace and stability in Sudan during and after mandated referenda (Rep. Capuano - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. __ - Honoring the lives of the brave and selfless aid workers, doctors, and nurses who died in the tragic attack of August 5, 2010, in northern Afghanistan (Rep. Pitts - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. __ - Expressing support for the 33 trapped Chilean miners following the Copiapo mining disaster and the Government of Chile as it works to rescue the miners and reunite them with their families (Rep. Mack - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. __ - Expressing support for the goals and ideals of the Inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. (Rep. Bilbray - Science and Technology) H.Res. 1421 - Recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission and the heroic actions of both the crew and those working at mission control in Houston, Texas, for bringing the three astronauts, Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, and Jack Swigert, home to Earth safely (Rep. Poe - Science and Technology) H.R. 6160 - Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010 (Rep. Dahlkemper - Science and Technology) H.R. 6200 - WIPA and PABSS Extension Act of 2010 (Rep. Pomeroy - Ways and Means) H.R. 4337 - Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act (Rep. Rangel - Ways and Means) H.R. 4168 - Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act (Rep. Teague - Ways and Means) Senate Amendment to H.R. 3980 - Redundancy Elimination and Enhanced Performance for Preparedness Grants Act (Rep. Cuellar - Homeland Security) Senate Amendment to H.R. 553 - Reducing OverClassification Act (Rep. Harman - Homeland Security) H.R. 5458 - Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act (Rep. Adler - Financial Services) H.R. 3421 - Medical Debt Relief Act (Rep. Kilroy - Financial Services) H.R. __ - To amend the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to include certain construction and land development loans in the definition of small business lending (Rep. Miller (NC) Financial Services) H.R. 6058 - Wounded Warrior and Military Survivor Housing Assistance Act of 2010 (Rep. Paulsen - Financial Services) H.R. 4072 - AMERICA Works Act (Rep. Minnick - Education and Labor) H.Con.Res. __ - Recognizing the goals and ideals of sickle cell disease awareness month (Rep. Fudge - Education and Labor) H.Res. 1637 - Supporting the goals and ideals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2010 and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should continue to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities, and support programs and practices designed to prevent and end domestic violence (Rep. Poe - Education and Labor) H.Res. 1645 - Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on November 8, 2010, as National School Psychology Week (Rep. Loebsack - Education and Labor) House Amendment to S. 3839 - Providing for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (Sen. Landrieu - Small Business) H.Res. 1639 - Recognizing the contributions of the

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National Waterways Conference on the occasion of its 50th anniversary (Rep. Hare - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 4387 - To designate the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the "Winston E. Arnow Federal Building" (Rep. Miller (FL) Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 5591 - To designate the facility of the Federal Aviation Administration located at Spokane International Airport in Spokane, Washington, as the "Ray Daves Air Traffic Control Tower" (Rep. McMorris Rodgers - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 4714 - National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Oberstar - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 6008 - CLEAN Act (Rep. Schauer - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 3427 - State Ethics Law Protection Act (Rep. Quigley Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 3960 - Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act (Rep. McMahon - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 6016 - Audit the BP Fund Act of 2010 (Rep. Brady (TX) - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.Res. __ - Providing for passage of the bill (House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3619 ) - Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Oberstar Transportation and Infrastructure) H.Res. 1646 - Recognizing the commitment and efforts made by the Library of Congress to promote the joy of reading through the sponsorship of the National Book Festival (Rep. Lungren - House Administration) H.R. 512 - Federal Election Integrity Act (Rep. Davis (CA) House Administration) H.R. 5717 - Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Enhancement Act (Rep. Becerra - House Administration) H.R. 6198 - To amend title 11 of the United States Code to make technical corrections; and for related purposes (Rep. Conyers - Judiciary) H.R. 4113 - Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act (Rep. Smith (TX) - Judiciary) H.R. 5932 - Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010 (Rep. Scott (VA) - Judiciary) S. 3304 - Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (Sen. Pryor - Energy and Commerce) S. 3828 - Making technical corrections in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and the amendments made by that Act. (Sen. Pryor - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 758 - Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act (Rep. DeGette - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2999 - Veterinary Public Health Workforce and Education Act (Rep. Baldwin - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 5354 - GEDI Act (Rep. Engel - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2818 - Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act (Rep. McNerney - Energy and Commerce) H.Res. 1485 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as "National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month" (Rep. Neugebauer - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 6012 - To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to review uptake and utilization of diabetes screening benefits and establish an outreach program with respect to such benefits (Rep. Space - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 1362 - National MS and Parkinson's Disease Registries Act (Rep. Van Hollen - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 6081 - Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Young (FL) - Energy and Commerce) H.Res. 1226 - Commending EyeCare America for its work over the last 25 years (Rep. Gene Green - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 1032 - Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act (Rep. Capps - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2408 - Scleroderma Research and Awareness Act (Rep. Capps - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 5986 - Neglected Infections of Impoverished Americans Act of 2010 (Rep. Johnson (GA) - Energy and Commerce)

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Congress Matters 79. H.R. 1995 - Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention Access and Care Act (Rep. DeGette - Energy and Commerce) 80. H.R. 1230 - Bone Marrow Failure Disease Research and Treatment Act (Rep. Matsui - Energy and Commerce) 81. H.R. 1347 - Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act (Rep. Pascrell - Energy and Commerce) 82. H.R. 2941 - To reauthorize and enhance Johanna's Law to increase public awareness and knowledge with respect to gynecologic cancers (Rep. DeLauro - Energy and Commerce) 83. H.R. 5462 - Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Awareness Act of 2010 (Rep. DeLauro - Energy and Commerce) 84. H.R. 1210 - Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act (Rep. Eshoo - Energy and Commerce) 85. H.R. 903 - Dental Emergency Responder Act (Rep. Stupak - Energy and Commerce) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 10:00am Morning Business until 11:10am with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each therein, during which Senators may make tributes to the late Senator Ted Stevens. At 11:10am, there will be 20 minutes of debate prior to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3816, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. At 11:30am, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3816. If cloture is not invoked, a second roll call vote will occur immediately on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R.3081, the legislative vehicle for the continuing resolution. For the information of all Senators, former Senator Stevens will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Buses will depart the Senate steps at 12:15pm.

O. M. F. G. Again, all I can do is apologize. I seriously considered putting the House schedule below the fold today, but let's face it, just saying that the House is scheduled to try to run through EIGHTY-FIVE suspension bills today would never have gotten your attention. What the hell is going on? Basically, this is a mad rush to clear out the attic of whatever can be disposed of before everyone goes home to stand for election. So they'll cram in as many of these as they can before coming around to the thing they really have to pass before they leave: the continuing resolution. And that's all I have to say about that, to borrow a phrase. On the Senate side... a cloture vote! And it's the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the anti-offshoreing bill. The one Harry Reid insisted on a live quorum call for last night. Because... uh... hmm. Well, look, the point is, there's gonna be another cloture vote. And then probably another one after that. And then after that, Chancellor DeMint says he's not going to permit any other legislation to be considered for the rest of the 111th Congress, unless he likes it. Traditionally, the Senate passes noncontroversial measures by unanimous consent at the end of most workdays, a process known as hot-lining. DeMint, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and others have fought against the practice for years and have dedicated staff members to reviewing bills that are to be hot-lined. As a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have generally given DeMint, Coburn and others time to review legislation before

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Congress Matters proceeding with unanimous consent agreements. But in a terse e-mail sent to all 100 Senate chiefs of staff Monday evening, Steering Committee Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt warned that DeMint would place a hold on any legislation that had not been hot-lined or been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday.

So, that's nice. As a bipartisan compromise, perhaps Senators can agree to simply not even try to consider anything else this year, plus each of them will give themselves an Atomic Wedgie. I could go on at great length about all this, but you've already scrolled enough today, only to find out that nothing's going on. So I'll end by noting that today's committee schedule appears below the fold. Though at this point, the schedule was probably among the shorter items I had for you. Sorry! Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 06:02:23 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: First Vote of the Week... Wednesday 10:00 a.m. Last Vote Predicted... ??? MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 On Monday, no votes are expected in the House. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:30 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. No votes are expected in the House, which is a change to the previously announced schedule. Suspensions (63 Bills) 1. H.Res. 1630 - Expressing support for National POW/MIA Recognition Day (Rep. Lipinski - Armed Services) 2. H.Con.Res. 319 - Recognizing the anniversary of the tragic shootings that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009 (Rep. Carter - Armed Services) 3. H.Res. 1605 - Recognizing the service of the medical and air crews in helping our wounded warriors make the expeditious and safe trip home to the United States and commending the personnel of the Air Force for their commitment to the well-being of all our service men and women (Rep. Thompson (CA) - Armed Services) 4. H.R. 5993 - SAVINGS Act of 2010 (Rep. Halvorson Veterans' Affairs) 5. H.R. 5360 - Blinded Veterans Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2010 (Rep. Herseth Sandlin - Veterans' Affairs) 6. H.R. 6132 - Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010 (Rep. Filner - Veterans' Affairs) 7. H.R. 3685 - To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on the main page of the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a hyperlink to the VetSuccess Internet website and to publicize such Internet website (Rep. Stearns - Veterans' Affairs) 8. H.R. 3787 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to deem certain service in the reserve components as active service for purposes of laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Rep. Walz - Veterans' Affairs) 9. H.R. 5630 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for qualifications for vocational rehabilitation counselors and vocational rehabilitation employment coordinators employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (Rep. Boozman - Veterans' Affairs) 10. H.R. 5458 - Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act (Rep. Adler - Financial Services) 11. H.R. 3421 - Medical Debt Relief Act (Rep. Kilroy - Financial Services) 12. H.R. __ - To amend the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to

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include certain construction and land development loans in the definition of small business lending (Rep. Miller (NC) Financial Services) H.R. 6058 - Wounded Warrior and Military Survivor Housing Assistance Act of 2010 (Rep. Paulsen - Financial Services) H.Res. 1631 - Calling for the protection of religious sites and artifacts from and in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Cyprus as well as for general respect for religious freedom (Rep. Bilirakis - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. 1326 - Calling on the Government of Japan to immediately address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan, to work closely with the Government of the United States to return these children to their custodial parent or to the original jurisdiction for a custody determination in the United States, to provide left-behind parents immediate access to their children, and to adopt without delay the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Rep. Moran (VA) - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. 1588 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the importance of the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to help ensure peace and stability in Sudan during and after mandated referenda (Rep. Capuano - Foreign Affairs) H.Res. __ - Honoring the lives of the brave and selfless aid workers, doctors, and nurses who died in the tragic attack of August 5, 2010, in northern Afghanistan (Rep. Pitts - Foreign Affairs) S. 3304 - Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (Sen. Pryor - Energy and Commerce) S. 3828 - Making technical corrections in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and the amendments made by that Act. (Sen. Pryor - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 758 - Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act (Rep. DeGette - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2999 - Veterinary Public Health Workforce and Education Act (Rep. Baldwin - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2941 - To reauthorize and enhance Johanna's Law to increase public awareness and knowledge with respect to gynecologic cancers (Rep. DeLauro - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 5354 - GEDI Act (Rep. Engel - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 2818 - Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act (Rep. McNerney - Energy and Commerce) H.Res. 1485 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as "National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month" (Rep. Neugebauer - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 6012 - To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to review uptake and utilization of diabetes screening benefits and establish an outreach program with respect to such benefits (Rep. Space - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 1362 - National MS and Parkinson's Disease Registries Act (Rep. Van Hollen - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 6081 - Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Young (FL) - Energy and Commerce) H.R. 6160 - Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010 (Rep. Dahlkemper - Science and Technology) H.Res. 1639 - Recognizing the contributions of the National Waterways Conference on the occasion of its 50th anniversary (Rep. Hare - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 3960 - Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act (Rep. McMahon - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 5591 - To designate the facility of the Federal Aviation Administration located at Spokane International Airport in Spokane, Washington, as the "Ray Daves Air Traffic Control Tower" (Rep. McMorris Rodgers - Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 4387 - To designate the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the "Winston E. Arnow Federal Building" (Rep. Miller (FL) Transportation and Infrastructure) H.R. 4714 - National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Oberstar - Transportation

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Congress Matters and Infrastructure) 35. H.R. 3427 - State Ethics Law Protection Act (Rep. Quigley Transportation and Infrastructure) 36. H.R. 6008 - CLEAN Act (Rep. Schauer - Transportation and Infrastructure) 37. H.R. 6016 - Audit the BP Fund Act of 2010 (Rep. Brady (TX) - Transportation and Infrastructure) 38. H.R. 6200 - WIPA and PABSS Extension Act of 2010 (Rep. Pomeroy - Ways and Means) 39. H.R. 4337 - Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act (Rep. Rangel - Ways and Means) 40. Senate Amendment to H.R. 3980 - Redundancy Elimination and Enhanced Performance for Preparedness Grants Act (Rep. Cuellar - Homeland Security) 41. H.Con.Res. __ - Recognizing the goals and ideals of sickle cell disease awareness month (Rep. Fudge - Education and Labor) 42. H.Res. 1637 - Supporting the goals and ideals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2010 and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should continue to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities, and support programs and practices designed to prevent and end domestic violence (Rep. Poe - Education and Labor) 43. H.Res. 1645 - Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on November 8, 2010, as National School Psychology Week (Rep. Loebsack - Education and Labor) 44. H.R. 4072 - AMERICA Works Act (Rep. Minnick - Education and Labor) 45. H.R. 2853 - All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) 46. H.R. 4602 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1332 Sharon Copley Road in Sharon Center, Ohio, as the "Emil Bolas Post Office" (Rep. Boccieri - Oversight and Government Reform) 47. H.R. 5606 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 South 7th Street in Indiana, Pennsylvania, as the "James M. 'Jimmy' Stewart Post Office Building" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) 48. H.R. 5605 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 47 East Fayette Street in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, as the "George C. Marshall Post Office" (Rep. Critz - Oversight and Government Reform) 49. H.R. 6026 - Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (Rep. Driehaus - Oversight and Government Reform) 50. H.R. 6014 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 212 Main Street in Hartman, Arkansas, as the "M.R. 'Bucky' Walters Post Office" (Rep. Boozman - Oversight and Government Reform) 51. H.Res. 1442 - Supporting the goals and ideals of United States Military History Month (Rep. Duncan - Oversight and Government Reform) 52. H.Res. 1546 - Congratulating the Washington Stealth for winning the National Lacrosse League Championship (Rep. Inslee - Oversight and Government Reform) 53. H.Res. 1479 - Supporting the United States Paralympics, honoring the Paralympic athletes (Rep. Lance - Oversight and Government Reform) 54. H.R. 6118 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., in Washington, D.C., as the "Dorothy I. Height Post Office Building" (Rep. Norton - Oversight and Government Reform) 55. H.Res. 1617 - Supporting the goals and purpose of Gold Star Mothers Day, which is observed on the last Sunday in September of each year in remembrance of the supreme sacrifice made by mothers who lose a son or daughter serving in the Armed Forces (Rep. Roskam - Oversight and Government Reform) 56. H.Res. 1603 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as National Craniofacial Acceptance Month (Rep. Ross - Oversight and Government Reform) 57. H.R. 3243 - To amend section 5542 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that any hours worked by Federal firefighters under a qualified trade-of-time arrangement shall be excluded for purposes of determinations relating to overtime pay (Rep. Sarbanes - Oversight and Government Reform) 58. H.Res. 1646 - Recognizing the commitment and efforts

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Congress Matters

59. 60.

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made by the Library of Congress to promote the joy of reading through the sponsorship of the National Book Festival (Rep. Lungren - House Administration) H.R. 512 - Federal Election Integrity Act (Rep. Davis (CA) House Administration) H.Res. 1378 - Condemning the theft from the Mojave National Preserve of the national Mojave Cross memorial honoring American soldiers who died in World War I (Rep. Lewis (CA) - Natural Resources) H.Res. 1636 - Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Hoover Dam. (Rep. Napolitano - Natural Resources) H.R. 6198 - To amend title 11 of the United States Code to make technical corrections; and for related purposes (Rep. Conyers - Judiciary) H.R. 5932 - Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010 (Rep. Scott (VA) - Judiciary)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK On Wednesday the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business with votes occurring as early as 10:00 a.m. On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business with votes possible. On Friday, no votes are expected in the House. H.R. 847 - James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (Rep. Maloney - Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule) H.R. 2378 - Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (Rep. Ryan (OH) – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule) Senate Amendment to H.R. 3081 - Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 (Rep. Obey – Appropriations) (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.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 2pm Morning business until 3pm with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each. Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #578, S.3816, a bill to create American jobs and to prevent the offshoring of such jobs. Senators should expect a live quorum at approximately 7pm on Monday.

First, let me apologize for killing your scrolling finger with the House schedule. I'm really sorry, but there's no better way to visually (and in a sense, physically) represent what's happening on the floor than to make you scroll through it. This may be the last week the House is in session before the elections. So, sixty-three suspensions! I don't see the tax bill among them, though it was once rumored that it might come to the floor under suspension of the rules in an attempt to avoid any motions to recommit. Why would that be a problem? I explained it here. Under suspension of the rules, there can't be any motion to recommit, but the downside is that you need a 2/3 vote to pass. Anyone who thinks Republicans aren't crazy enough to vote against a tax cut for everyone but the top 1% of earners doesn't know who we're dealing with. If you don't agree, consider this: After making their way through the 63, maybe 64, suspensions, what else is on tap? Well, it's the 9/11 first responders health claims compensation bill. You remember, the one that failed under suspension of the rules back in July, because Republicans refused to vote for it, saying it created a new entitlement program. Yeah. After the 9/11 vote, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. What is it? Just so happens I have something that can explain it to you in 90 seconds:

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Congress Matters

You're looking at the first in a series of "90 Second Summaries" coming out of MainStreetInsider.org. More about them later in the week, when I have more room. Final item on the House schedule for the week: funding the entire federal government in a single bill. What? The new fiscal year begins on Friday, and the Congress has passed exactly zero of its 12 annual appropriations bills. Why? Well, quite frankly, the Senate wouldn't have been able to pass one even if they'd tried. Republicans, you'll recall, are already openly campaigning on the promise of a government shutdown, so why would they let appropriations bills through now? Why wait for the election to give the GOP a majority in the Senate when all it takes is 41? What will the Senate be doing? Debating whether or not to debate the "Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act." Hey, personally, I think they should debate it. But what do I know? Maybe it's really smart and what the Founders intended to insist that 60% of the Senate has to agree to end debate on whether or not to begin debate before they can actually begin that debate. I'll go out on a limb and predict that there are 100 votes for creating American Jobs and 100 votes for ending offshoring (well, maybe 80 on that one), but oh... let's say 59 for ending debate on whether or not to start debate on doing both at the same time, so long as that same time is right now. But I'm sure if we all just work really hard on it, we can get past all this silliness with a little bipartisanship next year. This week's committee schedule appears below. So far as I know, there are no inappropriate witnesses who will damage the integrity of the Congress scheduled to send viewership and engagement through the roof embarrass America. Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:12:20 AM PDT In the House: The House is in pro forma session today. No votes are expected. But apparently the Majority Leader's Office doesn't feel that's necessary to tell you, so I'm telling you myself. In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30am Morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each. There will be no roll call votes during Friday’s session.

There's nothing going on. The Senate isn't able to pass anything, so everybody goes home. They'll be back next week to not pass anything, and then they'll go home for

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Congress Matters even longer. I guess if you've been watching the House pass boatloads of suspensions bills for weeks on end, and watching the Senate spend weeks on motions to proceed, that comes as no surprise to you. This whole thing has a very unusual feel to it. It's nearing the time when you'd expect the Congress to wrap up its work in advance of the elections, but rather than seeing a flurry of activity before the break, we're seeing them scramble and cast about for things with which to occupy their time. And then... just stopping. If you ask me, I'd tell you that the unprecedented use of the filibuster as a political tool has simply rendered the Senate inoperable. Yes, the filibuster has always been a "political" tool, but I've never seen it used to simply derail an entire agenda, with cloture votes being forced on motions to proceed on bills to which no objections have been publicly raised, or on nominations which are approved 99-0 once the filibuster is broken. This is a complete train wreck. A few committees will hang around to meet today, and if you're looking for a little entertainment, you might be interested in today's House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law's hearing. The subject: Protecting America's Harvest. The witness: Stephen Colbert. Watch the hearing online, starting at 9:30 a.m., here. Why? In case you missed it (as I did), catch yourself up. Today's "full" committee schedule:

Capitol Hill Events       Today Today Thursday, October   Print       7 Week Month Agenda     Showing events after 10/7. Look for earlier events   Showing events until 11/15. Look for more

Permalink :: Discuss (1 comment)

Procedural nitpick of the day by David Waldman Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 07:12:54 AM PDT Politico: Having failed cloture once, the campaign bill only requires a less strict "motion to recommit" from Reid to call another cloture vote. New legislation likely would need 30 hours after being filed, 30 hours the Senate doesn’t have.

It's not a motion to recommit. It's a motion to reconsider. Not only that, but it's a motion to reconsider a vote on cloture on a motion to proceed. We're miles away from the motion to recommit, which comes at the very end of debate on a bill. We haven't even gotten to the end of the debate on whether to begin the debate on the bill. And the reference to 30 hours? The 30 hour clock is post-cloture time, not how long it takes for a cloture motion to ripen. It can be close to 30 hours, and accurately describing the minimum time lapse for ripening a cloture motion is a pain in the neck. But the 30 hour clock has nothing to do with it.

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Congress Matters How much time has to pass between the filing of a cloture motion and a vote on that motion? One full calendar day must pass in between the day on which you file the motion and the day on which the vote is held. So that's at least 24 hours right there. Then, you've got to wait an hour into the session on the day you get to vote. So that's at least 25 hours. Close to 30, obviously. And depending on what time of day you file the motion and what time the session begins on the day you vote, it can end up being 30 hours on the nose, but only by coincidence. What's "less strict" about reconsideration? Only that there's no ripening period for it. That's a time saver, of course, and that's what the Politico article was trying to get at. Moving on to a different matter other than the DISCLOSE Act would have required a motion to proceed to that different matter, and presumably a cloture motion on that motion to proceed. Although now that I think about it, since the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to DISCLOSE is expected to fail, which would mean the bill itself won't actually come up for debate, then really, what's the difference? You could just as easily make a motion to proceed to anything at all and get the same result: time on the floor is occupied, but no motion to proceed is actually approved. The difference, then, is that with DISCLOSE, you can actually squeeze in a vote before the weekend, whereas if you tried some other bill, you could waste time just as easily, but you'd have had to file a cloture motion on Wednesday in order to get yourself a vote to lose on Friday. And if you didn't file on Wednesday, you'd have to wait around until Saturday. So nothing changes, and nothing moves forward. But with a motion to reconsider, you get a vote this week. With cloture, you might not. So if your goal is to produce roll call votes (even if they lose), then that's what you'd do. It's not a horrible error in the Politico. But it's just another example of how the restrictions of time, column space, and background procedural knowledge in the traditional media occasionally rob you of a fuller understanding of what's going on. Permalink :: Discuss (1 comment)

Today in Congress by David Waldman Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 House Meets At... 10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. "One Minutes" (10 per side) Senate Amendment to H.R. 5297 - Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (Rep. Frank – Financial Services) (Subject to a Rule) Suspensions (24 Bills) 1. S. 1674 - Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2010 (Sen. Wyden - Ways and Means) 2. H.R. __ - Airport and Airways Extension Act of 2010 (Rep. Levin - Ways and Means) 3. H.R. 5307 - To include ultralight aircraft under the definition of aircraft for purposes of the aviation smuggling provisions under that Act (Rep. Giffords - Ways and Means) 4. H.R. __ - Renewing the Authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to Approve Demonstration Projects Designed to Test Innovative Strategies in State Child Welfare Programs (Rep. McDermott - Ways and Means) 5. H.Res. 1560 - Supporting the increased understanding of, and interest in, computer science and computing careers among the public and in schools, and to ensure an ample and diverse future technology workforce through the designation of National Computer Science Education Week (Rep. Ehlers - Education and Labor) 6. H.Res. 1582 - Honoring and saluting Americans for the Arts on its 50th anniversary (Rep. Slaughter - Education and Labor) 7. H.Res. 1545 - Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the third Monday in September as "National Postdoc Appreciation Week" (Rep. Stearns Education and Labor) 8. S. 3814 - National Flood Insurance Program Reextension Act of 2010 (Sen. Vitter - Financial Services)

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Congress Matters 9. S. 3717 - Amending the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide for certain disclosures under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (Sen. Leahy – Financial Services) 10. S. 1055 - To grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II (Sen. Boxer - Financial Services) 11. S. 846 - To award a congressional gold medal to Dr. Muhammad Yunus, in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty (Sen. Durbin - Financial Services) 12. Senate Amendment to H.R. 1517 - To allow certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees who serve under an overseas limited appointment for at least 2 years, and whose service is rated fully successful or higher throughout that time, to be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service (Rep. Engel Homeland Security) 13. H.Res. 1618 - Urging the Federal Government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, other entities, and the people of the United States to observe National Preparedness Month (Rep. Thompson (MS) Homeland Security) 14. H.R. 2853 - All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) 15. H.Res. 1546 - Congratulating the Washington Stealth for winning the National Lacrosse League Championship (Rep. Inslee - Oversight and Government Reform) 16. H.Res. 1479 - Supporting the United States Paralympics, honoring the Paralympic athletes (Rep. Lance - Oversight and Government Reform) 17. H.R. 5264 - Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (Rep. Conyers - Judiciary) 18. H.R. 5932 - Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010 (Rep. Scott (VA) - Judiciary) 19. H.R. 3960 - Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act (Rep. McMahon - Transportation and Infrastructure) 20. H.R. 5591 - To designate the facility of the Federal Aviation Administration located at Spokane International Airport in Spokane, Washington, as the "Ray Daves Air Traffic Control Tower" (Rep. McMorris Rodgers - Transportation and Infrastructure) 21. H.R. 4387 - To designate the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the "Winston E. Arnow Federal Building" (Rep. Miller (FL) Transportation and Infrastructure) 22. H.R. 4714 - National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Oberstar - Transportation and Infrastructure) 23. H.R. 3427 - State Ethics Law Protection Act (Rep. Quigley Transportation and Infrastructure) 24. H.R. 6008 - CLEAN Act (Rep. Schauer - Transportation and Infrastructure) Dispose of H.Res. __ - Raising a question of privileges of the House (Rep. Price (GA) – Privileged Resolution) Postponed Suspension (6 Bills) 1. H.R. 5110 - Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act of 2010 (Rep. Kirkpatrick - Natural Resources) 2. H.R. 4823 - Sedona-Red Rock National Scenic Area Act of 2010 (Rep. Kirkpatrick - Natural Resources) 3. H.R. 5756 - Training and Research for Autism Improvements Nationwide Act (Rep. Doyle - Energy and Commerce) 4. H.R. 3199 - Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act (Rep. Harman - Energy and Commerce) 5. H.R. 1745 - Family Health Care Accessibility Act (Rep. Tim Murphy - Energy and Commerce) 6. H.R. 5710 - National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Whitfield Energy and Commerce) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.

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Congress Matters Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30am Morning business until 10:30am with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each, with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the final half. Following morning business, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of S.J.Res.30, a joint resolution of disapproval regarding the National Mediation Board with up to 2 hours of debate with the time equally divided and controlled between Senators Harkin and Isakson. At approximately 12:30pm, the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the motion to proceed to S.J.Res.30 [link]. Upon disposition of S.J.Res.30, the Senate will proceed to consideration of the motion to proceed to S.3628, the DISCLOSE Act with the time until 2:15pm equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. At approximately 2:15pm, the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3628.

Twenty-four new suspensions, and six suspension votes held over from yesterday. That's a big day. And they're not even going to start voting until the afternoon, since the leadership has agreed to let the Republicans go on their field trip to launch their election agenda in the morning. Also thrown into the House mix for the day: dealing with the Senate amendments to the Small Business Jobs bill, and disposing of something from Crazy Tom Price (RGA-06), purporting to be a question of the privileges of the House. Price hasn't had a lot of luck actually understanding what privileged resolutions really are and getting them ruled in order, and this one appears to be no exception. It's really just an excuse for him to read a litany of complaints into the record, and then mention the Declaration of Independence and the Teabaggers, as a prelude to demanding that there be no lame duck session. This one, too, will likely just be ruled out of order, the ruling will be appealed, and the appeal will be tabled. On the Senate side, while the defense authorization bill's motion to proceed languishes in limbo, they'll move on to other business. First, a motion to proceed to a "resolution of disapproval" of a proposed rule promulgated by the National Mediation Board. Essentially, it's a rule about elections of union representation. The unions covered by the NMB (rather than the National Labor Relations Board) want certification procedures closer to those used by the NLRB. The NMB agrees and wants to implement that, and Republicans disapprove. Surprise! How does something like that make it to the floor under Democratic leadership? Well, the Congressional Review Act basically puts these resolutions of disapproval -essentially legislative vetoes of proposed executive agency administrative rules -- on a fast track that can't be blocked or filibustered. So there's really no way to stop them except to either defeat the motion to proceed and/or the resolution itself. Oh, P.S., resolutions of disapproval are Joint Resolutions, which means they go to the President for signature. Or veto. Anyway, isn't that an amazing concept? The budget can't be filibustered because of the Budget Act that they passed in 1974. And reconciliation bills can't be filibustered because of Budget Act amendments from the 80s. And resolutions of disapproval can't be filibustered because of the Congressional Review Act, which they passed in 1996. What happened to that whole "200 year tradition of unlimited debate because that's the way the founders intended it" thing, yadda, yadda, yadda? Answer: the Senate does what it wants, when it wants to. Including throwing out bits and pieces of the supposedly immutable law of the filibuster. Anyway, after that little bit of vindictiveness, they'll move on to a cloture vote on a motion to proceed on the DISCLOSE Act. That's the BANANAS Alert for today, and it stands for the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act. Not awful, all things considered. I'll give it a 2. I've been softened up considerably by Christine O'Donnell's truly pukeworthy "Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth" (SALT). Lifting the truth? That's horrible. Consider that truth lifted. Way the F up there, wherever you "lift" truth to. Damn, that's stupid! Today's committee schedule appears below the fold. (Can someone get me an acronym that can substitute for that phrase?)

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Congress Matters Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 House Meets At... 2:00 p.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 6:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... 6:30 p.m. "One Minutes" (15 per side) Suspensions (23 Bills) 1. H.R. 4347- Department of the Interior Tribal SelfGovernance Act (Rep. Boren - Natural Resources) 2. H.R. 5811 - 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 (Rep. Reyes - Natural Resources) 3. H.R. 5110 - Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act of 2010 (Rep. Kirkpatrick - Natural Resources) 4. H.R. 4823 - Sedona-Red Rock National Scenic Area Act of 2010 (Rep. Kirkpatrick - Natural Resources) 5. H.R. 4195 - To authorize the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs (Rep. Farr - Natural Resources) 6. H.R. 5494 - To direct the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior to transfer certain properties to the District of Columbia (Rep. Norton - Natural Resources) 7. H.R. 5131 - Coltsville National Historical Park Act (Rep. Larson - Natural Resources) 8. H.R. 5152 - Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Boundary Adjustment Act of 2010 (Rep. Gingrey - Natural Resources) 9. H.R. 5194 - Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2010 (Rep. McKeon - Natural Resources) 10. H.Con.Res. 294 - Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Rep. Perriello - Natural Resources) 11. H.Res. 1503 - Expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Estuaries Day (Rep. Castor - Natural Resources) 12. H.Res. 1508 - Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of John James Audubon in Henderson, Kentucky (Rep. Whitfield Natural Resources) 13. Senate Amendment to H.R. 1454 - Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act (Rep. Brown (SC) - Natural Resources) 14. H.R. 3470 - Nationally Enhancing the Wellbeing of Babies through Outreach and Research Now Act (Rep. Cohen Energy and Commerce) 15. H.R. 5756 - Training and Research for Autism Improvements Nationwide Act (Rep. Doyle - Energy and Commerce) 16. H.R. 2923 - Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act (Rep. Gordon - Energy and Commerce) 17. H.R. 3199 - Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act (Rep. Harman - Energy and Commerce) 18. H.R. 1745 - Family Health Care Accessibility Act (Rep. Tim Murphy - Energy and Commerce) 19. H.R. 5710 - National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Whitfield Energy and Commerce) 20. S. 2781 - Rosa's Law (Sen. Mikulski – Energy and Commerce) 21. H.Res. 1433 - Expressing support for designation of September 2010 as Blood Cancer Awareness Month (Rep. Jones (NC) - Energy and Commerce) 22. H.R. 5809 - Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Rep. Inslee Energy and Commerce) 23. H.R. 6130 - Strengthening Medicare Anti-Fraud Measures

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Congress Matters Act of 2010 (Rep. Stark – Energy and Commerce/Ways and Means)    Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30am Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 4:00pm, with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. Following Leader remarks, the time until 10:00am will be equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. The time from 10:00am to 4:00pm will be controlled in 30-minute alternating blocks of time. Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.3454, the Department of Defense Authorization bill.

Twenty-three suspensions. Wow, I sure do find myself making special note of how many suspensions the House has on its schedule pretty frequently, don't I? And look at some of these bill numbers! H.R. 6130? You don't see bills with numbers like that get to the floor very often. But what else are you gonna do when the Senate can't move anything? Well, I suppose you could always adjourn and not do anything. But they're not gonna do that, either. Though apparently they were contemplating it. So it's another day of non-controversial measures for the House, and another day spent "debating" whether or not to end debate on whether or not to begin debate on the defense bill. Harry Reid, having switched his vote to the winning side (that is, the "no" side) on the cloture vote yesterday, has the right to call for the vote to be reconsidered. And, of course, he can continue to file for cloture on the motion to proceed, as well. But it's hard to see how things change or any votes move in the next week or two, which means it's increasingly likely that we won't even get to any votes directly on the hot issues surrounding the bill before the elections. And of course, we already know that Republicans oppose the very idea of considering important matters during a lame duck session (except when they want to do it themselves, that is). That about sums it up. There's a today in Congress. But not much of one. Maybe you can find something interesting in the committees, who are now largely considering stuff they also won't have any real time to implement. Though there's always the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, having yet another hearing on Senate rules reform, including the filibuster, at 10am. How about that? Full committee schedule below the fold. Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 On Tuesday, no votes are expected in the House, which is a change to the previously announced schedule.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 10:00am Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 11:00am. The Majority will control the first 30 minutes and the Republicans will control the final 30 minutes.

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Congress Matters

At 11:00am, the Senate will resume the motion to proceed to S.3454, the Department of Defense Authorization bill, with the time until 12:30pm equally divided and controlled between Senators Levin and McCain or their designees. The Senate will recess from 12:30 until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. At 2:15pm, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3454, the Department of Defense Authorization bill. That will be the first vote of the day.

The House does its best imitation of the Senate today, holding no votes at all. The Senate, meanwhile, springs into action to answer Lady Gaga's call, and will hold a vote at 2:15 to decide whether or not to end debate on the question of whether or not to begin debate on the the defense bill, and the DADT provisions that go with it. How's that going to come out? Well, lysias tipped me off on that yesterday: CQ reported no vote on DADT till after election. They reported it Friday evening in Lawmakers’ Fall Agenda Wiped Out (subscription required): Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Sept. 16 that completion of the $725.7 billion fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill (S 3454) would have to wait until after the elections. Republicans had signaled they would block the bill from even coming to the floor because they have not been allowed votes on their priorities. In shelving the defense bill, Reid also prevented a vote on an amendment encompassing a bill (HR 1751, S 729) that would provide a pathway to legal residency for some children of illegal immigrants. The move also delayed action on the proposed repeal of the 1993 ban (PL 103160) on openly gay people serving in the military.

Also being Reid put off according to the article: the food safety bill (S. 510), stem cell research legislation (S. 3766), and extensions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Now, what would become of such an amendment? How many votes would it need to pass? Democrats, of course, are used to seeing a 60-vote threshold imposed on their amendments, whether from the necessity of invoking cloture on a filibuster of those amendments, or by unanimous consent as a shortcut around a filibuster (i.e., the "painless filibuster"). But Republican opponents of DADT repeal -- or for that matter, DREAM Act passage -- might be perfectly happy to see a filibuster of that or any amendment, since they don't particularly care to see anything at all accomplished. The less Democrats do, the better for Republicans in November. So the only way forward may in fact be letting the removal of the DADT provisions (and other weakening amendments) come to a straight up, majority rules vote. So, you know, have a nice day. Today's committee schedule appears below. If that's OK with Republicans. Permalink :: There's more... (3 comments)

This Week in Congress by David Waldman Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: First Vote of the Week... Wednesday 6:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... Friday p.m. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 On Monday, the House will meet at 2:30 p.m. for pro forma session. No votes are expected in the House.

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Congress Matters TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 On Tuesday, no votes are expected in the House, which is a change to the previously announced schedule. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK On Wednesday the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:00 p.m. On 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 (39 Bills) 1. H.R. 4347 - Department of the Interior Tribal SelfGovernance Act (Rep. Boren - Natural Resources) 2. H.R. 5811 - 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 (Rep. Reyes - Natural Resources) 3. H.R. 4195 - To authorize the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs (Rep. Farr - Natural Resources) 4. H.R. 5494 - To direct the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior to transfer certain properties to the District of Columbia (Rep. Norton - Natural Resources) 5. H.R. 5152 - Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Boundary Adjustment Act of 2010 (Rep. Gingrey - Natural Resources) 6. H.R. 5194 - Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2010 (Rep. McKeon - Natural Resources) 7. H.Con.Res. 294 - Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Rep. Perriello - Natural Resources) 8. H.Res. 1503 - Expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Estuaries Day (Rep. Castor - Natural Resources) 9. H.Res. 1508 - Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of John James Audubon in Henderson, Kentucky (Rep. Whitfield Natural Resources) 10. Senate Amendment to H.R. 1454 - Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act (Rep. Brown (SC) - Natural Resources) 11. H.R. 3470 - Nationally Enhancing the Wellbeing of Babies through Outreach and Research Now Act (Rep. Cohen Energy and Commerce) 12. H.R. 5756 - Training and Research for Autism Improvements Nationwide Act (Rep. Doyle - Energy and Commerce) 13. H.R. 2923 - Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act (Rep. Gordon - Energy and Commerce) 14. H.R. 3199 - Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act (Rep. Harman - Energy and Commerce) 15. H.R. 5809 - Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Rep. Inslee Energy and Commerce) 16. H.R. 1745 - Family Health Care Accessibility Act (Rep. Tim Murphy - Energy and Commerce) 17. H.R. 5710 - National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Whitfield Energy and Commerce) 18. S.2781 - Rosa's Law (Sen. Mikulski – Energy and Commerce) 19. H.R. __ - Renewing the Authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to Approve Demonstration Projects Designed to Test Innovative Strategies in State Child Welfare Programs (Rep. McDermott - Ways and Means) 20. S. 1674 - Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2010 (Sen. Wyden - Ways and Means) 21. H.R. 6130 - Strengthening Medicare Anti-Fraud Measures Act of 2010 (Rep. Stark - Ways and Means) 22. H.Res. 1560 - Supporting the increased understanding of, and interest in, computer science and computing careers among the public and in schools, and to ensure an ample and diverse future technology workforce through the designation of National Computer Science Education Week (Rep. Ehlers - Education and Labor) 23. H.Res. 1582 - Honoring and saluting Americans for the Arts on its 50th anniversary (Rep. Slaughter - Education and Labor)

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Congress Matters 24. H.Res. 1545 - Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the third Monday in September as "National Postdoc Appreciation Week" (Rep. Stearns Education and Labor) 25. S. 1055 - A bill to grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II (Sen. Boxer - Financial Services) 26. S. 846 - A bill to award a congressional gold medal to Dr. Muhammad Yunus, in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty (Sen. Durbin - Financial Services) 27. H.R. 3421 - Medical Debt Relief Act (Rep. Kilroy - Financial Services) 28. H.R. 2853 - All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley - Oversight and Government Reform) 29. H.R. 3960 - Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act (Rep. McMahon - Transportation and Infrastructure) 30. H.R. 5591 - To designate the facility of the Federal Aviation Administration located at Spokane International Airport in Spokane, Washington, as the "Ray Daves Air Traffic Control Tower" (Rep. McMorris Rodgers - Transportation and Infrastructure) 31. H.R. 4387 - To designate the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the "Winston E. Arnow Federal Building" (Rep. Miller (FL) Transportation and Infrastructure) 32. H.R. 4714 - National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Rep. Oberstar - Transportation and Infrastructure) 33. H.R. 3427 - State Ethics Law Protection Act (Rep. Quigley Transportation and Infrastructure) 34. H.R. 6008 - CLEAN Act (Rep. Schauer - Transportation and Infrastructure) 35. Senate Amendment to H.R. 1517 - To allow certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees who serve under an overseas limited appointment for at least 2 years, and whose service is rated fully successful or higher throughout that time, to be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service (Rep. Engel Homeland Security) 36. H.Res. 1618 - Urging the Federal Government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, other entities, and the people of the United States to observe National Preparedness Month (Rep. Thompson (MS) Homeland Security) 37. H.R. 5264 - Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (Rep. Conyers - Judiciary) 38. H.R. 5932 - Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010 (Rep. Scott (VA) - Judiciary) 39. H.R. 5231 - Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2010 (Rep. Smith (TX) - Judiciary) Further Action on the Senate Amendment to 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.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 2:00pm Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 3:00pm with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. At 3:00pm, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.3454, the Department of Defense Authorization bill. There will be no roll call votes during Monday’s session of the Senate.

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Congress Matters Nothing actually happening today, I'm just setting you up for the week. In fact, nothing much happening tomorrow, either, since the House won't even be voting until Wednesday. And when they do come back, it's to a plate full of suspensions. And then, on to... dealing with the Senate amendments to the Small Business Jobs bill that's been creeping through the other body since forever. The Senate, meanwhile, moves on to setting itself up for the first test vote on the Defense authorization bill, including the DADT provisions, the DREAM provisions, etc. They're still on the motion to proceed -- meaning that they're debating whether or not to begin debating the bill -- so today's just about the wind-up. No votes today. They'll be counting votes and gauging the chances for success on cloture. When they think they've got it, or just want to try to build up pressure by pointing to obstruction, they'll file a cloture motion, and we'll see that first vote two days later. (Remember the rule on cloture. The motion "ripens" for a vote after the passage of one full calendar day after the day on which it's filed, and then one hour after the beginning of the legislative business on that day.) This week's committee schedule appears below. Permalink :: There's more...

Why procedure matters by David Waldman Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 11:49:46 AM PDT There's nothing more frustrating than getting the condescending, "I hear you, but there's a lot of moving parts..." kind of an answer to the "why aren't we just doing this, already?" question. Especially one that seems as clear cut as, "Should we hand out more tax breaks to the rich right now?" Believe me, I've been there, just as you all have. But like it or not, we're there again. Josh Marshall: Congressional Democrats are making some meandering progress on pushing through the Obama plan tax cuts. But it's hard to go more than five minutes without seeing examples of how so many of the folks on the Hill just cannot get their head free of the kind of legislative and procedural myopia that makes it almost impossible to win elections when you don't have a president of the opposite party in office with approval ratings in the 20s or 30s percent. [...] And then we get emails like this one from TPM Reader MB (and apologies to MB but this email is just too illustrative) ... Why should Pelosi take the fall? Why not Harry Reid? Pelosi got burned on the Climate bill shepherding blue dogs to vote for the bill. We all know what happened in the senate. Why should she repeat the same performance without getting concrete assurances that the senate would vote on a similar bill?

Someone please tell me where on this blogging interface I can find the button for the primal scream emoticon because this just should not be so complicated. There's no 'fall' to take. It's as simple as that. And frankly, there are really no legislative tricks that should be necessary. This is not a matter of the House Democrats need to stick their chin out and worry that the Senate won't back them up. Who cares? They don't need the Senate to back them up.

1. House Democrats take up a middle class tax cut bill 2. House Republicans plus Blue Dogs bring and pass a motion to recommit, adding permanent tax cuts for the rich 3. Now the bill comes up for a vote on final passage, with permanent tax cuts for the rich in it. How do you cast your vote? Aye or no? There's no vote for, "Yeah, but that's not what I meant!" Unless that vote is no. There's just aye and no. (Or present, I guess. Or running away.)

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Congress Matters

Scenario number 2: 1. House defeats the above motion to recommit and passes a middle class cut only bill 2. Senate amends the bill to include permanent tax cuts for the rich 3. Neither version becomes law until the differences are settled in conference & passed by both houses 4. Senators insist they can't get 60 votes for cloture on a conference report without permanent tax cuts for the rich 5. House is asked to vote on whether to agree to the Senate amendments or watch the middle class cuts die 6. How do you vote in the House? Yea or nay? That's why you sometimes have to spend time on the "legislative and procedural myopia." So, what's the awesome plan for not having to ultimately face a vote where you're being asked to either kill the cuts for everyone, or accept exactly what you don't want? Spend time counting votes and make damn sure you know how it's going to come out before you move the bill. That's all there is. That's the only strategy there can be. Now, how many vote would Democrats have to lose on a motion to recommit or a vote on a conference report that receded to the Senate position to find themselves in this situation? With the House currently divided 255-178, the answer is 39. And how many Dems have indicated that they're in favor of extending the cuts to the rich? Thirty-eight. So, should you dash headlong into that vote? Or take stock of what's up first? I recognize that this is maddening. But has anyone got anything other than, "well, I don't believe they'd lose"? When everyone goes all-in, it's a poor bet to go against this Speaker. But that's because she takes her time when there's danger about. UPDATE: HuffPo: In a briefing with a small group of reporters on Friday, a senior administration official encouraged Blue Dog Democrats in the House to remember that they have been the ones barking about exploding deficits for the past three cycles. "I don't think there is any Blue Dog Democrat that is coming out against extending tax cuts for people up to $250,000 a year," said the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. "And I would say to anyone, one of the things I appreciate about the Blue Dogs is that they have been so assiduous about reminding us about the dangers of this deficit. And so I would urge them to stand, and anyone to stand with us, for some fiscal responsibility here."

I think that's pretty obviously about getting Blue Dogs to stay at home on any motion to recommit. Permalink :: Discuss (2 comments)

S01E02: H.R. 2378, Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act by SumOfChange Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 07:11:43 AM PDT I've been working to help establish Main Street Insider, and I think these 90 second summaries are a great product, and provide a key element I just haven't been able to provide at Congress Matters. I can handle procedure, but I just can't cover individual bills like this. So when MSI does it, I'd like to share it. -- David Waldman cross-posted from Main Street Insider Episode 2, that's right, the big wigs decided not to cancel us after the Pilot!

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Congress Matters

H.R. 2378 is being discussed in the Ways & Means Committee today and tomorrow. Our Executive Director, Jeremy Koulish has been livetweeting the hearing. SumOfChange's diary :: Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 06:00:02 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 House Meets At... 10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Last Vote Predicted... 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. "One Minutes" (5 per side) H.R. 4785 - Rural Energy Savings Program Act (Rep. Clyburn – Agriculture/Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule) Postponed Suspension Votes (3 Bills) 1. H.Res. 1612 - Expressing the support for and honoring September 17, 2010 as "Constitution Day" (Rep. Latta Oversight and Government Reform) 2. H.Res. 1613 - Expressing condolences to and solidarity with the people of Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods that began July 22, 2010 (Rep. Berman Foreign Affairs) 3. Senate Amendment to H.R. 3562 - An act to designate the federally occupied building located at 1220 Echelon Parkway in Jackson, Mississippi, as the 'James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building' (Rep. Thompson (MS) Transportation and Infrastructure) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30AM Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.5297. At 10:45am, the Senate will proceed to vote on the motions listed below in the order in which they were offered , not necessarily in the order listed. Grassley motion to suspend the Rules in order to consider Grassley amendment #4433 (to extend expiring tax incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel) (67-vote threshold); and Hatch motion to suspend the Rules in order to consider Hatch motion to commit H.R.5297 to the Committee on

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Congress Matters Finance of the Senate with instructions to report the same back to the Senate with changes to make permanent the research credit under section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1996 (67-vote threshold). The second vote in the series will be 10 minutes in duration and there will be 2 minutes for debate prior to each vote. At 12:00 noon, the Senate will proceed to a series of up to 2 roll call votes in relation to the following items: Motion to invoke cloture on H.R.5297, as amended (60vote threshold); and Passage of H.R.5297, as amended (majority vote threshold).

The House's work is pretty straightforward today. But what's up in the Senate? Yes, it's the Small Business Jobs bill -- the one you heard they won the cloture vote on the other day. And they're having... another cloture vote on it. Of course! Why? Because Tuesday's cloture vote (actually the third of three taken that day) was really a cloture vote on the Baucus substitute for the House's original text. That technically closed out the opportunity to do any more amending on the bill, but it didn't get them all the way to a final vote on the bill itself. That's what they'll be doing today. Oh, but first, they're going to vote on a couple more amendments. Of course, you probably recall my saying that Tuesday's third cloture vote precluded any further amendment. And you probably remember it because I just said it about six seconds ago. Well, I said that cloture technically closed out the possibility of more amendments, which is to say that according to the rules, there really shouldn't be any more allowed. And that's why both of the amendments (the second one styled as a motion to commit) seek first to suspend the rules in order to allow the actual amendments to be offered. And suspending the rules requires 67 votes, which is a pretty tall order. But Republicans have either found two new amendments that are wildly popular, or two new ways to waste more time even after cloture has been invoked. How do you like that? Today's committee schedule appears below the fold. Permalink :: There's more...

A small point of clarification, for the record... by David Waldman Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 07:29:28 AM PDT Brian Beutler's TPMDC piece this morning compels me to remind you of something:

Are Democrats bickering again over whether the Senate or the House should make the first move on a major agenda item. Yes they are. Multiple House Democratic leaders tonight were adamant that they'll put Republicans on the spot for demanding tax cuts for the wealthy...but they're arguing amongst themselves over whether the onus should be on the House or the Senate to make the first move. [...] These are the same caveats Democrats used after Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts and health care reform seemed all but dead. Democrats ultimately decided to use the House and Senate rules to pass a comprehensive health care bill, but not before trading barbs for weeks, each chamber demanding that the other make the first move. The Senate, and its arcane rules, ultimately forced the House's hand.

Yes, this is the same sort of fight that they had over the health insurance reform bill and the use of reconciliation. In the popular (well, "popular") lore (well, "lore"), the House was forced to pass the Senate version of the bill first, before the Senate would act on the "fix" under reconciliation, because you can't use reconciliation on a bill that hasn't become law yet. But you can. You always could. The real lesson of that episode was that the Senate parliamentarians (or at least, this current parliamentarian) will only allow it if there are

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Congress Matters instructions specifically stating that pending legislation is a legitimate target, even though the statute that created reconciliation authority clearly authorizes its use to amend pending legislation. How do I know? I looked it up in March. How else do I know? Because back in April, Kent Conrad (D-ND) -- who spent all kinds of time and energy insisting the House had to go first because you couldn't use reconciliation on pending legislation -- wrote a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that specifically authorized using reconciliation on pending legislation. So, I'm glad we're clear on that. Right? A small point, perhaps. But we Cheeto Munchers have to protect the ones we win. Permalink :: Discuss

Today in Congress by David Waldman Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 House Meets At... 10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. "One Minutes" (15 per side) Suspensions (23 Bills) 1. H.R. 2039 - Congressional Made in America Promise Act (Rep. Kaptur - House Administration) 2. H.R. 3116 - Berry Amendment Extension Act (Rep. Kissell Homeland Security) 3. Senate Amendments to H.R. 3978 - First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Act (Rep. Rogers (AL) Homeland Security) 4. H.Res. 1595 - Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the passage of legislation that created real estate investment trusts (REITs) and gave millions of Americans new investment opportunities that helped them build a solid foundation for retirement security and has contributed to the overall strength of our economy (Rep. Levin - Ways and Means) 5. H.R. 5873 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 218 North Milwaukee Street in Waterford, Wisconsin, as the "Captain Rhett W. Schiller Post Office" (Rep. Ryan (WI) - Oversight and Government Reform) 6. S. 2868 - Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act (Sen. Lieberman - Oversight and Government Reform) 7. H.Res. 1522 - Expressing support for designation of the last week of September as National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and the last Wednesday of September as National Previvor Day (Rep. Wasserman Schultz Oversight and Government Reform) 8. H.R. 5366 - Overseas Contractor Reform Act (Rep. Welch Oversight and Government Reform) 9. H.Res. __ - Expressing the support for and honoring September 17, 2010 as "Constitution Day" (Rep. Latta Oversight and Government Reform) 10. S. 3656 - Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 (Sen. Lincoln - Agriculture) 11. H.R. 3519 - Veterinarian Services Investment Act (Rep. Smith (NE) - Agriculture) 12. H.Res. __ - Expressing condolences to and solidarity with the people of Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods that began July 22, 2010 (Rep. Berman - Foreign Affairs) 13. H.R. 5282 - To provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities (Rep. Barrow - Transportation and Infrastructure)

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Congress Matters 14. H.R. 5651 - To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 515 9th Street in Rapid City, South Dakota, as the "Andrew W. Bogue Federal Building and United States Courthouse" (Rep. Herseth Sandlin Transportation and Infrastructure) 15. H.R. 5706 - To designate the facility of the Government Printing Office located at 31451 East United Avenue in Pueblo, Colorado, as the "Frank Evans Government Printing Office Building" (Rep. Salazar - Transportation and Infrastructure) 16. Senate Amendment to H.R. 3562 - An act to designate the federally occupied building located at 1220 Echelon Parkway in Jackson, Mississippi, as the 'James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building' (Rep. Thompson (MS) Transportation and Infrastructure) 17. H.R. 5773 - To designate the Federal building located at 6401 Security Boulevard in Baltimore, Maryland, as the "Robert M. Ball Federal Building" (Rep. Cummings Transportation and Infrastructure) 18. H.Res. 1583 - Observing the fifth anniversary of the date on which Hurricane Rita devastated the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, remembering those lost in the storm and in the process of evacuation, recovery, and rebuilding (Rep. Boustany - Transportation and Infrastructure) 19. H.Res. 1577 - Observing the fifth anniversary of the date on which Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, saluting the dedication of volunteers who offered assistance in support of those affected by the storm, recognizing the progress of efforts to rebuild the affected Gulf Coast region (Rep. Cao - Transportation and Infrastructure) 20. H.Res. 1473 - Supporting backcountry airstrips and recreational aviation (Rep. Rehberg - Transportation and Infrastructure) 21. H.Res. 1375 - Recognizing the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (Rep. Cooper - Judiciary) 22. H.Res. __ - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that law enforcement service dogs and their handlers perform a vital role in providing for our Nation's security and should be recognized for their service (Rep. Coble - Judiciary) 23. H.R. 4862 - To permit Members of Congress to administer the oath of allegiance to applicants for naturalization (Rep. Serrano - Judiciary) Postponed Suspension Vote (1 Bill) 1. H.Res. 1610 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001 (Reps. Hoyer/Boehner) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 9:30am Following any Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business for 1 hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. The Republicans will control the first 30 minutes and the Majority will control the final 30 minutes. Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.5297, the Small Business Jobs bill, post-cloture. Time during any adjournment, recess, or period of morning business will count post-cloture. The Senate will recess from 2:45pm until 3:30pm to accommodate members attending the September 11th Congressional Remembrance Ceremony on the East Front Center steps of the Capitol. The Majority Leader will continue to work with the Republicans on an

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Congress Matters agreement that would allow us to complete action on the Small Business Jobs bill. Senators will be notified when any agreement is reached and votes are scheduled.

What can I tell you about a September Wednesday with 24 suspensions? Not much! And there's not much to say about the Senate today, either. Yesterday they went through the many layers of the cloture onion on the Small Business Jobs bill, failing to invoke cloture on the Johanns amendment, then failing to invoke cloture on the Nelson (FL) amendment, but finally invoking cloture on the Baucus substitute, capturing the vote of every single Republican named George (LeMieux and Voinovich). So now we're in the post-cloture 30 hours and "continu[ing] to work with the Republicans on an agreement that would allow us to complete action" on the bill. Barring any actual success in "working with the Republicans on an agreement" -- and really, why wouldn't you just go ahead and bar that? -- the post-cloture time expires just before 6:00 pm this evening. Possibly late enough in the evening that they'd push the vote into Thursday. Yes, that too is part of the threat that comes with the filibuster. It's all finished but the shouting. But the Republicans can force the Senate to waste 30 more hours on that shouting. Once cloture has been invoked, the underlying measure remains the pending business on the floor to the exclusion of all else until post-cloture time has elapsed or otherwise been disposed of (i.e., yielded or waived by unanimous consent). So even if no one really ever cared about the bill and just filibustered for the hell of it, it still gives them the chance to kill a whole Senate day without any effort at all. Fun! Today's committee schedule appears below the fold. Permalink :: There's more...

Today in Congress by David Waldman Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: FLOOR SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 House Meets At... 2:00 p.m.: Legislative Business First Vote Predicted... 6:00 p.m. Last Vote Predicted... 6:30 p.m. "One Minutes" Suspensions (8 Bills) 1. H.Res. __ - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001 (Reps. Hoyer/Boehner) 2. H.Res. 1052 - Honoring the members of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard of the State of Oklahoma for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States since September 11, 2001 (Rep. Boren - Armed Services) 3. H.Res. 1251 - Recognizing and honoring the United States troops who gave their lives on D-Day at the Battle of Normandy (Rep. Poe - Armed Services) 4. H.R. 6102 - To amend the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 to extend the authority of the Secretary of the Navy to enter into multiyear contracts for F/A-18E, F/A-18F, and EA-18G aircraft (Rep. Taylor - Armed Services) 5. H.Res. 1571 - Acknowledging and congratulating Miami Dade College on the occasion of its 50th anniversary of service to the students and residents of the State of Florida (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen - Education and Labor) 6. H.Res. 1564 - Commending and congratulating Michigan Technological University on the occasion of its 125th anniversary (Rep. Stupak - Education and Labor) 7. H.Res. 1480 - Commending the University of Southern California Trojan men's tennis team for its victory in the 2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Tennis Championship (Rep. Watson - Education and Labor) 8. H.Res. __ - Expressing support for designation of the week beginning September 19, 2010, as "National Hispanic-

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Congress Matters Serving Institutions Week" (Rep. Grijalva - Education and Labor) Conference Reports may be brought up at any time. Motions to go to Conference should they become available. Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: Convenes: 10am Resume consideration of H.R.5297, the Small Business Jobs bill with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on Johanns amendment #4596 (1099 reporting) [link]. If cloture is not invoked, the Senate would proceed to a cloture vote on the Nelson (FL) amendment #4595 (1099 reporting) [link]. If cloture is invoked, there would be up to 30 hours for debate. If cloture is not invoked, the Senate would proceed to a cloture vote on the substitute amendment #4594 [link] to HR5297, Small Business Jobs. The Senate will recess from 12:30pm - 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

These are the toughest days to write a "Today in Congress" for. It's Tuesday, and yesterday I ran "This Week in Congress," which told you that the House wasn't going to be in session on Monday, but gave you the Tuesday schedule. Then I also gave you today's Senate schedule, and nothing's changed since I did that. So that leaves me with the task of telling you that today is going to look pretty much like I told you it was going to look yesterday. It's hard enough to get people to discuss the day's happenings on Capitol Hill without having to admit that you already read this yesterday. But that's where we are. What a day on the House side, eh? First, a "sense of the House" resolution regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. My guess is, that sense is going to be fairly negative. Also, there'll be some discussion of some very nice colleges, and a little tennis. Then, from 6:00 to 6:30, they'll vote on that. So that's pretty awesome. On the Senate side, there's some pretty complex stuff going on with procedure on the Small Business Jobs bill that we went over yesterday. And guess what? It's all still true. The Senate has it's own substitute for the House text of the bill, written by Max Baucus (D-MT). And Bill Nelson (D-FL) has an amendment to that Baucus amendment. And Mike Johanns (R-NE) has an amendment to that Nelson amendment. So they'll be voting on cloture on that Johanns amendment. If they get it, great. Thirty hours later, they'll vote on Johanns, unless they waive some or all of that 30 hours. If they don't get it, they'll vote on cloture on the Nelson amendment. And if they get that, then they'll vote on Nelson some time up to 30 hours later without ever having a vote on Johanns. And if they don't get cloture on Nelson, then they'll vote on cloture for Baucus, and close out any opportunity to vote on Nelson. Then they'll vote on the Baucus substitute itself. Etc., etc., like the layers of an onion. And somewhere along the line -- possibly in several places -- it'll all become so redundant that much of the post-cloture 30 hours on each of these things could be waived. Or it could be dragged out. That's what makes the threat of filibusters so aggravating, and why Senators give in to it so frequently. But if you think that's frustrating and redundant, try writing about it twice in two days, without having had any changes in the circumstances. The committee schedule for today and the balance of the week appears below the fold. And wouldn't you know it? That looks pretty much the same as it did yesterday, too. Thank God that tomorrow we'll be naming some post offices in the House, just to shake things up. Permalink :: There's more... (2 comments)

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