Thursday, March 01, 2012

Today in Congress: you people are gonna want your money back

Thu Mar 01, 2012  by David Waldman for Daily Kos

Recapping yesterday's action:

Less and less is happening on the floor every day. They're still going through the motions in the committees, with the appropriators and budget folks busily churning through their piles of paper in preparation for their busy season. But in the House yesterday, the only action was the party-line passage of the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (plus the party-line rejection of every single amendment to it), and then the passage on voice vote of one suspension bill.

In the Senate, the official business was the continued debate of the transportation bill, but as for what actually got done, er, ah... umm... well, they declared February 29th "Rare Disease Day." Which I guess is fitting, since February 29th is a rare day.

Looking ahead to today:

It gets no better.

The House convenes at 9:00 a.m., considers a resolution authorizing the House historian to compile oral histories from House members involved in the civil rights movements. A worthy undertaking, no doubt. Though you'd perhaps prefer to see it considered as an interlude between longer and more substantive stretches of work. Instead, it's a prelude only to two votes on suspension bills delayed from yesterday, and a last vote before the weekend anticipated between 10 and 11 a.m.

And in the Senate, yet more stumbling around on the transportation bill, only today's stumbling will be punctuated by a vote on the very obnoxious Blunt anti-contraception amendment. What a day.

Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.

In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:


On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.

First/Last votes: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

“One Minutes” (5 per side)

H. Res. 562 - Directing the Office of the Historian to compile oral histories from Members of the House of Representatives involved in the historic and annual Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, marches, as well as the civil rights movement in general, for the purposes of expanding or augmenting the historic record and for public dissemination and education (Rep. Sewell - House Administration) (Unanimous Consent Agreement, 1 hour of debate)

Postponed Suspension Votes (2 Votes):

  1. S. 1134 - St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act (Sen. Klobuchar - Transportation and Infrastructure/Natural Resources /Budget)
  2. H.Res. 556 - Condemning the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy, as amended (Rep. Pitts - Foreign Affairs)
In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Schedule for Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Senate will convene at 9:30am on Thursday, March 1, 2012.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.1813, the Surface Transportation bill, with the time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees.

At approximately 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote in relation to the Blunt amendment #1520 (contraception and health care). We will continue to work on a path forward on the transportation bill.

2/29 wrap-up:
Senate Wrap Up for Wednesday, February 29, 2012




Adopted S.Res. 382, designating March 2, 2012, as “Read Across America Day”.

Adopted S.Res. 383, designating February 29, 2012, as “Rare Disease Day”.

Today's House committee schedule:

Interior and Environment Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Fish and Wildlife Service.  Dept. witnesses.  B-308 RHOB.


Homeland Security Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for national protection and programs directorate.  Dept. witnesses.  H-405 Capitol.


Commerce, Justice, and Science Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Commerce.  Dept. witnesses.  H-309 Capitol.


Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for military construction.  Dept. witnesses.  2359 RHOB.


Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Agriculture.  Dept. witnesses.  2362-A RHOB.


Defense Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps.  Dept. witnesses.  H-140 Capitol.

ARMED SERVICES-------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  On the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization budget request from the U.S. Pacific Command.  Dept. witnesses.  2118 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE---------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Health Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services.  Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, HHS.  2123 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE---------------------------------------------------10:15-Open

Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subc.  On prescription drug diversion and abuse.  Public witnesses.  2322 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES-----------------------------------------------------9:30-Open

Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subc.  On understanding the effects of the repeal of Regulation Q, which barred banks from paying interest on corporate checking account balances.  Public witnesses.  2128 RHOB.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS-------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subc.  Markup of H.R. 3783 – To provide for a comprehensive strategy to counter Iran’s growing presence and hostile activity in the Western Hemisphere.  2172 RHOB.

HOMELAND SECURITY----------------------------------------------------9:30-Open

Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subc.  On Department of Homeland Security management information integration.  Dept. witnesses.  311 CHOB.

NATURAL RESOURCES---------------------------------------------------11:00-Open

Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subc.  On H.R. 1272 - Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2011.  1324 LHOB.

OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM-------------------------------------10:00-Open

Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management Subc.  On examining the FY 2011 consolidated financial statements.  Dept. witnesses.  2154 RHOB.

SCIENCE, SPACE, & TECHNOLOGY-----------------------------------------9:30-Open

Full Committee.  On the FY 2013 budget request for scientific research and development programs of the Department of Energy.  Steven Chu, Secretary, Department of Energy.  2318 RHOB.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE-----------------------------------10:00-Open

Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subc.  Markup of H.R. 2903 – FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2011, H.R. 3182 – To designate the courthouse in Anchorage as the "James M. Fitzgerald United States Courthouse”, H.R. 3556 - To designate the courthouse in Buffalo as the "Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse", and H.R. 4097 – The John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act of 2012.  2167 RHOB.

WAYS & MEANS----------------------------------------------------------9:30-Open

Full Committee.  Markup the views and estimates submission.  1100 LHOB.

Today's Senate committee schedule:
9:30 am
Armed Services
   Hearings to examine U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command in review of the Defense Authorization request for fiscal year 2013 and the Future Years Defense Program; with the possibility of a closed session in SVC-217 following the open session.

10:00 am
Appropriations: Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
   Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

10:00 am
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  Hearings to examine the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

10:00 am
                Hearings to examine tax reform to encourage growth, reduce the deficit, and promote fairness.

10:00 am
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    An oversight hearing to examine the cruise ship industry, focusing on if current regulations are sufficient to protect passengers and the environment.

10:00 am
Foreign Relations
  Hearings to examine Syria, focusing on the crisis and its implications.

10:00 am
  Business meeting to consider S.1002, to prohibit theft of medical products, and the nominations of Andrew David Hurwitz, of Arizona, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, Patty Shwartz, of New Jersey, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, Jeffrey J. Helmick, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, Mary Geiger Lewis, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, Timothy S. Hillman, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and Thomas M. Harrigan, of New York, to be Deputy Administrator of Drug Enforcement, Department of Justice.

2:30 pm
Appropriations: Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
    Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year for 2013 for the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Office of Compliance, and the Open World Leadership Center.

2:30 pm
Closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters.