Here's a preview of what's happening in the U.S. House this week
The hearings on the oil spill will continue this week:
Wednesday 6/23 - Education and Labor - Workers Health and Safety for Oil Spills
Wednesday 6/23 - Science and Technology - Deepwater Drilling Technology
Thursday 6/24 - Natural Resources - Gulf Coast Oil Spill/Standards for Preparedness
As of now there are no big names listed to testify at any of these hearings.
- There will be another case of the House impatiently tapping it's feet waiting to see if the Senate can get a tax extenders bill finished. This bill contains the funds to continue to finance unemployment insurance, which ran out on June 1st. Last night the Senate couldn't get cloture on a further reduced version of H.R.4213 The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.
- Friday, the Senate passed a short-term "doc fix." This will eliminate, for six months, the planned cut in reimbursements to doctors who care for medicare patients. This bill has to go back to the House next week for passage.
- The House Rules committee was supposed to meet last Thursday on the DISCLOSE act so it could proceed to the floor on Friday. That didn't so much happen. (Just so you know, DISCLOSE stands for "Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act." Clever, right?) The DISCLOSE act is Congress' response to the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision. It's intended to make the campaign finance process more transparent. "The bill would require corporations, unions and nonprofit groups to disclose their top five donors if they participate in political activity and to agree to other disclosures in connection with expenditures prior to elections." It didn't make it to the floor this week because multiple groups are upset that the bill will include a provision that exempts the NRA from adhering to it. Van Hollen is apparently willing to extend that exemption to other groups but the Blue Dogs and the CBC aren't happy and made that known in meetings Thursday with Pelosi. However, there's still support for doing something to counter the Citizens United decision so there's a pretty good chance Rep. Van Hollen will come back with more compromises next week.
- We'll continue to watch the Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) BP apology-fallout. The Democrats, as evidence by my inbox today, are not going to let this go and with Rep. Bonner jumping on the bandwagon, who knows if more GOP-dominoes will fall. As of now, GOP leadership in the House still supports Barton in his position of power.