Senate Analysis

Returning from their five-week summer vacation, Senators face an ambitious agenda that includes liberal health care reform, a cap-and-tax energy policy, financial regulatory overhaul, a new strategy in Afghanistan and, of course, appropriations. Some insiders have even mentioned comprehensive immigration and some variation of so-called “card check.” So it is telling that the very first bill the Senate takes up next week will be the twice-defeated Tourism Promotion Act, which would tax certain foreign visitors to the US. It appears that the vast, ambitious liberal agenda is on the verge of collapse and election year politics are in full swing.

Major Senate Floor Action

  • The Senate will vote on the motion to reconsider the Tourism Promotion Act of 2009.
  • Senators are likely to use debate over the Commerce-Justice-science appropriations bill to discuss the Obama Administration’s investigation into the CIA.
  • The nomination of Cass Sunstein to be the Administrator of the important Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is likely to be approved this week as well.

Major Senate Committee Action

  • The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on “Global Warming Legislation: Carbon Markets and Producer Groups.” Foundry readers are well aware that carbon offset programs won’t offset farmers’ lost income.
  • Health care remains suspiciously absent from the hearing and markup schedules. That means most of the work will continue behind closed doors, as it has during the past five weeks.

House Analysis

Returning from their five-week summer vacation, House Members have to contend with an unpopular liberal health care reform and a very complicated overhaul of the financial system. A large segment of the Democrat’s membership may also express hesitation or outright rejection of a new, more aggressive strategy in Afghanistan. Despite the all the work to be done, Speaker Pelosi has not laid out a clear path forward, indicating the liberal agenda may be on the verge of collapse after an intense August.

Major House Floor Action

  • The schedule is unclear at this time.

Major House Committee Action

  • House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing on mortgage refinancing and modification.
  • House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a hearing on the lending industry and foreclosures.
  • House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing on Patriot Act reauthorization.