House Cloakroom: November 14-20, 2010


The House returns back to Washington for a lame-duck session after a historical midterm election. The actual legislative calendar for the week remains to be seen, but it will more than likely be light as the new members of the 112th Congress will be in town for orientation, leadership elections, and a meeting with President Obama for both Senate and House leadership teams on Thursday.

Potential floor action could be seen on a one-time Social Security payment to recipients as well as the child-nutrition bill. Although the legislative week will be slow, Congress has several actions they must take up before they adjourn the 111th Congress. The issue of the 01-03 Bush tax relief measures as well as a continuing resolution (CR) has to be voted on prior to its end date on December 3rd.

As we look ahead to 2011, Congress has a many different issues to tackle. The Heritage Foundation has issued a set of five simple actions Congress must take in order to meet the electoral mandate of the American people. These five priorities represent the bare minimum of what is expected of our new representatives. More will need to be done to get our nation back on the right track.

Major Floor Action:

HR 5987: Seniors Protection Act of 2010
HR 1751: American Dream Act
S. 3307 : Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

The House Standards of Official Conduct Subcommittee on Charles B. Rangel Adjudication will hold a hearing on Congressman Rangel’s alleged ethics violations.

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing on “Mortgage Servicing Issues”.

The House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing on “Climate Change Science”.

Senate Cloakroom: November 14-20, 2010


The Senate comes back to Washington after a long break for the midterm elections on Monday, November 15. The first votes of the week will take place on Wednesday, November 17, as the Senate has three procedural votes lined up on the following issues: A bill introduced by Senator Reid attempting to promote natural gas and electric vehicles, the Paycheck Fairness Act , and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

President Obama has summoned Senate and House leadership to a meeting at the White House on Thursday, November 18, so it is unclear how much the Senate will try to accomplish this week outside of the aforementioned cloture votes.

Also of note this week is a Senate Finance Committee hearing entitled “Patient Protection Provisions of Health Care Law”. Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is scheduled to testify, which is significant, considering the Senate never held a hearing to discuss Dr. Berwick’s nomination. He was appointed by President Obama during the Fourth of July recess without the consent of Congress.

Major Floor Action:

S.3815: Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act of 2010
S.3772: Paycheck Fairness Act
S.510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to consider various nominations.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing to discuss TSA oversight.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the Water Resources Development Act.