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Capitol Hill Update, 16 June, 2014
House & Senate/Schedule: Both chambers remain in session until June 27th.
Legislative Highlight of the Week: The stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week has set up a furious race to replace him, with a vote scheduled this Thursday. Current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California is running for the spot, as is Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho. FreedomWorks has endorsed Rep. Labrador because of his exceptional voting record (92% on FreedomWorks' scorecard, compared to 74% for McCarthy). The Majority Leader gets to set the floor schedule for the House - what bills are scheduled and when - and thus putting this position into the hands of an actual, principled defender of liberty is of paramount importance.
The House Majority Whip spot has also become vacant thanks to McCarthy's run for Majority Leader. The contestants for Whip are Congressmen Pete Roskam (IL), Marlin Stutzman (IN), and Republicans Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (LA).
House/Spending: On Wednesday, the House will consider the Department of Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 4870. The bill would provide for $490.9 billion in discretionary spending, as well as $79 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) war spending that is off-budget.
Senate/Spending: The Senate will vote on a "minibus" spending bill that wraps three appropriations bills into one. The three are: Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS), Transportation and Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD), and Agriculture. A House-passed spending bill, H.R. 4660, is being used as the "vehicle" for these three bills. Together, these bills total about $120 billion in spending for next year. Regular order would dictate that Harry Reid allow a large number of amendments to this bill, but it remains to be seen how many, if any, will be allowed. There have been very few amendments allowed to come to a vote this entire year, and fewer still from Republican Senators.