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FreedomWorks Capitol Hill Update, 5 March, 2013
House & Senate Schedule: The House and Senate are both in session today, and will remain in D.C. for the next few weeks. The House will go on recess beginning March 22nd and the Senate will follow on the 25th.
Legislative Highlight of the Week: This week, House Republicans will pass a new Continuing Resolution (CR) which will continue to fund the federal government until September 30th in lieu of an actual budget, since the Senate has failed to pass a budget for nearly four years. According to Leadership, the House CR will simply extend current spending at the slightly reduced, post-sequester level of $974 billion. However, the CR will also reallocate as much as $7 billion to operations/maintenance accounts for military services affected by the automatic cuts that went into force last week. The current CR expires on the 27th of this month.
House Committees: The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing this week the effects ObamaCare will have on taxes. Meanwhile the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will also be holding a hearing on the “Impact of Health Care Law on Health Insurance Premiums.”
Senate/Spending: Next week the Senate will mark up its budget blueprint for fiscal year 2014. If a budget is actually passed it would be the first time in nearly 4 years the Senate has bothered to do so. For over 1400 days the Senate has refused to pass a budget as required by law.
House/Spending: Rep. Tom Price (GA-6) has introduced the “Decrease Spending Now Act”, H.R. 828, which mandates that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withdraw $45 billion from unobligated balances of discretionary appropriations within 60 days. The 2012 OMB report states that the federal budget contains nearly $700 billion in unobligated balances. FreedomWorks has put out a letter in support of this act, citing it as a “modest proposal that is a step in the right direction towards reining excessive spending.” An identical bill passed the Senate in 2011 with a massive bipartisan majority. You can read FreedomWorks' letter HERE.
Senate/Right to Work: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has reintroduced the National Right to Work Act, S. 204, which would allow workers the freedom to choose whether they wish to join a union, and would disallow the practice of compulsory union dues. The bill would eliminate the specific provision of labor law which allows union coercion of workers. More than 8 million Americans in 24 states currently work in shops where they have no choice but to join their union, whether they agree with how that union represents them or not. You can read more about the Right-to-Work movement HERE.