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PODCAST: Hill Update with Max Pappas


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  1. House/Senate/Schedule: Both the House and Senate will remain in session until August 5th
  2. Senate/Agenda: The Senate will be working on S.1323, “A bill to express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit,” introduced by Senator Harry Reid. This is Harry Reid’s way of showing that Senate Democrats will not make an agreement in regard to reducing the budget deficit without a requirement that those earning $1 million or more per year pay more in taxes.The Senate will likely have a vote on the consensus BBA (cosponsored by all 47 Republican Senators) sometime next week.
  3. House/Agenda: The House has a packed schedule this week, as they will be working on two FY2012 Appropriations bills, two energy bills, a flood insurance bill, and possibly an FAA extension bill. Next week, the House will likely have a vote on the BBA, and then will continue working on the Financial Services Appropriations bill for FY2012.
  4. House/Spending: This week, they will consider the Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R.2354), which would provide a total of $30.6 billion in non-emergency, discretionary budget authority for the agencies and programs funded through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. This is $249 million below the FY 2008 level.

The RSC is offering an amendment that would reduce spending by an additional $3.04 billion, which would represent a further cut of 9.93% from the base bill. Several other Republicans are offering amendments to cut spending as well.

At the end of the week, the House will start working on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R.2434) for FY2012. The legislation would provide annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Executive Office of the President, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, the Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other independent agencies.  The bill includes a total of $19.9 billion in funding for the agencies, which is nearly $2 billion (9%) below last year’s level, nearly $6 billion below the President’s fiscal year 2012 request, and more than $700 million below the pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels enacted in 2008. 

The RSC is offering an amendment that would reduce spending by an additional $1.98 billion, which would represent a further cut of 9.93% from the base bill. 

5. House/Energy: Tuesday, the House will have a vote on the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (H.R.2417) introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX, 6th). H.R.2417 would roll back the regulation from the last Congress that in effect banned the incandescent light bulb. Some Republicans are concerned because Sec. 4 of H.R.2417 bans States from enacting regulations concerning the energy efficiency and energy use of incandescent light bulbs, which is a violation of the 10th Amendment. 

On Wednesday, the House will consider the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (H.R.2018), introduced by Rep. John Mica (R-FL, 7th). H.R.2018 would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to preserve the authority of each State to make determinations relating to the State's water quality standards.

 6. House/Other: On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will consider H.R. 1309, which would authorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to enter into and renew flood insurance policies through fiscal year 2016.  The authority is currently scheduled to expire at the end of FY 2011.  Some Republicans are concerned because the program currently owes the Treasury more than $17.8 billion and H.R.1309 would extend the program for another 5 years without guaranteeing that the debt will be paid back. The legislation also does not protect the taxpayer from another NFIP bailout in the event of catastrophic loss.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ, 6th) has introduced amendment #3, which would strike additional coverage provided in H.R. 1309 for business interruption and cost of living expenses. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI, 10th) has introduced amendment #7, which would terminate the National Flood Insurance Program.

7. House/Committees: The Committee on Natural Resources will be having a full committee hearing on “Offshore Energy: Interior Department’s Plans for Offshore Energy, Revenue, and Safety Reorganization.”

The Committee on Energy and Commerce will have hearings this week to review Internet privacy, examine the controversial board of bureaucrats known as IPAB and its effects on seniors, and review the economic burdens of the administration’s regulatory juggernaut. The committee will also continue discussions on pipeline safety and spectrum policy. In addition, the full committee will vote on legislation to more carefully review and understand the economic consequences of regulations, and specifically protect against proposals that will cost jobs and drive up energy prices.  


On Tuesday, the Committee on Financial Services will be marking up:


H.R. 463, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Transparency Act of 2011 
H.R. 2436, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Taxpayer Payback Act of 2011 
H.R. 2441, the Housing Trust Fund Elimination Act 
H.R. 2440, the Market Transparency and Taxpayer Protection Act 
H.R. 2462, Cap the GSE Bailout Act 
H.R. 2439, Eliminate the GSE Charter During Receivership 
H.R. 2428, the GSE Legal Fee Reduction Act

8. House/Member Initiative: Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY, 25th) has introduced the Just Do Your Job Act (H.R.2372), which would reduce the amount available for the payment of salaries and expenses of the Budget Committee and the Office of the Majority Leader of a chamber of Congress if that chamber does not adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2011 or 2012. 

 7. House/Member Initiative: This week, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI, 3rd) will be introducing a bill called the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Act. More details to come…


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