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1. FreedomWorks: Calling for co-sponsors of the REINS Act. Also, check out this NewsMax article quoting Armey extensively on spending cuts being good for the economy.
2. Senate/Leadership: The current short term continuing resolution that is funding the government runs out on Friday. Instead of working on the House passed long-term H.R.1 (continuing resolution), the Senate will have a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.493: Small Business Innovation Research Reauthorization Act today. Senate Republican leadership is going to use this as an opportunity to offer amendments to cut spending, promote private sector job growth, and address rising gas prices.
The Senate will likely take up the 3 week short term CR on Tuesday or Wednesday, after/if they have received it from the House (increasing opposition on the right to it for not cutting enough).
DeMint and Rubio have stated that they will not support another short term CR. Here is a link to Rubio’s oped in RedState today.
The Senate will be in recess next week. When they come back, they will likely continue working on S.493 and not on H.R.1.
3. House/Continuing Resolution (CR): Since the Senate has continued to push off working on the House passed CR (H.R.1), the House is working on another short term continuing resolution. This CR would be a 3 week extension of the current CR and would cut $6.1 billion in spending. It has $3.5 billion in program eliminations and $2.6 in earmark eliminations.
4. House/Spending/Housing programs: On Wednesday, the House will consider two bills from the Committee on Financial Services on mandatory spending cuts.
The NSP Termination Act (H.R.861) would rescind the third round of funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and would terminate the program. NSP gives money to states and localities to purchase foreclosed homes. The program received $4 billion in funds in 2008, $2 billion from the stimulus, and $1 billion from Dodd-Frank. The CBO has given the bill a score of $0 in savings because the remaining money has been obligated since the bill was introduced. However, House leadership still wants to move forward with terminating the program.
The HAMP Termination Act (H.R.839) would terminate the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide new assistance under the Home Affordable Modification Program. HAMP is a $30 billion program that was funded through TARP and instituted to help borrowers who were having a difficult time paying their mortgages. The program, like so many other government programs, is expensive and not effective. CBO estimates that the savings from terminating this program is $1.4 billion.
5. House/Spending/NPR: On Thursday, the House will introduce a bill that would prohibit federal funding of NPR. House Republicans say that the bill will have similar text to H.R.69, which prohibits federal funding of certain public radio programming and provides for the transfer of certain public radio funds to reduce the public debt. They are still working on the text of the NPR bill, so stay tuned for more information.
6. House/Welfare: The RSC is also working on a welfare reform bill. It takes a look at 77 programs that are projected to spend $10 trillion over the next decade. The bill would require OMB to report the total means testing welfare spending, including state spending. It would also make a spending cap on welfare programs using 2007 as the baseline, and it would place work requirements on people receiving food stamps. Stayed tuned for more information on this bill as well.
7. House/Budget: The RSC is still in the process of writing their alternative to the FY2012 budget. They are looking for ideas from on and off the hill. They expect to come out with their alternative budget in late March/early April.
8. House/Member Initiative: Rep. Connie Mack (likely FL Sen. candidate) is heading up the RSC Repeal Task Force, which will work to eliminate unconstitutional laws and will provide assistance to Members who are introducing legislation that will eliminate unconstitutional or anti-free-enterprise laws.
9. House/Member Initiative: Rep. Randy Neugebauer and Rep. Jim Renacci are introducing a bill that would delay the implementation of the Federal Reserve’s proposed rule of setting the price for debit card transactions. The rule was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, which gave the Federal Reserve the authority to set the fees that each party can collect in a debit card transaction. It is another example of government intervention in the economy and price fixing. Neugebauer and Renacci are asking for cosponsors for this bill.
10. House/Member Initiative: Rep. Phil Gingrey has introduced the Federal Employee Accountability Act (H.R.122), which repeals two sections of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Gingrey’s bill would ensure that no employee of the federal government can use official time to collectively bargain on behalf of a union against his/her employer. The estimated savings for this bill is $600 million over 5 years and $1.2 billion over ten. They are asking for support and cosponsors for this bill.
11. House/Member Initiative: Rep. Lamar Smith has introduced the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R.527), which would amend the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980. Smith’s bill would expand the requirements for initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses under RFA to include estimates and descriptions of the cumulative economic impact of a proposed rule on a small entity. It would also repeal provisions allowing a waiver or delay of the completion of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. They are asking for support and cosponsors for this bill. Note: the Senate version of this bill is being introduced by Snowe.
12. House/Committees: The Committee on Energy and Commerce will be having hearings on net neutrality disproval and the Energy Tax Prevention Act today. They will likely markup the bill tomorrow.
On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee will be marking up the Airport and Airways Trust Fund Financing Reauthorization Act (H.R.1034). The bill would reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration through September 2014. According to CBO, the reauthorization would have no revenue impact.