Capitol Hill Update, 5 May, 2014
House & Senate/Schedule: Both chambers are in session this week. The House will recess next week, but the Senate remains in session continuously through May 23rd.
Legislative Highlight of the Week: The House will hold a pair of votes this week relating to IRS official Lois Lerner. The first vote will be on a resolution (no number yet) holding Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify after being subpoenaed. The second, H.Res. 565, would direct Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative groups, which Lerner supervised.
House/ Education: On Thursday, the House will consider H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act. Sponsored by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), this bill would set aside some federal education funding to be used to promote and assist in the founding of charter schools in the states.
Senate/Taxes: The Senate may take up S. 2261, the Tax Technical Corrections Act. Sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), this bill contains a large number extensions of tax code provisions that were slated to expire at the end of 2014. These include a wide range of credits, deductions, and depreciation allowances – some of which are beneficial, but many of which are blatant corporate welfare.
House/Taxes: The House will vote this week on only one of the “tax extenders” – the Research and Development Tax Credit. The American Research and Competitiveness Act, H.R. 4438, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), would extend this temporary R&D credit permanently.
Senate/Energy: The Senate is likely to vote this week on S. 2262, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. A bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), it would offer money to the states to be used for green energy and building projects, such as making government buildings more energy efficient. FreedomWorks has issued a Key Vote NO on this bill, because it is a misuse of taxpayer dollars – if states want to do these projects, they can fund them.