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Capitol Hill Update, 23 September, 2013

FreedomWorks Capitol Hill Update, 23 September, 2013

House & Senate/Schedule: The Senate will remain in session each week through the 11th of October.  The House was supposed to be on recess this week, but will return to town on Wednesday, and may stay through the weekend, depending upon the outcome of the Continuing Resolution in the Senate.

Legislative Highlight of the Week: This week is all about the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government (H.J.Res. 59), after the House sent the Senate a CR that thoroughly defunds ObamaCare. Activity in the Senate will depend largely upon what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chooses to do.  

If he wants, he could just move to have an up-or-down vote on the CR as written, in which case Democrats would certainly vote the bill down on cloture (end of debate, which requires 60 votes to pass). Then, both houses would be at an impasse.Otherwise, in order to send the CR back to the House, Senator Reid would have to amend the bill the strip the bill of its defund language.  

Senator Ted Cruz has made very clear that he intends to use a talking filibuster to attempt to defeat any attempts to remove the defund ObamaCare language from the CR.  FreedomWorks has been a strong proponent of using the CR to defund ObamaCare, and we’re encouraging all FreedomWorks members to call the Republican Senators who have been against the effort to defund ObamaCare and ask them to stand strong against any attempts by Harry Reid to fund ObamaCare. To learn more about the procedural hurdles and potential timing surrounding the CR in the Senate, read Dean Clancy's latest article HERE.

House/Spending: The House is basically in a holding pattern until the Senate either passes an amended CR or rejects what the House sent them entirely.  Either way, the House will likely remain in session until and even through the weekend, taking care of a number of minor bills while they wait.  

House & Senate/ Government Accountability:  Several weeks ago, the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) ruled that Congress and its staff would continue to receive their current level of health insurance benefits under ObamaCare.  This is a particularly flagrant example of the government living by a different set of rules than those that they pass for the American people as a whole. In response, Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA) and Senator David Vitter (LA) have each introduced bills to force Congress to live under the law they passed, by reversing the OPM’s ruling.  The bills, which FreedomWorks supports, are the “No Special Treatment for Congress Act” in the House (H.R. 3071), and the “No Exemption for Washington from ObamaCare Act” in the Senate (S. 1497).