Contact FreedomWorks

111 K Street NE
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20002

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870
WATCH NOWLiz Cheney's War, Facebook vs. Free Speech, & Governor Caitlyn Jenner?Watch Here

Blog

Hill Update w/ Max Pappas, 1/30/12

Hill Update, 30 January 2012

This Week’s Legislative Highlight: On Wednesday, the House will finally vote on a bill, H.R. 1173, to repeal the Class Act provision of Obamacare.  The Class Act is a long-term care insurance program that even advisors to the Obama administration warned back in 2009 would be absolutely impossible to fund.  Worse, it was used as a budget gimmick, as it was funded by collecting taxes for two years before the benefits were to begin, so that the extra years of taxes were counted as a surplus.  While the program was recently suspended by the administration after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius admitted that it was not fiscally solvent, this bill would make sure it never comes back.

House/Senate Schedule: The House and Senate are both in session all week, and with both parties having returned from their legislative strategy retreats, the business of lawmaking is back in full swing.  Both chambers will be in town until the week of Presidents’ Day (20 February).

Senate/Insider Trading: There will be a cloture vote today at 5:30 on the STOCK Act, S. 2038, a bill which would bar members of Congress from making stock transactions based upon private information.  The legislation would require that members of Congress instead set up blind trusts for their money.

Senate & House/FAA: Both chambers will go to conference on the extension of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.  A temporary measure has been agreed to in order to get ahead of the January 31st deadline, but a longer-term extension is in the works and may come to a vote as soon as this week.

House/Spending: Last December, Congress passed a two-year freeze on pay increases for all civilian government employees, including members of Congress. The House will vote Wednesday on H.R. 3835, a bill to extend the freeze for a third year.  This is in contrast to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, in which he suggested a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers.

House/Budget: Two bills are being introduced from the House Budget Committee as part of a series of ten bills seeking to reform aspects of the budget process.  The two bills this week are:

  • H.R. 3582, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, introduced by Rep. Tom Price (GA-6).  This bill would require that every major bill or resolution (defined as a bill which the Congressional Budget Office expects to cost at least .25% of GDP, or about $39 billion) be subject to a second CBO report.  This report would not only analyze the impact of the bill upon the government’s budget, but also upon the economy as a whole.
  • H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act, introduced by Rep. Robert Woodall (GA-7).  This bill would reform the way that the CBO calculates the baseline spending assumptions that are the basis for all of its projections of future spending.  The legislation would remove the assumption from CBO calculations that spending will increase each year in proportion to inflation, which makes Congress’ new spending each year look like less than it is.

House/Member Initiative: Rep. Tim Scott (SC-1) has introduced a bill, H.R. 2145, which would prohibit unions from automatically deducting dues from any federal government employee’s paychecks, thus empowering those employees to make their own decisions regarding whether they want their money to go towards supporting the activities of a union they may not have even voted to join.

House/Member Initiative: Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-2) is introducing a Concurrent Resolution (no  bill number yet) which would check the abuse of Executive Orders by making all spending authorized by executive order invalid until approved by legislation in Congress.  Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution is very clear that all appropriations should originate in the House of Representatives, and this bill merely clarifies that point.