Several of my friends working in DC this summer were assigned to a similar job: to “do clips.” For an intern working on the Hill, that means wading through DC news for the top headlines, and local news for mentions of their member. For someone at the Sunlight Foundation, it means using Google News Alerts to gather pertinent stories related to transparency. And for me, an intern at the Center for American Progress, it means combing through the Daybook, the National Journal, Roll Call, CQ, Politico, and the Hill to put together this gem for the staff.
One of the main goals of the Government Affairs department is to keep the staff updated on congressional happenings, and as a result we solely focus on news from the Hill. The twice-daily memo serves as a reference point on top congressional news, daily hearings, and floor activity. Enjoy skimming through- at the very least, you’ll get caught up on the news.
Congress Capsule- July 25, 2011
- Boehner’s plan unveiled- Speaker Boehner offered a two-part plan today that raises the debt ceiling by $2.6T (enough to last through 2012), and trims the deficit by $3T. The first part of the plan imposes a 10 year cap on discretionary spending and and raises the debt limit by $1T, an amount that will last until next year. The second piece of the plan would be considered by Congress in December, and would an addition $1.8T in federal spending. The specifics would be prepared by a 12-member joint congressional committee, made of three lawmakers from each party and each chamber. A possible House vote on the plan is expected for Wednesday the 27th.
- Diverging deals- Boehner’s proposal counters Senate Majority Leader Reid’s plan, released earlier today, which raises the debt ceiling by $2.4T, and cuts spending by $2.7T. This single-step plan does not increase revenues and does not cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security funding. Differences in the opposing plans most likely signifcy that broader questions about deficit reduction will take a backseat to negotiations over the timeline of and amount of steps in a debt limit increase.
- President to address the nation tonight- President Obama will speak at 9 PM tonight to discuss the ongoing debt crisis.
- Rep. Hastings introduces offshore drilling overhaul- House Natural Resources chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) released draft legislation today that would reorganize federal oversight of offshore drilling. The bill would abolish the former Minerals Management Service (MMS) and replace it with three separate agencies tasked with managing offshore energy development; safety and permitting; and royalty and revenue collection.
- Efforts to end FAA stalemate- Lawmakers will try again this week to reach an agreement on FAA reauthorization. The latest extension of the program expired on July 22nd due to a dispute on subsidies to several small airports. The agency is currently unable to collect and spend the taxes that support the aviation system.
- CAPAF on the Hill- On Tuesday, Michael Ettlinger testifies before the Senate Finance Committee for the hearing “Perspectives on Deficit Reduction: A Review of Key Issues.”
Hearings of Note Tomorrow:
- House Ways and Means on consumption-based tax systems, Mike Huckabee testifies
- House Oversight and Government Reform on “Operation Fast and Furious”
- House Homeland Security on Al-Shabaab’s Muslim American recruitment and radicalization
- House Armed Services on the way forward in Afghanistan
- Senate HELP on the middle class’ outlook, Labor Secretary Solis testifies
- Senate Finance on perspectives on deficit reduction
- Senate Judiciary on immigration reform economic imperatives
Today in the House
The House passed a rule for consideration of the Interior and Energy Appropriations 205-131. Votes are expected between 5:45-6:15 this evening on three suspension bills: an extension of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s term, the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia, and a restoration of GI Bill benefits.
Tomorrow in the House
Tomorrow, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act, which relates to the proposed Keystone XL pipelines which would run from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.
Today in the Senate
The Senate is expected to vote at 5:30 on the confirmation of two district court justices.
Tomrorow in the Senate
The Senate does not have any legislation in the docket for tomorrow, pending action on the ongoing debt negotiations.
[A detailed list of the time, location, and witnesses of all hearings usually follows.]