The House worked late into the night, meandering through its schedule. They began their day by debating but then postponing a roll call vote on the first of the six scheduled suspension bills, then passing the next three by voice vote. Then, taking a detour, they returned to consideration of the "EPA Regulatory Relief Act" left over from last week, debated eight amendments to it but postponed the votes on them, then veered off and passed the rule for consideration of the trade bills. Then they turned back around and voted on the postponed amendments to the EPA bill (defeating them all), but still not passing the bill. Instead, they returned to the remaining suspension bills, passing them both by voice vote, before beginning debate on the trade bills, leaving the EPA bill hanging until later. Very strange, though not by any means out of keeping with the rules.
The Senate approached their schedule in a more straightforward manner, confirming the nomination of Jane Margaret Triche-Milazzo to the bench in the Eastern District of Louisiana by a vote of 98-0, and passing the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, 63-35. But the Senate was still the Senate, voting down cloture on the motion to proceed to the American Jobs Act by a vote of 50-49.
Looking ahead to today:
Today, the House mops up much of yesterday's work, with plans to complete consideration of the four trade bills (three free trade pacts and an extension of the Generalized System of Preferences), continue work on the EPA bill, and then get back to that one postponed suspension bill.
The Senate plans a 12 hour marathon debate on all three pending free trade pact implementation acts (implementation acts are the vehicles by which treaties are enacted into U.S. law). Of course, with the House still working on the bills today, I'm not sure by what reasoning the Senate will be claiming to be in possession of the papers (remember that?) they'll supposedly be debating. Maybe there's something special about treaty implementation acts that makes it possible to do that. But this Senate Dems blog entry suggests it's just the magic of unanimous consent, but that the votes can't actually happen until the papers arrive from the House.
Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.
In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
One Minutes Speeches (15 per side)
Complete Consideration of H.R. 3078 - United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (Closed Rule, 60 Minutes of Debate Remaining) (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Ways and Means Committee)
Complete Consideration of H.R. 3079 - United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (Closed Rule, 60 Minutes of Debate Remaining) (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Ways and Means Committee)
Complete Consideration of H.R. 3080 - United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Closed Rule, 60 Minutes of Debate Remaining) (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Ways and Means Committee)
Complete Consideration of the Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2832 - To extend the Generalized System of Preferences, and for other purposes (Closed Rule, 45 Minutes of Debate Remaining) (Sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp / Ways and Means Committee)
Continue Consideration of H.R. 2250 - EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (Modified Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order only those amendments that have been preprinted in the Congressional Record.
Postponed Vote on H.R. 2433 - Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011, as amended (Suspension) (Sponsored Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Floor Schedule for Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will begin consideration of H.R.3080, United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3079, United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act and, H.R.3078, United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, en bloc.
There will be 12 hours of debate, equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. Of the Majority time, Senator Baucus will control 20 minutes, Senator Brown (OH) will control 1 hour and Senator Sanders will control 1 hour. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bills in the following order:
- H.R.3080, United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
- H.R. 3079, United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act and
- H.R.3078, United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act.
The Senate will recess from 12:30pm to 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.
The Senate expects to complete action on the Free Trade Agreements during Wednesday’s session.
Roll Call Votes
Senate Floor Wrap Up for Tuesday, October 11, 2011
No LEGISLATIVE ITEMS
Confirmed Executive Calendar #290 Brian T. Baenig – to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture