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Airplane taking of from the Reagan Airport - Washinton DC - Photo by kempsternyc(DK ID) email:
Woooo! T.G.I.T.! L8Rz!
Recapping yesterday's action:

This is getting depressing, though I suppose we should count our blessings that the output volume is so low. The House yesterday passed the "Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act," then debated but did not vote on another Democratic motion to instruct conferees on the payroll tax cut extension.

That's it.

The Senate was not in session. Senate Dems used the down time (things were being held up while the clock ran on the ripening of a cloture motion) for an off-site issues conference and retreat.

Looking ahead to today:

No improvement on tap for today. The House is in and out today, with the session convening at 9:00 a.m., and expected to be over a little more than an hour later. What little work is slated involves consideration of the STOCK Act, recently passed by the Senate. Only House Republicans intend to pass a different version of the bill rather than the one that came over from the Senate. That by itself isn't all that unusual. But they're going to consider their version of it under suspension of the rules, which will limit debate to 40 minutes, require a 2/3 vote to pass, and prevent any amendments from being offered.

Normally, you can't bring suspension bills to the floor after Wednesday, but the rule governing debate of yesterday's line item veto bill actually included a provision waiving the usual prohibition, and clearing the way for this suspension on a Thursday. So Republicans are really going out of their way to get the STOCK Act to the floor under this particular procedure.

This sets up something of a dilemma for Democrats, who may be angered by the changes in the bill—including one stripping the requirement that "political intelligence consultants" (like, say, Newt Gingrich) register as lobbyists—to vote against it. Under normal circumstances, that wouldn't make much of a difference and the bill would pass without their support, so long as Republicans supported it. But under suspension of the rules, bills require 2/3 to pass, and widespread rejection by Democrats would kill it (or at least force it to come back under regular order later on). And wouldn't that make a great headline if you were, say, a Mitt Romney supporter? Or were shortly anticipating being forced to become one? "Democrats reject anti-insider trading STOCK Act?"

The Senate returns to "action" today, with a 2:00 vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the surface transportation bill.


Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.

In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:


On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.

First/Last votes: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

“One Minutes” (5 per side)

Suspension (1 bill):

House Amendment to S. 2038 - STOCK Act (Sen. Lieberman - Judiciary/House Administration/Oversight and Government Reform Financial Services Agriculture/Rules)

Postponed Vote (1 vote):

Democratic Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 3630 - Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (One Hour of Debate) (Offered by Rep. Timothy Bishop)

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Floor Schedule for Thursday, February 9, 2012

Convenes: 9:30am

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business 11:00am with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.

Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1813, the Surface Transportation bill.

At approximately 2:00pm, there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.1813.

Today's House committee schedule:

Legislative Branch Subc. On FY 2013 budget request for the Architect of the Capitol. Stephen Ayers, Architect of the Capitol. HT-2 Capitol.

ENERGY & COMMERCE---------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Health Subc. On reviewing the proposed generic drug and biosimilars user fees and further examination of drug shortages. Dept. and public witnesses. 2123 RHOB.


Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subc. On agricultural guestworker programs. Public witnesses. 2141 RHOB.

SELECT INTELLIGENCE------------------------------------------------------9:00-Ex.

Full Committee. On ongoing intelligence activities. HVC-304 Capitol.

SMALL BUSINESS-------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Contracting and Workforce Subc. On small business participation in federal construction contracts. Public witnesses. 2360 RHOB.

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS-----------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Oversight and Investigations Subc. On reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs flawed fiduciary system. Dept. and public witnesses. 334 CHOB.

Today's Senate committee schedule:
9:30 am
      Armed Services
          Hearings to examine the nominations of Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, for reappointment to the grade of admiral and to be Commander, United States Pacific Command, and Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, USA, for reappointment to the grade of lieutenant general and to be Chief of Engineers, and Commanding General, United States Army Corps of Engineers, both of the Department of Defense.

9:30 am
      Energy and Natural Resources
          Hearings to examine H.R.1904, to facilitate the efficient extraction of mineral resources in southeast Arizona by authorizing and directing an exchange of Federal and non-Federal land, and the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2009.

10:00 am
      Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
          Hearings to examine the state of the housing market, focusing on removing barriers to economic recovery.

10:00 am
          Hearings to examine assessing inequality, mobility, and opportunity.

10:00 am
          Business meeting to consider S.1945, to permit the televising of Supreme Court proceedings, and the nominations of John Z. Lee, and John J. Tharp, Jr., both to be a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, George Levi Russell, III, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, and Kristine Gerhard Baker, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

2:15 pm
      Indian Affairs
          An oversight hearing to examine the Department of Justice's opinion on internet gaming, focusing on what's at stake for tribes.

2:30 pm
          Closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Once again the bad news is that Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Peace JD

    isn't doing anything, and the good news is that Congress isn't doing anything.

    •  With their approval down to 10% (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Peace JD, JML9999, maryabein, Marc in KS

      you would think they would try to do SOMETHING. Doing nothing is apparently not very popular with voters.

      •  It's really bizarre. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, bear83

        When what you're doing isn't working, you stop doing that. (When you're trying to get out of a hole, you stop digging.)

        To not do that is often described as the definition of "insanity."


        Republicans chap my ass


        by Marc in KS on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:32:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The big problem is that Republicans (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marc in KS, trumpeter

          are so delusional, they really believe their popularity numbers are down because they have not gone far enough over the edge. The idea that they are unpopular because they refuse to compromise or work with the President is totally foreign to them.

          Hopefully, this is gonna bite them hard in November, no matter how thoroughly they have tried to gerrymander their way into power.

          •  I hope so. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The scary thing is that generally Congress can have a shitty overall approval rating, but people tend not to just their own Congresscritters as harshly.

            I hope that's not so this time, although it doesn't bode well for Democrats if they cannot get the message out that this is a do-nothing Congress because of GOP obstructionism....


            Republicans chap my ass


            by Marc in KS on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:59:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We could see big turnover in the House (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marc in KS

              thanks to these approval numbers plus redistricting making incumbents run in partially unfamilair areas. A lot of voters are not gonna know their incumbent Congresscritter this year.

              The Senate, OTOH, will be a problem as long as the Republican class of 2010 remains in office, or until Senate rules are changed to reduce the obstructionism of the GOP. That loss of 6 previously Democratic seats is gonna bite us for a long time.

        •  When what Congress does doesn't work ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... these geniuses just seem to stop working, period.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:33:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The line from "Broken Arrow" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DOD Aide:I don't know which is worse that this can happen at all or that it happens so often there's a term for it....
    Seems equally applicable to "political intelligence consultants" and Newt's verbal Gymnastics in denying he's a "lobbyist"

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:28:01 AM PST

  •  Looks like the GOP may be doing the dirty work ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, JML9999

    ... on the STOCK Act for Democrats, too.

    If Democrats want STOCK with the provisions existing before the GOP got its hands on the bill - i.e. if we're for real reform - a vote against it in this form is pretty easily explained. That would be good politics in a year where Washington is regarded so cynically by voters. Whatever, it prolongs the fight and lets people see the bundle of issues for what they are.

    True, a Low Information Society might not read much below the headline, so how we craft the rejection and who speaks out on it is pretty important, sort of a "There you go again" moment for our side.

    So, if Senate and House Democrats want to distinguish themselves from Washington As Usual, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:29:16 AM PST

  •  And, once again, (0+ / 0-)

    the media fails us.

    And wouldn't that make a great headline if you were, say, a Mitt Romney supporter?
    Would be meaningless if the media would actually report this stuff.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:09:58 AM PST

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