The House was not in session last week. So, good. I'm trying to take a vacation this week.
Major happenings in the Senate included the confirmation of Paul J. Watford to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the passage of the FDA user fees bill, the "failure" (with 51 votes) of the student loan bill, and the filing of cloture on the motion to proceed to the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The House is back in session this week, but thanks to the holiday weekend, they'll be coming in on Wednesday instead of the normal Tuesday return. Then they're back out of here again on Friday. Is it worth coming back to DC for just a few days like that? Well, it's appropriations season, so there's always lots of work to do, even though a lot of the House's appropriations bills are likely to face veto threats, since they'll mostly be working with numbers that throw wrenches into the works of the existing budget deal that came out of last summer's debt ceiling deal, and were ratified in the Budget Control Act.
That's something to keep in mind over the next several weeks, as the House works its way through their appropriations bills. House Republicans are working under the assumption that the relevant guidelines for spending are those contained in the plan they "deemed" adopted a few weeks ago. Congressional Democrats and the White House are working under the assumption that the relevant guidelines for spending are those contained in the Budget Control Act. So you literally have two sides reading from entirely different scripts. It'll be... interesting... to see how they resolve this. To say the very least.
The week actually begins with a slate of suspension bills, the first of which appears to be a House version of the FDA bill just passed in the Senate. Which is to say that they appear to be attempting the same play as with the VAWA, with the House ignoring the Senate's bill and passing its own, forcing the Senate to disagree with the House and request a conference, instead of vice versa. Also among the suspension bills, perhaps the most pretentiously-named measure of the year: Rep. Trent Franks' (R-AZ-02) "Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act." Naturally, it's an anti-abortion bill. Because what else would a House Republican be up to during appropriations season?
What do Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass have to do with abortion? Nothing. But Susan B. Anthony was female, and Frederick Douglass was black. And this bill would make it illegal to perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent. So, uh... there you go. Presumably, either Trent Franks thinks no one would ever abort a white male embryo, just couldn't think of which totally awesome white to name the bill after, or figures Frederick Douglass can do double duty. Ditto, black females. Asians are just S.O.L., I guess. And forget the rest of you. Whatever. The point is, there are totally famous names in this bill, and if you vote against it, you hate those people, and should move to Russia.
Thursday and Friday are given over to intelligence authorization, military construction (MilCon) and veterans' appropriations, a possible stab at energy and water development approps, and perhaps yet another motion to instruct conferees on the surface transportation bill. But it'll be a race against the clock to get back out of town for the weekend.
Full floor schedule is below the fold.
In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:
THE WEEKLY WHIP: FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012The Senate is not in session this week.
First Vote Of The Week: Wednesday 6:30 p.m.
Last Vote Predicted: Friday 3:00 p.m.
MEMBERS ARE ADVISED THAT CLOSE VOTES, INCLUDING A POTENTIAL VOTE ON AN AMENDMENT TO H.R. 5854 - MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS ACT RELATED TO PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS (PLA), ARE EXPECTED NEXT WEEK AND THAT ANY EXPECTED ABSENCES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE WHIP’S OFFICE AT X5-3130.
Members are also advised that the GOP leadership has announced that votes could occur after 7:00 p.m. when the House is considering Appropriations bills.
MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012
On Monday, the House is not in session.
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. in Pro Forma Session. No votes are expected in the House.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Suspensions (12 bills)
- H.R. 5651 – Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012, as amended (Rep. Upton – Energy and Commerce)
- H.R. 3310 – Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2012, as amended (Rep. Scalise – Energy and Commerce)
- H.R. 3541 – Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, as amended (Rep. Franks – Judiciary)
- H.R. 5512 – Divisional Realignment Act of 2012, as amended (Rep. Thompson (MS) – Judiciary)
- H.R. 4201 – The Service Member Family Protection Act (Rep. Turner – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 1299 – The Secure Border Act of 2011 (Rep. Miller (MI) – Homeland Security)
- H.R. 3670 – To require the Transportation Security Administration to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (Rep. Walz – Homeland Security/Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 2764 – The WMD Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2011 (Rep. Meehan – Homeland Security)
- H.R. 915 – The Jaime Zapata Border Security Task Force Act (Rep. Cuellar – Homeland Security)
- H.R. 3140 – The Mass Transit Intelligence Prioritization Act (Rep. Speier – Homeland Security)
- Senate Amendment to H.R. 5740 – National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act (Rep. Biggert – Financial Services)
- H.R. 4041 – Export Promotion Reform Act (Rep. Berman – Foreign Affairs)
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business with last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.
H.R. 5743 – Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. Rogers (MI) – Intelligence) (Subject to a Rule)
H.R. 5854 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Rep. Culberson – Appropriations) (Subject to a Rule)
Possible Consideration of H.R. 5325 – Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Rep. Frelinghuysen – Appropriations) (Subject to a Rule)
Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 – Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II
No committee meetings are scheduled for today.