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U.S. Capitol at daybreak, Jan. 22, 2012.  Photo by Mark Noel (mark.noel@mindspring.com).
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Recapping yesterday's action:

The House ran through the debate part of its schedule of suspension bills, postponing requested roll call votes, threw in a resolution making some new committee assignments, and then dove headlong into the Transportation/HUD appropriations bill and a pile of amendments, which I thought they might put off beginning until today. But no! They went right to it, working through a dozen or so until late last night.

About that appropriations business, there was a bit of an uproar on the floor today as the Republicans offered the rule covering both the Transportation/HUD and the upcoming Agriculture appops bills with a provision waiving the rule that would otherwise prohibit the House from adjourning for more than three days during the month of July if, as is currently the case, they have not finished passing all their annual appropriations bills. The total currently stands at just four, and the Republicans want the rule waived in advance of next week's recess for the July 4th holiday.

They won. That's all it takes to ignore the rules in the House. A majority vote. Oh wells. It ain't like it's never been done before. But I'll bet you could find some fiery invective against the practice from Republicans in years past that suddenly disappeared yesterday. That's the way they roll in Congress.

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Robin S. Rosenbaum to the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and adopted the motion to concur in the House amendment to S.3187, the FDA user fees bill. Good news there. But the rest of the day was given over to fumbling around trying to get a deal on amendments to the flood insurance bill. And that's proving to be a challenge that's dragging on into today, as we once again find that such deeply serious players as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are insisting on bringing abortion amendments to the flood insurance bill.

I took that one up on Daily Kos Radio:

Looking ahead to today:

The House will spend the day on continued consideration of amendments to the Transportation/HUD appropriations bill.

The Senate, for its part, will spend the day on continued negotiations over amendments to the flood insurance bill. Whether any of them will actually get to the floor, we have no idea. But word is that there's a deal floating out there somewhere on student loan rate legislation, and maybe even a breakthrough on the surface transportation bill, and that they could even make a strong run at beating the looming expiration deadlines. That might require working into the weekend, or if they're really lucky, they'll get a quick deal on amendments to the flood insurance bill and be able to get to it all in rapid succession. Without a deal on the flood insurance amendments, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could be forced to move for cloture, burning valuable days leading up to the July 4th recess and those student loan and highway fund deadlines, and basically ruining everything. Recesses, though, are a powerful motivator for Senators, so there's actually some chance that some combination of deals and/or short-term extensions on expiring legislation could yet save the day(s).

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

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In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27TH
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: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

One Minute Speeches (15 per side)

Continue Consideration of H.R. 5972 - Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II
(Offered by Rep. Janice Hahn)

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II
(Offered by Rep. David Critz)

Postponed Votes on Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1)    H.R. 5889 - Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act of 2012, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)

2)    H.R. 4018
- Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvements Act of 2012, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick / Judiciary Committee)

3)    H.R. 3412
- To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1421 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville, Louisiana, as the "Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office Building" (Sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany / Oversight and Government Reform)

4)    H.R. 3501
- To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 125 Kerr Avenue in Rome City, Indiana, as the "SPC Nicholas Scott Hartge Post Office" (Sponsored by Rep. Marlin Stutzman / Oversight and Government Reform)

5)    H.R. 3772
- To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 150 South Union Street in Canton, Mississippi, as the "First Sergeant Landres Cheeks Post Office Building" (Sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson / Oversight and Government Reform)  

6)    H.R. 3276
- To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2810 East Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, Florida, as the "Reverend Abe Brown Post Office Building" (Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor / Oversight and Government Reform)

7)    H.R. 4251
- Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for Port Security Act (Sponsored by Rep. Candice Miller / Homeland Security Committee)

8)    H.R. 4005
- GAPS Act (Sponsored by Rep. Janice Hahn / Homeland Security Committee)

9)    H.R. 1447
- Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson / Homeland Security Committee)

10)    H.R. 5843
- To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to permit use of certain grant funds for training conducted in conjunction with a national laboratory or research facility (Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lungren / Homeland Security Committee)

11)    H.R. 3173
- To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to reform the process for the enrollment, activation, issuance, and renewal of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to require, in total, not more than one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise / Homeland Security Committee)

Special Orders      

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Floor Schedule for Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Convenes: 9:30am

Senate will continue to debate S.1940, the Flood Insurance bill on Wednesday’s session.

The first hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.

We hope to reach an agreement to complete action on the flood insurance bill.  We will also consider the transportation bill and the student loan extension prior to the recess.

6/26 wrap-up:
Senate Floor Wrap Up for Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ROLL CALL VOTES

1)      Confirmation of Executive Calendar #652, the nomination of Robin S. Rosenbaum, of FL, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida; Confirmed: 92-3

2)      Adoption of the motion to concur in the House amendment to S.3187, the FDA user fees bill; Adopted: 92-4

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Discharged the Foreign Relations Committee and adopted S.Res.473, commending Rotary International and others for their efforts to prevent and eradicate polio.

Adopted S.Res.506, to authorize legal counsel representation in Bilbrey v. Tyler.

Adopted S.Res.507, congratulating the Miami Heat for winning the National Basketball Association Championship.

Adopted S.Res.508, a resolution recognizing the teams and players of Negro League Baseball for their achievements, dedication, sacrifices, and contributions to baseball and the Nation.

Adopted S.Res.509, honoring Kansas City, Missouri, as the host city of the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Adopted S.Res.510, designating the month of June 2012 as “National Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month”.

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

Today's House committee schedule:

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
HOUSE MEETS AT 10:00 AM

AGRICULTURE------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  1300 LHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS--------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of H.R. _ - Interior and Environment Appropriations Act for FY 2013, and the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  2359 RHOB.

ARMED SERVICES--------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  2118 RHOB.

ARMED SERVICES---------------------------------------------3:30-Open

Strategic Forces Subc.  On the creation and implementation of the National Nuclear Security Administration.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2118 RHOB.

BUDGET-----------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012.  210 CHOB.

EDUCATION & THE WORKFORCE-------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  2175 RHOB.

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

Communications and Technology Subc.  On the impact of technological advances on video consumers.  Public witnesses.  2123 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE----------------------------------------10:15-Open

Environment and the Economy Subc.  On H.R. _ - Increasing Manufacturing Competitiveness Through Improved Recycling Act of 2012, and H.R. 2997 – The Superfund Common Sense Act.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2322 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES-----------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of H.R. 4367 – To amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to limit the fee disclosure requirement for an automatic teller machine to the screen of that machine, and the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  2128 RHOB.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS--------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of H.R. 6018 – Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY 2013, and the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  Public witnesses.  2172 RHOB.

JUDICIARY---------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subc.  On international intellectual property enforcement.  Dept. witnesses.  2141 RHOB.

JUDICIARY----------------------------------------------------1:30-Open

Constitution Subc.  On H.R. 3356 – ACCESS (ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services) Act.  MC’s and public witnesses.  2141 RHOB.

NATURAL RESOURCES----------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  On oversight of the impact of federal resources agencies on electricity prices and markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  Public witnesses.  1324 LHOB.

NATURAL RESOURCES-----------------------------------------2:00-Open

Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subc.  On discussing standards for federal tribal recognition.  Public witnesses.  1334 LHOB.

OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM--------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of H.R. 459 – Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, H.R. 4155 – Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, H.R. 4631 – Government Spending Accountability Act of 2012, H.R. 6016 – Government Employee Accountability Act, and the committee’s report on activities for the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  2154 RHOB.

SCIENCE, SPACE, & TECHNOLOGY-----------------------------10:00-Open

Research and Science Education Subc.  On the role of research universities in the U.S. economy.  Public witnesses.  2318 RHOB.

SCIENCE, SPACE, & TECHNOLOGY------------------------------2:00-Open

Investigations and Oversight Subc. and Energy and Environment Subc.  Joint hrng. on oversight of the nation’s weather satellite programs focusing on an update on the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series.  Dept. witnesses.  2318 RHOB.

SELECT INTELLIGENCE---------------------------------------10:00-Open

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

SMALL BUSINESS---------------------------------------------1:00-Open

Full Committee.  On discussing EPA compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  Public witnesses.  2360 RHOB.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE------------------------10:00-Open

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subc.  On examining vessels used to carry strategic petroleum reserve drawdowns.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2167 RHOB.

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

Oversight and Investigations Subc.  Markup of H.R. 3730 – To amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide notice to individuals whose sensitive personal information is involved in a data breach, H.R. 4481 - To amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that Department of Veterans Affairs employees who violate certain civil laws do not receive bonuses, H.R. 5948 - To amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to improve the supervision of fiduciaries of veterans under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  334 CHOB.

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS-------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subc.  Markup of H.R. 5735 – To provide for the establishment of a Tomb of Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery for internment of cremated fragments of the remains of members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan, Iraq or a subsequent conflict when the fragments are unidentifiable by the use of DNA testing or other means because of the condition of the fragments, are unclaimed, or are identified and authorized by the person designated to direct dispositions of the remains for internment in such memorial, H.R. 5880 – To extend the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with private physicians to conduct medical disability examinations, H.R. 5881 – To amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to provide certain employees of member of Congress and certain employees of local governmental agencies with access to case-tracking information of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  334 CHOB.

WAYS & MEANS----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the committee’s report on activities during the third quarter of the 112th Congress.  1100 LHOB.

WAYS & MEANS---------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Human Resources Subc. and Select Revenue Measures Subc.  Joint hrng. on how certain welfare and tax programs can discourage work as a result of the high effective marginal tax rates they impose on certain populations.  Public witnesses.  1100 LHOB.

WAYS & MEANS-----------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Social Security Subc.  On securing the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.  Michael Astrue, Commissioner Social Security Administration, and public witnesses.  B-318 RHOB.

Today's Senate committee schedule:

Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012

10:00 am
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                Business meeting to consider S.2345, to amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to permit the Government of the District of Columbia to determine the fiscal year period, to make local funds of the District of Columbia for a fiscal year available for use by the District upon enactment of the local budget act for the year subject to a period of Congressional review, S.2178, to require the Federal Government to expedite the sale of underutilized Federal real property, S.2170, to amend the provisions of title 5, United States Code, which are commonly referred to as the "Hatch Act" to eliminate the provision preventing certain State and local employees from seeking elective office, clarify the application of certain provisions to the District of Columbia, and modify the penalties which may be imposed for certain violations under subchapter III of chapter 73 of that title, S.2234, to prevent human trafficking in government contracting, S.2239, to direct the head of each agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for Federal licenses, H.R.915, to establish a Border Enforcement Security Task Force program to enhance border security by fostering coordinated efforts among Federal, State, and local border and law enforcement officials to protect United States border cities and communities from trans-national crime, including violence associated with drug trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal alien trafficking and smuggling, violence, and kidnapping along and across the international borders of the United States, and S.3315, to repeal or modify certain mandates of the Government Accountability Office.
SD-342        

10:00 am
        Judiciary
                Hearings to examine the nominations of Frank Paul Geraci, Jr., to be United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, Fernando M. Olguin, to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California, Malachy Edward Mannion, and Matthew W. Brann, both to be a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and Charles R. Breyer, of California, to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission.
SD-226        

10:00 am
        Veterans' Affairs
                Hearings to examine health and benefits legislation.
SD-124        

10:30 am
        Foreign Relations
                Hearings to examine the nomination of Derek J. Mitchell, of Connecticut, to be Ambassador to the Union of Burma, Department of State.
SD-419        

2:00 pm
        Foreign Relations
                To receive a closed briefing on Syria.
SVC-217        

3:00 pm
        Energy and Natural Resources: Subcommittee on National Parks
                Hearings to examine S.1897, to amend Public Law 101-377 to revise the boundaries of the Gettysburg National Military Park to include the Gettysburg Train Station, S.2158, to establish the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway National Heritage Area, S.2229, to authorize the issuance of right-of-way permits for natural gas pipelines in Glacier National Park, S.2267, to reauthorize the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, S.2272, to designate a mountain in the State of Alaska as Mount Denali, S.2273, to designate the Talkeetna Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, S.2286, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, S.2316, to designate the Salt Pond Visitor Center at the Cape Cod National Seashore as the "Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Salt Pond Visitor Center", S.2324, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of the Neches River in the State of Texas for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic River System, S.2372, to authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, S.3300, to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington, and S.3078, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day.
SD-366

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