In today's print edition of The Hill
, Patrick O'Connor gives us House Majority Leader John Boehner's legislative schedule for the next three months.
One telling comment from O'Connor:
...[Boehner] is also expected to initiate a major push on the party's message and long-term vision at some point after members return from the March recess.
I thought it would be good to list what is in the works in the House for the next three months so we can stay on top of the issues and know what's going down. This way, we have a better chance of educating ourselves on the issues ahead of time, so we can stay ahead of the news cycle and refute the talking points as Republicans push forward with their agenda.
Details and snarkiness on the flip.
- March 27: Expanding Access and Opportunity Through Higher Education
H.R. 609, HEA reauthorization
As you can guess, this is not really expanding access and opportunity for students
. It's going to do a lot to put college students in more debt. According to pirg.org
[H.R 609] would freeze student aid and make student loans thousands of dollars more expensive for the average student, leaving hundreds of thousands more students behind and putting millions of students deeper in debt.
Great. I recommend we get on the horn to oppose this one.
- April 3: Protecting Taxpayers and Reforming Government
H.R. 1316, 527 Fairness Act
Lobbying and earmark reform
Budget resolution (including the budget reform proposal on emergency spending reserve fund and "emergency designation" rules)
Pension conference report
As you can guess, the 527 Fairness Act is not exactly fair, unless you are Bush's Base (and I'm talking the Elite). CongressWatch calls it The "Show-Me-the-Money" Bill
Among its most damaging components, the legislation would repeal the aggregate contribution limits of the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), repeal the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) ban on trade associations and labor unions using "soft money" to finance campaign ads immediately before an election, and repeal the restrictions on state parties using soft money for voter registration drives affecting federal elections.
I see the 527 Fairness Act as another action item.
- April 9 and 16: recess
- April 23: Protecting our Homeland and Troops in the Global War on Terror
Maritime Security Act (Lungren-Harman bill)
- May 1: Pending
- May 7: Protecting our Homeland and Troops in the Global War on Terror
Department of Defense reauthorization
T&I Coast Guard initiative
- May 15: Promoting/Protecting our Property and Natural Resources
Approps bill on Agriculture and Interior
Marine Mammal Protection Act
Eminent domain (pending)
(Approps season begins and runs through June 30)
From what I could find about the Marine Mammal Protection Act provisions and amendments
up this year, H.R. 4075 and H.R. 2130 would remove the deadline for reaching the Zero Mortality Rate Goal (ZMRG) and would delay the take reduction team process. This basically means we'd not have dolphin-safe tuna, or at least it would be less dolphin-safe.
- May 22: Katrina Lessons Learned
Appropriations homeland security bill
Katrina Working Group (from GROC report)
Tort liability for emergency personnel (JUD)
- May 29: recess, Memorial Day
- June 5: Spring Cleaning Week
Tax extenders (T)
Line-item veto and budget reform
De-funded Programs Project
Line-item veto? You mean the thing the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional? And what the heck is the "De-funded Programs Project?" I know there are a lot of UN-funded programs out there and the Republicans have been DE-funding as many programs as they can, especially the ones that help The Average American. So are they saying they've got a big list and they want to make it even bigger?
- June 11: Innovation Week
Financial and consumer data protection bills
Internet gaming bill
Internet tax moratorium
I am not sure what the financial and consumer data protection bills are, but I'll bet you they don't protect the consumer or his/her finances.
- Flag Day (July 14)--Flag burning desecration
You have got to be kidding me. They're still whining about this? Tell ya what. Why don't y'all come on over to Baltimore on Flag Day and celebrate at Fort McHenry while the flag still stands for something decent. Then quit your bitchin' about freedom of expression and actually do something to PROTECT our freedom! Geez!
- June 18: Enhancing Access to Health Care:
Pro-Consumer health care bills, such as HSAs (portability and/or pilot), IT and price transparency bills, insurance market reforms, NIH reauthorization, targeted medical malpractice, Appropriations labor-HHS-education bill (NIH funding)
Gimme a break. There is nothing Pro-Consumer about any Republican health care bill. Health Spending Accounts are just another shell game for consumers. Insurance market reforms? Yeah, right. Not REAL reform, just the kind that makes the insurance lobby happy.
Targeted medical malpractice. Let me guess, they're targeting the poor people who were victims of malpractice?
- June 25: Energy Independence
Energy package (under development)
Energy package under development. Yeah, I'll bet.
So what do you think about Boehner's plan? What's your biggest cause for concern listed here?
If anybody has any good info on some of the other projects/bills/topics listed, please share. I'll update this diary as necessary.