Been a long, long time since I last posted. Think I'll be starting again.
House and Senate are leaving for recess today and back on the April 17th....should be an interesting year of messaging bill after messaging bill with nothing much substantially done until lame duck.
Earlier this week, the House passed Budget Committee Chairman Ryan's budget proposal. This was nothing more than another messaging bill and frankly, seems risky on the Republicans' part. Budgets are typically used to determine what discretionary spending levels will be set at for the appropriations process. This was already determined by the Budget Control Act passed last summer to avery a government shutdown. So the levels were already set and the Senate is working off of those levels. The House passed this bill and it will not move anywhere else. It's now dead. Some Republicans are angry to have to vote on passage of another harsh bill of spending cuts and changes to Medicare and Medicaid after getting hit hard by Democrats after passage of a similar proposal the year before. However, some Republicans cherished the opportunity to show how their vision of government differs from Democrats and Obama.
There will be a lot of these messaging bills and the real work won't start until lame duck session, when the Congress will have to deal with the looming Jan 2013 deadlines of the Bush Tax cuts expiring, sequestration hitting, and another need to raise the debt limit.
On the Senate side, S. 2204, a bill to eliminate unnecessary tax subsidies and promote renewable energy and energy conservation, was unable to get cloture (60 votes needed for 'cloture' - to move to debate and vote on final passage) only getting 51 votes for and 47 against. To see how your Senator voted, you can click here: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00063
The House and Senate did pass a 90 day extension of the Highway/Transportation bill, so that will be something they will have to work on in the coming months. I guess they just wanted to make sure they will be busy instead of passing a longer bill and making sure there was less uncertainty ahead.
Some Interesting Bill Introduced this past week:
Bill of Note Introduced on 3-26-2012
By Mr. BLUMENTHAL (for himself, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. FRANKEN,
Mr. RUBIO, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. LIEBERMAN, and Mrs. MCCASKILL):
S. 2234. A bill to prevent human trafficking in government
contracting; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
By Mr. BENNET (for himself, Mr. HATCH, and Mr. BURR):
S. 2236. A bill to provide for the expedited development and
evaluation of drugs designated as breakthrough drugs; to the Committee on
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Bill of Note Introducedon 3-27-2012
By Mr. CRAWFORD:
H.R. 4265. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
impose a 5 percent tax on so much of adjusted gross income of any individual as
exceeds $1,000,000, and to provide incentive for Congress to pass a balanced
budget amendment, or spending limit amendment, to the Constitution; to the
Committee on Ways and Means.
By Mr. AMASH (for
himself and Mr. FLAKE):
H.R. 4268. A bill to abolish the Export-Import Bank of the
United States, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Financial Services.
By Mr. GRIFFITH
of Virginia (for himself, Mr. OWENS, and Mr. POE of Texas):
H.R. 4269. A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States
Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms
or ammunition; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Bill of Note Introducedon 3-28-12
By Mr. THUNE (for himself, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. BOOZMAN,
Mr. LUGAR, Mr. VITTER, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. KYL, Mr. HELLER,
Mr. MORAN, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. ENZI, Mr. GRASSLEY,
Mr. LEE, Mr. PAUL, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. BARRASSO,
Mr. CORNYN, Mr. MCCONNELL, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. HOEVEN,
Mr. KIRK, Mr. WICKER, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. COCHRAN,
Mr. BURR, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. TOOMEY, Ms. AYOTTE, Mr.
RISCH, Mr. COBURN, Mr. JOHANNS, Mr. DEMINT, and Mr.
S. 2242. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, and for other
purposes; to the Committee on Finance.
By Mr. WYDEN (for
himself and Mr. PORTMAN):
S. 2243. A bill to establish a program to provide incentive
payments to participating Medicare beneficiaries who voluntarily establish and
maintain better health; to the Committee on Finance.
By Mr. YOUNG of
Indiana (for himself, Mr. HULTGREN, and Mr. LATTA):
H.R. 4279. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
waive the 10 percent early distribution penalty with respect to withdrawals by
unemployed veterans from certain retirement accounts; to the Committee on Ways
By Ms. HAHN:
H.R. 4286. A bill to restore and extend the grace period before
repayment begins on Federal Direct Stafford loans and Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans; to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
By Ms. HAHN:
H.R. 4287. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to
expand the definition of homeless veteran for purposes of benefits under the
laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; to the Committee on
By Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky (for himself, Mr. WOLF,
and Mr. AUSTRIA):
H.R. 4292. A bill to direct the Attorney General to establish
uniform standards for the exchange of controlled substance and prescription
information for the purpose of preventing diversion, fraud, and abuse of
controlled substances and other prescription drugs; to the Committee on Energy
Bill of Note Introduced on 3-29-12
By Ms. STABENOW (for herself, Mr. HELLER, Mr. MENENDEZ,
Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. MERKLEY, and Mr. ISAKSON):
S. 2250. A bill to prevent homeowners from being forced to pay
taxes on forgiven mortgage loan debt; to the Committee on Finance.
By Mr. HARKIN:
S. 2252. A bill to rebuild the American middle class by creating
jobs, investing in our future, building opportunity for working families, and
restoring balance to the tax code; to the Committee on Finance.
By Ms. SNOWE (for
herself, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. ALEXANDER,
and Mr. CORKER):
S. 2258. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
make permanent the rule providing 5-year amortization of expenses incurred in
creating or acquiring music or music copyrights; to the Committee on Finance.
By Mr. TESTER (for himself, Mrs. MURRAY, Mr. BURR,
Mr. BEGICH, Mr. WEBB, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. BROWN of
Massachusetts, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. MORAN, Mr. WICKER, Mr. ROCKEFELLER,
Mr. AKAKA, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, and Mr. SANDERS):
S. 2259. A bill to provide for an increase, effective December
1, 2012, in the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected
disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the
survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other purposes; to the
Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
By Mr. JOHNSON of South
Dakota (for himself, Ms. MURKOWSKI, Mr. INOUYE, and Mr. BEGICH):
S. 2262. A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to
reauthorize and extend the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome prevention and services
program, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor,
By Mr. BURR:
S. 2266. A bill to improve sharing of immigration information
among Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials, to improve State and
local enforcement of immigration laws, and for other purposes; to the Committee
on the Judiciary.
By Mrs. HARTZLER
(for herself, Mr. STUTZMAN, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. FRANK of
Massachusetts, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, and Mr. CRAVAACK):
H.R. 4296. A bill to amend the Food, Conservation, and Energy
Act to repeal a duplicative program relating to inspection and grading of
catfish; to the Committee on Agriculture.
By Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina (for himself, Mr. WILSON
of South Carolina, Mr. POE of Texas, Mr. HARRIS, Mr. WESTMORELAND,
Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. GRAVES of Georgia, Mr. BROUN of Georgia,
Mr. MULVANEY, Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina, Mr. GOWDY, and
H.R. 4301. A bill to contribute to the growth of the American
economy and the strength of American national security by streamlining
regulatory permitting procedures and increasing domestic production from all
energy sources; to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the
Committees on Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure, the
Judiciary, Rules, Ways and Means, Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight
and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the
Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction
of the committee concerned.
By Mr. MCCAUL (for himself and Mr. MACK):
H.R. 4303. A bill to direct the Secretary of State to designate
as foreign terrorist organizations certain Mexican drug cartels and submit a
report on the activities the Department of State is taking to assist Mexico
with drug cartel violence, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the
Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to
be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of
such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
By Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan (for himself, Mr. ROYCE,
Mr. CLAY, and Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia):
H.R. 4323. A bill to amend the Truth in Lending Act to improve
upon the definitions provided for points and fees in connection with a mortgage
transaction; to the Committee on Financial Services.
By Mrs. NOEM:
H.R. 4331. A bill to respond to the extreme fire hazard and
unsafe conditions resulting from pine beetle infestation, drought, disease, or
storm damage by declaring a state of emergency and directing the Secretary of
Agriculture to immediately implement hazardous fuels reduction projects in the
manner provided in title I of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, and
for other purposes; to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the
Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by
the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within
the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
By Mr. REED (for himself, Mr. SCHOCK, Mr. BOUSTANY,
Mr. HERGER, Mr. BERG, Ms. JENKINS, Mr. MARCHANT,
Mr. BUCHANAN, Mr. BRADY of Texas, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky,
and Mr. ROSKAM):
H.R. 4336. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
extend the exclusion from gross income of discharges of qualified principal
residence indebtedness; to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Everything will now be better with this measure passed on the senate
on March 28th:
Take Our Daughters and Sons
To Work Day: Senate agreed to S. Res. 408, supporting
the goals and ideals of Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day.