This Week in Congress: August 2 – 6, 2010
SOURCE: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
The House has begun its August recess period, and the Senate is attempting to wrap up several measures before adjourning by the end of the week.
The Senate will hold a cloture vote Monday afternoon on a $26.1 billion domestic spending bill. The bill includes funds dropped from the House-passed war supplemental and provides $10 billion to prevent teacher layoffs along with $16.1 billion in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage reimbursements. Although the bill is fully cost offset, Republican support for the measure has not yet materialized and it is unclear if the cloture vote will be successful.
More from CAP:
- A Path to Balance: A Strategy for Realigning the Federal Budget by Michael Ettlinger, Michael Linden, and Lauren D. Bazel
- Deal with It by Michael Ettlinger and Michael Linden
Supreme Court nomination
On Wednesday the Senate is expected to begin debate on Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. A confirmation vote for Kagan will likely take place Thursday evening or Friday morning based on the amount of time spent on Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination in 2009. Kagan is expected to easily win confirmation, as she has the support thus far of five Republican senators—Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Judd Gregg (R-NH).
More from CAP:
- Keep Track of the Elena Kagan Nomination: Resources to Guide You Through the Supreme Court Nomination Process
- A Much-Needed Progressive Voice on the Court by John Podesta
- Ask the Expert: Ian Millhiser on the Supreme Court Nomination of Elena Kagan
- A Victory for Equal Justice by Ian Millhiser
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will likely file for cloture today on an energy package comprised of new drilling regulations, investments in natural gas and electric vehicles, the HOME STAR home energy retrofit program, and disclosure requirements for hydraulic fracturing shale gas production. The cloture vote will take place on Wednesday, but it is not expected to be successful, and full consideration of the energy package will likely take place when the Senate returns in September.
More from CAP:
- Breaking the Wall of Climate Opposition by Daniel J. Weiss and Kate Gordon
- The Stone Soup Clean Energy and Climate Bill by Daniel J. Weiss, Susan Lyon, and Tina Ramos
- Green Jobs Put Americans on a Path to Stability and Growth by Alex Cárdenas and Jorge Madrid
- The “Energy-Only Bill” Mirage by Daniel J. Weiss
- Pollution Limits Are Essential for Clean Energy Investments: “Energy Only” Bills Short Change New Technologies by Daniel J. Weiss and Kate Gordon
Small businesses and banking
The Senate may continue debating a small business jobs package for the fourth consecutive week. The bill provides $12 billion in targeted tax incentives for small businesses as well as a $30 billion lending fund for banks to provide capital for small businesses. Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have not yet reached an agreement on amendments to be offered. Should an agreement be reached, final passage is possible by midweek.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) has scheduled a Wednesday meeting during which the New START treaty could be voted on. Republican members of the committee have expressed concerns that other committees have not yet fully vetted the agreement. The Senate Armed Services Committee is also scheduled to hold a Thursday hearing on Russian force structure in support of New START.
More from CAP:
- A Strong Case for a New START: A National Security Briefing Memo by Max Bergmann and Samuel Charap
- Video: A Russian Perspective on New START by Samuel Charap
- Assessing the “Reset” and the Next Steps for U.S. Russia Policy by Samuel Charap
- A New START for Arms Control by Max Bergmann and Samuel Charap
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