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The Week in Congress: February 9 – 13, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dominates action in Congress this week. Get the materials you need to stay ahead.

Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Economic Recovery

The Senate continues debate today on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act after negotiating through the weekend. The Senate will likely vote on cloture for the bill, closing the debate period, after voting on a substitute amendment from Sens. Ben Nelson and Susan Collins that reflects an $83 billion cut in spending, $18 billion in reduced tax cuts, and a $7 billion cut in health care spending from the committee-passed version of the bill. The total amount of direct appropriations and tax cuts under the Nelson-Collins agreement is about $780 billion. A vote on final passage of the bill is expected midday tomorrow.

If the Senate does pass their version of the recovery package tomorrow, conference negotiations with the House will immediately follow. Both chambers are aiming to have the conference agreement on President Obama’s desk by President’s Day on February 16. Votes on the final package are expected late this week and possibly into the weekend.

More from CAP on economic recovery:

Column: A Step Forward, a Stumble Back

Background brief: Recovery and Reinvestment 101

Interactive Maps: Recovery Beyond the Beltway

Infographic: The Stimulus: Four Reasons We Can’t Afford Not to Have One

Interactive: Design Your Own Stimulus Package

Finance

Several committees will hold hearings this week focusing on oversight of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday with testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on, “An Examination of the Extraordinary Efforts by the Federal Reserve Bank to Provide Liquidity in the Current Financial Crisis.”

The Senate Banking Committee will also focus on next steps in implementing TARP funding, holding a hearing Tuesday featuring Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as a witness. Secretary Geithner will also testify Wednesday at a Senate Budget Committee hearing entitled, “Policies to Address the Crises in Financial and Housing Markets.”

A House Financial Services hearing on TARP accountability on Wednesday will feature the testimony of eight CEOs of banks who received an influx of funding under the program.

More from CAP on the Troubled Assets Relief Program:

Column: Bank Bailouts Done Right

Energy and Environment

The House will take up bill S. 22 this week that contains over 150 individual bills designating public lands and wilderness areas. The Senate passed the bill on January 15 by a vote of 73-21.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on draft renewable energy standards legislation.

More from CAP on energy:

Report: Green Recovery: A New Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy

Speech: The Role of the United States in the World Order