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The Week in Congress

The House is primed to pass children's health insurance legislation, while the Senate will consider equal pay.

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 House of Representatives this week will debate a measure that sets parameters for distributing of the remaining $350 billion in funding from October’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. The bill under consideration strengthens oversight of the money, but does not actually release the funding. Its provisions include a mandate that at least $40 billion must be used to mitigate home foreclosures and companies must report on how the money affected their lending; it also increases the size of the board overseeing the program’s administration. The bill will be marked up in the Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and will be considered on the floor on Wednesday or Thursday.

Read what CAP has to say on stimulus and recovery:

Report: Pumping Life Back into the U.S. Economy, How to Spend $350 Billion in a First Year of Stimulus and Recovery

Column: The Case for Economic Stimulus

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

Video: Designing a Stimulus that Will Get the Economy Moving Fast

Health Care

The House will consider a bill reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP. The reauthorization will expand the program to cover an additional 4 million eligible children; the cost will likely be fully offset primarily by raising the federal tobacco tax. A similar reauthorization measure was passed by the 110th Congress, but President Bush vetoed the bill in December 2007. 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will also hold a hearing on Thursday to discuss “Investing in Health IT: A Stimulus for a Healthier America.”

More on SCHIP and health technology and infrastructure:

By the Numbers: Overriding the SCHIP Veto

By the Numbers: Room for Progress: Health IT

Book: The Health Care Delivery System: A Blueprint for Reform

Equal Pay

The Senate will consider the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and possibly the Paycheck Fairness Act at the end of this week after both bills passed through the House last week. The Ledbetter bill corrects a 2007 ruling by the Supreme Court that made it harder for victims of pay discrimination to bring a suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act builds on this act by prohibiting employers from limiting workers’ ability to share salary information or retaliating against them for seeking that information.

More on equal pay:

Column: Fair Pay Is Critical as the Recession Deepens

By the Numbers: Wage Gap

Energy and Environment

The Senate will continue debate on S. 22 this week after a successful cloture vote on Sunday; the package contains over 150 individual bills designating public lands and wilderness areas. A vote on final passage of the bill is expected on Thursday or Friday.

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will also hold a hearing on Thursday to discuss the need for a green economic stimulus.

More on a green economic stimulus:

Report: Green Recovery

Column: Top 10 Energy and Environment Priorities for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress