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This Week in Congress: May 3 – 7, 2010

This week the Senate resumes consideration of financial regulatory reform while the House considers the HOME STAR retrofit program.

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)

Financial regulatory reform

The Senate resumes consideration Monday of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, although votes on amendments are not expected until Tuesday at the earliest. There are several amendments pending, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have not yet agreed to the rules of debate going forward. It is possible that they will agree to set a 60-vote threshold for all amendments. The bill will be considered on the floor for at least the next two weeks before a vote on final passage.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s proposed TARP fee. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be testifying along with CEOs from the Financial Services Roundtable and the Iowa Bankers Association.

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Fiscal year 2011 budget and appropriations

House leadership will this week debate whether it will attempt to pass a FY 2011 budget resolution or use ad hoc deeming resolutions to set spending limits for this year’s appropriations bills. Deeming language could be included in an upcoming war supplemental bill, but a formal markup has not yet been scheduled. The supplemental will likely include disaster relief money for the Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup and Federal Emergency Management Agency in addition to funding for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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HOME STAR program

The House will also consider this week H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, which authorizes $6 billion in rebates, grants, and loan programs to improve the energy efficiency of homes through retrofits such as upgrading insulation, windows, and heating units.

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