Very, very busy week as Congress heads toward the August recess. With the Ledbetter Act coming up on the House floor today, there’s no time for beux gestes, bons mots or bonhomie. So let’s get to it.
The House convenes at 10:30 a.m., with business to start at noon. The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. Both the Senate and House are supposed to take up lobbying reform this week (New York Times story here.) Conference reports for the homeland security/port security bill, and the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization may also make it to both chambers.
The House embarks today with the usual collection of suspension items and then H.R. 986, the Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act. (What? There’s a scenic river in Detroit? Scenic in a gritty, urban sense, perhaps.)
And then it’s on to H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Sold misleadingly as a simple legislative fix of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (download ruling here), the bill effectively eliminates any statute of limitations on filing employment discrimination claims, inviting frivolous lawsuits ad infinitum. Trial lawyers rejoice, employers beware. The NAM’s Key Vote Letter is available here, and the one-page Manufacts is here. To contact your House member, please click here. This is a terrible bill.
Next up, H.R. 3161, the ag approps bill; and the defense appropriations (committee summary here). And then the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act, i.e., the CHIPS bill. (Ways & Means summary here.)
House Speaker Pelosi says there will be an energy bill on the floor this week, but in what form — a modest amalgam of conservation and efficiency language or a dramatic jobs-killing proposal with extreme CAFE standards and renewable fuels portfolio, and other anti-market provisions? Stay tuned. (This San Francisco Chronicle story focuses on Pelosi’s machinations.
House hearings: Ways & Means holds a hearing on China trade legislation at 9 a.m. Thursday. Details here.
The Senate’s floor schedule leads with H.R.976, the “Small Business Tax Relief Act, which serves as the vehicle for the SCHIP legislation.
Senate hearings: The Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights considers the Supreme Court’s recent Leegin decision, which held that resale price maintenance agreements do not automatically equal illegal price fixing. Tuesday, July 31, 10 a.m. Details here. Stephen Bolerjack is expected to testify on behalf of the NAM.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds an oversight hearing on clean coal technology, with many industry representatives testifying, at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Details here. Power to the people!
Nominees to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Randall S. Kroszner, Larry Allan Klane, and Elizabeth A. Duke) have their confirmation hearings before the Senate Banking Committee at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Executive Branch: President Bush continues quality time today with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on Wednesday Congressional leaders come to the White House, and on Thursday he meets with his Cabinet. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is making his fourth trip this year to China (Bloomberg story).
NAM News: Gaining critical distance from all this, NAM President John Engler moderates a panel this afternoon at the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators’ annual meeting on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Topic: U.S. Litigation Climate and Globalization. (Program here.)
The House floor schedule for the week is here in .pdf form. List of Senate committee hearings is here.