The Senate returns after a week recess honoring Amerigo Vespucci, or was it Christopher Columbus? The big congressional news this week is the House’s vote Thursday on overriding the President’s veto of the SCHIP expansion (H.R. 976), a measure funded by higher tobacco taxes. Uncle Sam says: Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
The House convenes today at noon, begins real business at 2:30 p.m., and votes don’t occur until at least 6:30 p.m. On the suspension calendar is H.R. 3678, a four-year extension of the federal Internet tax moratorium. Along with the SCHIP vote, floor items this week include H.R. 2112, the House version of the federal media shield law; H.R. 2095, a federal railroad safety bill, which includes a ban on railraod workers putting in more than a 12-hour shift. (The Administration’s strong statement in opposition, in part because of pre-emption language, is here.) The House’s floor schedule is here.
The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and takes up H.R. 3093, the Commerce , Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which includes money for the President’s “Competitiveness Initiative.” The White House has threatend to veto the bill for being $3.2 billion over the President’s requested spending level. (Statement of Administration Policy here.) After that, on deck is H.R. 3043, the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill
House Committees: The Energy and Commerce telcom subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday on the transition to digital television. On Thursday, a Judiciary subcommittee considers international piracy, i.e., theft of intellectual property. On Thursday, the full Natural Resources Committee marks up H.R. 2262, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act. Oversight and Governorment Reform holds a hearing Wednesday on the EPA’s approval of power plants without considering global warming; the next there’s a hearing on black carbon and global warming. (Details for both.) Also Thursday, the House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on structural changes in the agricultural economy. (Details.) House Science and Technology holds a hearing on women in science and engineering on Wednesday, and the same day considers the polar bear, arctic ice and global warming. On Thursday, the same committee holds a hearing on technology’s use in protecting miners (not minors). Details for the S&T committee hearings are here.
Senate Committees: The Commerce Committee holds a hearing Wednesday morning on consumer wireless issues (details); that afternoon the committee meets on the DTV transition. Thursday, the committee holds an oversight hearing on the DOT. Environment and Public Works holds a hearing Thursday on lead and children’s safety. The Finance Committee hears about trade and import safety on Thursday. (Details.)
The Senate’s hearing schedule is here.
White House: U.S. manufacturing receives high-level attention today when President Bush visits Stribling Packaging Inc. in Rogers, Arkansas; he stays in town for an address on the budget. President and Mrs. Bush participate in a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the Dalai Lama on Wednesday, and POTUS meets with President Sirleaf of Liberia on Thursday. (Summarized from the White House press briefing.)
The World Bank convenes Saturday in Washington for its annual meeting. Used to be this was a big occasion for protests from the anti-globalization crowd. Now? Just enough protesters to snarl traffic. The Liberians appreciate the gesture, no doubt.
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