After a two-week recess and Senate fun with pro formas, Congress blows back into D.C. for a December session that could go skittering across the sidewalk, BAM, right into Christmas. The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. Monday and the House at 2 p.m. Tuesday. In a scene-setter for the month, the AP is predicting continued conflict between the President and Congress on Iraq and the budget. As is The Washington Times.
Expect a House vote on energy/CAFE legislation Wednesday, and the intelligence authorization is pending (H.R. 2082), as is the DOD authorization (H.R. 1585). The House floor schedule is here. The House floor schedule for the week is here. And happy 100th birthday, Port of Los Angeles! May the new ozone rules be kind.
The Senate will start debating the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688), although a vote may wait until next week. (Reuters story.) A Senate vote is also possible on S. 2248, to rework the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), with a point of dispute being the granting of retroactive immunity to telecom companies that assisted the Administration in post-9/11 terrorist monitoring. (In this recent WSJ column, three former attorneys general explain why we should not punish citizens for helping protect our nation.) And the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) could come up; Republicans have protested the refusal of leadership to allow amendments. Speaking of Republicans, they meet Thursday to elect new leadership positions in the wake of Sen. Lott’s retirement announcement.
House hearings On Wednesday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds an oversight hearing on media ownership. The committee may also mark-up H.R. 4040, the CPSC bill, this week. Also Wednesday, a Budget Committee hearing on the economy. On Thursday, the Small Business Committee holds a hearing on legislation to improve the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A House Judiciary subcommittee considers H.R. 3396,the Sales Tax Fairness and Simplification Act; a House Transportation committee considers H.R. 2421, the Clean Water Restoration Act. Hey, it that a wetlands in your back yard?
Senate hearings: On Tuesday, Senate Environment and Public Works marks up S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner climate-change regulatory control bill. (Details.) That afternoon the Commerce Committee marks up a passel of (flock of? murder of? exultation of?) climate-change bills, as well as S. 2322, the Media Ownership Act, which imposes lots of new rules on the FCC. Committee agenda here. Also Tuesday, the HELP Committee holds a hearing on food safety, with HHS Secretary Leavitt testifying.
Executive Branch: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will speak this morning at the National Housing Cpnference sponsored by the Office of Thrift Supervision, discussing the state of mortgages and the economy. (Details here, and a Reuters story here.) Commerce Secretary Gutierrez speaks at the Heritage Foundation today on U.S.-Colombia relations.
On the world stage: In Bali, leaders from across the globe have been jetting in for the Climate Change Conference to start today. The news release from the redistributionist United Nations is here. In Adu Dhabi, the 146th Conference of that other kind of redistributionist, OPEC, begins Wednesday.
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