By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas
Heavy criticism from Republican House members and high gas prices appear to have made an impact on Democratic leaders in the House, as they are now preparing to debate legislation this week to allow some offshore drilling. In addition, the bipartisan group of senators pushing its own compromise legislation has grown to include 20 members. Also on the Hill's agenda this week is discussion of a second stimulus package amid growing concern about the deterioration of the country’s private financial system.
House Democrats on Tuesday are expected to begin debate on energy legislation that would allow some coastal states to determine whether drilling should be allowed off their shores. The bill would end a congressional moratorium – in place for more than 25 years – preventing drilling within 200 miles offshore. President Bush rescinded an executive moratorium earlier this summer.
The legislation proposed by the House Democratic leadership does not go as far as plans put forward by Republican lawmakers, as it would only authorize some states to approve drilling projects 50 miles out (drilling would be allowed off all coastal areas 100 miles out). It also differs significantly from legislation being prepared in the Senate.
More on this week's legislation and committee schedules after the break.
In that chamber, a group of 20 senators (including 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats) is pushing a compromise bill that would extend a series of renewable energy tax credits in addition to lifting the ban on offshore drilling. The "Gang of 20" has doubled in size since the August recess, but there remains no clue as to when or if their bill will be brought to the floor for a vote. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may use an oil-speculation bill as a vehicle for other energy legislation.
Finally, with the Dow Industrial Average dropping 500 points today, many in Congress are calling for a second stimulus package to buttress the economy and help those most hurt by high unemployment rates. The legislation would likely contain extended unemployment benefits and infrastructure spending projects that would help create jobs and pour money into local economies. Fiscal conservatives, including members of the Blue Dog caucus of Democratic House members.
September 15, 2008
- Committee on Rules to consider H.R. 6842, National Capital Security and Safety Act, 5 p.m., H-313 Capitol.
September 16, 2008
- Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution to hold hearings to examine restoring the rule of law, 10:15 a.m., SH-216.
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy to hold hearings to examine recent analyses of the role of speculative investment in energy markets, 2:30 p.m., SD-366.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to hold hearings to examine recent regulatory actions regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 10 a.m., SD-538.
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to hold hearings to examine reasons that broadband Internet access matters, 10 a.m., SR-253.
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to hold hearings to examine the current state of vehicles powered by the electric grid and the prospects for wider deployment in the near future, 10 a.m., SD-366.
- Committee on Environment and Public Works to hold oversight hearings to examine the children's health protection efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10 a.m., SD-406.
- Committee on Finance to hold hearings to examine aligning incentives, focusing on the case for delivery system reform, 10 a.m., SD-215.
- Committee on the Budget hearing on Iraq's Budget Surplus, 9:30 a.m., 210 Cannon.
- Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet hearing entitled ``Status of the DTV Transition: 154 Days and Counting,'' 9:30 a.m., 2123 Rayburn.
- Senate Committee on Armed Services hearings to examine the current situation in Georgia and implications for United States policy; to be followed by a closed session in SVC-217. SD-106 9:30 am.
- Committee on Armed Services hearing on Considerations for an American Grand Strategy]--10 a.m., 2118 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on Defeating the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Other Asymmetric Threats: Today's Efforts and Tomorrow's Requirements, 1 p.m., 2212 Rayburn.
- Committee on Financial Services to consider the following bills: H.R. 6694, FHA Seller-Financed Downpayment Reform and Risk-Based Pricing Authorization Act of 2008; H.R. 6890, Payments System Protection Act of 2008; H.R. 3019, Expand and Preserve Home Ownership Through Counseling Act; H.R. 6642, National Consumer Cooperative Bank Act Amendments of 2008; and H.R. 6871, Expedited Funds Availability Dollar Limits Adjustment Act of 2008, 1 p.m., 2128 Rayburn.
- Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing on H.R. 3402, Calling Card Consumer Protection Act, 10 a.m., 2322 Rayburn; and to mark up H.R. 3232, Travel Promotion Act of 2007; and H.R. 3402, Calling Card Consumer Protection Act, 3 p.m., 2123 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing entitled: ``HUD's Proposed RESPA Rule.'' 10 a.m., 2128 Rayburn.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia hearing on Defeating al Qaeda's Air Force: Pakistan's F-16 Program in the Fight Against Terrorism, 10 a.m., 2172 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response hearing entitled ``Interoperability in the Next Administration: Assessing the Derailed 700 MHz D-block Public Safety Spectrum Auction,'' 10 a.m., 311 Cannon.
- Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans oversight hearing on the impacts that U.S. consumer demand is having on the illegal and unsustainable trade of wildlife products and ongoing and proposed efforts to increase public awareness about these impacts, 10 a.m., 1324 Longworth.
- Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands hearing on the Pineros: Reviewing the Welfare of Workers on Federal Lands, 10 a.m., 1334 Longworth.
- Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Bankruptcy Trustee Compensation, 2 p.m., 2141 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing on Foreign Assistance in the Americas, 2:30 p.m., 2172 Rayburn.
- Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology hearing entitled ``Cybersecurity Recommendations for the Next Administration,'' 2 p.m., 311 Cannon.
- Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 10 a.m., 2141 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia to mark up H.R. 5600, District of Columbia Court, Offender Supervision, Parole, and Public Defender Employees Equity Act of 2008; followed by a hearing on Legislative Branch Diversity Management Review, 2 p.m., 2154 Rayburn.
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Domestic Epidemic is Worse Than We Thought: A Wake-up Call for HIV Prevention, 10 a.m., 2154 Rayburn.
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on the Effects of Proposed Arrangement Between DHL and UPS on Competition, Customer Service, and Employment, 2 p.m., 2167 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing on Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System, 10 a.m., 2167 Rayburn.
- Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security hearing on Clearing the Disability Backlog, 10 a.m., B-318 Rayburn.
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health hearing on VA Suicide Hotline, 10 a.m., 340 Cannon.
- Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence executive meeting on Subcommittee report, 1:15 p.m., H-405 Capitol.
September 17, 2008
- Special Committee on Aging to hold hearings to examine direct-to-consumer medical device advertising, focusing on marketing and medicine, 10:30 a.m., SD-562.
- Committee on Veterans’’ Affairs to hold hearings to examine the nomination of Patrick W. Dunne, of New York, to be Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 9:30 a.m., SR-418.
- Committee on the Judiciary to hold oversight hearings to examine the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9:30 a.m., SH-216.
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to hold hearings to examine pending Corporation for Public Broadcasting nominations, 10:30 a.m., SR-253.
- Committee on Foreign Relations to hold hearings to examine Russia's aggression against Georgia, focusing on the consequences and responses, 10 a.m., SD-419.
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to hold hearings to examine 401(k) plan fee disclosure, focusing on helping workers save for retirement, 10 a.m., SD-430.
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to hold a business meeting to consider S. 3474, to amend title 44, United States Code, to enhance information security of the Federal Government, S. 3384, to amend section 11317 of title 40, United States Code, to require greater accountability for cost overruns on Federal IT investment projects, H.R. 2631, to strengthen efforts in the Department of Homeland Security to develop nuclear forensics capabilities to permit attribution of the source of nuclear material, H.R. 6098, to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve the financial assistance provided to State, local, and tribal governments for information sharing activities, H.R. 3815, to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to make full and efficient use of open source information to develop and disseminate open source homeland security information products, S. 3176, to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize the President to provide mental health and substance abuse services, an original bill to establish a controlled unclassified information framework, H.R. 6073, to provide that Federal employees receiving their pay by electronic funds transfer shall be given the option of receiving their pay stubs electronically, S. 3350, to provide that claims of the United States to certain documents relating to Franklin D1081Delano Roosevelt shall be treated as waived and relinquished in certain circumstances, S. 3477, to amend title 44, United States Code, to authorize grants for Presidential Centers of Historical Excellence, H.R. 5975 and S. 3317, bills to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 101 West Main Street in Waterville, New York, as the ``Cpl. John P. Sigsbee Post Office'', H.R. 6092, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 101 Tallapoosa Street in Bremen, Georgia, as the ``Sergeant Paul Saylor Post Office Building'', S. 3309, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2523 7th Avenue East in North Saint Paul, Minnesota, as the Mayor William ``Bill'' Sandberg Post Office Building, H.R. 6437, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 200 North Texas Avenue in Odessa, Texas, as the ``Corporal Alfred Mac Wilson Post Office'', and the nominations of Ruth Y. Goldway, of California, to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and Carol Waller Pope, of the District of Columbia, and Thomas M. Beck, of Virginia, both to be a Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, 10 a.m., SD-342.
- Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management executive meeting on Security Clearance proceedings, 10 a.m., H-405 Capitol, and a hearing on the Administration progress toward reform of the security clearance process, as set forth by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, 2 p.m., 2253 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Aviation hearing on FAA Aircraft Certification: Alleged Regulatory Lapses in the Certification and Manufacture of the Eclipse EA-500, 10 a.m., 2167 Rayburn.
- Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing on the Secret Rule of the Department of Labor's Worker Health Risk Assessment--Proposal, 10 a.m., 2175 Rayburn.
- Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, on Food Safety--FDA, 2 p.m., 2362A Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, on Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Access to Cable Television--10 a.m., 2220 Rayburn.
- Committee on Financial Services hearing entitled ``Implementation of the Hope for Homeowners Program and A Review of Foreclosure Mitigation Efforts,'' 10 a.m., 2128 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Border Maritime and Global Counterterrorism hearing entitled ``Transportation Worker Identification Credential: A Status Update,'' 10 a.m., 311 Cannon.
- Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives hearing on Implementation of the Office of Government Information Services, 2 p.m., 2154 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight hearing entitled ``Waste, Abuse and Mismanagement: Calculating the Cost of DHS Failed Contracts,'' 2 p.m., 311 Cannon.
- Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and The Global Environment hearing on Exporting Toxic Trash: Are We Dumping Our Electronic Waste on Poorer Countries?, 2 p.m., 2172 Rayburn.
- Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Finance, and Tax hearing entitled ``Disaster Savings Accounts: Protections for Small Businesses During a Disaster,'' 2 p.m., 1539 Longworth.
Joint Economic Committee to hold hearings to examine the role of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) institutions in advancing human rights and democracy, 3 p.m., 2325, Rayburn Building.
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe: September 16, to hold hearings to examine the state of democracy and human rights in Belarus and how the Belarusian authorities are complying with their Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election commitments in advance of the September 28 parliamentary elections, 2:30 p.m., B318, Rayburn Building.
September 18, 2008
- Select Committee on Intelligence to hold closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters, 2:30 p.m., SH-219.
- Committee on the Judiciary business meeting to consider S. 3259, to amend title 11, United States Code, with respect to the priority of certain high cost credit debts, H.R. 3971, to encourage States to report to the Attorney General certain information regarding the deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement agencies, S. Res. 540, recognizing the historical significance of the sloop-of-war USS Constellation K as a reminder of the participation of the United States in the transatlantic slave trade and of the efforts of the United States to end the slave trade, the nominations of Clark Waddoups, to be United States District Judge for the District of Utah, Michael M. Anello, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of California, Mary Stenson Scriven, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Christine M. Arguello, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado, Philip A. Brimmer, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado, and Gregory G. Garre, of Maryland, to be Solicitor General of the United States, and the authorization for subpoenas relating to the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, 10 a.m., SH-216.
- Committee on Indian Affairs to hold oversight hearings to examine Federal declinations to prosecute crimes in Indian country, 9:30 a.m., SD-628.
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia to hold hearings to examine the homeland security risks associated with the upcoming presidential transition, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) planning for the transition, and what remains to be done to prepare for the transition, 2 p.m., SD-342.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to hold hearings to examine recent bank failures and the response of regulators, 10:30 a.m., SD-538.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to hold hearings to examine transparency in accounting, proposed changes to accounting for off-balance sheet entities, 2:30 p.m., SD-538.
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security to hold an oversight hearing to examine bus safety, 2:30 p.m., SR-253.
- Committee on Environment and Public Works to hold oversight hearings to examine clean-up efforts at Federal facilities, 10 a.m., SD-406.
- Committee on Foreign Relations to hold hearings to examine the Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation with India, 2:30 p.m., SD-419.
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities hearing on Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida and the Way Ahead, 10 a.m., 2118 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Health hearing entitled ``America's Need for Health Reform,'' 9:30 a.m., 2123 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing entitled ``Science Under Siege: Scientific Integrity at the Environmental Protection Agency,'' 10 a.m., 2322 Rayburn.
- Committee on Financial Services hearing entitled ``Auction Rate Securities Market: A Review of Problems and Potential Resolutions,'' 10 a.m., 2128 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight hearing on Families Torn Apart: Human Rights and U.S., Restrictions on Cuban-American Travel, 10 a.m., 2172 Rayburn.
- Committee on Homeland Security to continue hearings entitled ``Management, Missteps, and Missed Benchmarks: Why the Virtual Fence Has Not Become a Reality,'' 10 a.m., 311 Cannon.
- Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on H.R. 5793, Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2008, 1 p.m., 2141 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security hearing on the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Oversight, 11:30 a.m., 2237 Rayburn.
- Committee on Natural Resources oversight hearing on Recent Interior Department Inspector General Investigations on Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Collections, 10 a.m., 1324 Longworth.
- Subcommittee on Insular Affairs oversight hearing on the Federal Court Options for American Samoa, 2 p.m., 1324 Longworth.
- Subcommittee on Domestic Policy hearing on Gaming the Tax Code: Public Subsidies, Private Profits, and Big League Sports in New York, 10 a.m., 2154 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs hearing on Oversight of Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan, 10 a.m., 2247 Rayburn.
- Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Science Education hearing on the Role of Social Sciences in Public Health, 10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn.
- Committee on Small Business hearing entitled ``Making Health Care Reform Work for Small Business,'' 10:30 a.m., 1539 Longworth.
- Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing on Transportation Planning, 10 a.m., 2167 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing on Emerging Contaminants in U.S. Waters, 2 p.m., 2167 Rayburn.
- Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs hearing on Examining the Effectiveness of the Veterans Benefits Administration's Training, Performance Management and Accountability, 10 a.m., 340 Cannon.
- Committee on Ways and Means to continue hearings on Policy Options to Prevent Climate Change, 10:30 a.m., 1100 Longworth.
- Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming executive hearing on Cyber Security, 9 a.m., H-405 Capitol.
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations executive to meet on ongoing matters/reports, 1 p.m., H-405 Capitol.
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence hearing on Russia, 2:30 p.m., H-405 Capitol.
- Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing entitled ``The Green Road to Economic Recovery,'' 10 a.m., room to be announced.