Congress is back in session after their August break and are diving headfirst into a passel of spending bills, many of which are due by September 30th, the end of the 2007 fiscal year. Iraq will also be a huge issue this month as the "Petraeus report" (which we have learned is actually being written by the White House) is to be delivered to Congress on September 10th - 11th and a Government Accountability Office report on Iraq is published in the next few days. While plenty of debate on Iraq is expected this week, it is unclear if anyone will try to move any bills ahead of Petraeus' testimony next week.
The issue of Iraq is also, of course, intertwined with the debate over the budget for the next fiscal year year, which starts October 1st. This week the Senate will take up spending bills for military construction and veterans affairs and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also reportedly wants to start work on funding bills for the Defense Department, transportation and foreign operations. Authorization bills for the Federal Aviation Administration, Food and Drug Administration, State Children's Health Insurance Program and the massive 2007 Farm Bill also due by the end of the month. Congressional Democrats are additionally looking to pass legislation passed by the House earlier this year on student loans and financial aid.
As the September 30th deadline approaches it is unclear if all the funding bills, possibly including funding for the Iraq War, will be passed individually or passed as an omnibus bill. President Bush, meanwhile, is threatening to veto any bill that exceeds the budget he sent to Congress.
On the personnel front, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) announced his resignation on Saturday, effective September 30th. The Republican governor of Idaho is expected to appoint current Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch to serve until the end of Craig's term next year. Sen. Tim P. Johnson (D-S.D.) is back after recovering from his stroke and says he'll be serving through the end of his term next year when he expects to run for reelection.
Each of the links in this post go to articles on the Congresspedia/SourceWatch wiki and are fully editable, so if you've seen some relevant information around, help spread truth and facts by going to the wiki article, clicking "edit this page" and adding it.
The House has not yet posted their hearing schedule for the week, but the Congresspedia staff put together the Senate schedule for the week:
September 4, 2007
- Senate Armed Services Committee
To hold closed hearings to examine issues relating to the treatment of detainees. [SR-222] -- Sep 4, 2007 at 2 p.m.
September 5, 2007
- Senate Judiciary Committee
To hold hearings to examine the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and its continuing importance. [SD-226] -- Sep 5, 2007 at 10 a.m.
- Senate Appropriations -- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
To hold hearings to examine the Utah mine disaster and preventing future coalmining tragedies. [SD-124] -- Sep 5, 2007 at 10:30 a.m.
- Senate Special Committee on Aging
To hold hearings to examine qualifications for those who advise seniors about financial issues. [SD-628] -- Sep 5, 2007 at 2 p.m.
September 6, 2007
- Senate Armed Services Committee
To hold hearings to examine a report on the findings of the Iraqi Security Forces Independent Assessment Commission. [SH-216] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To hold hearings to examine the nomination of Charles E. F. Millard, of New York, to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. [SD-628] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
To hold hearings to examine the potential human health, water quality, and other impacts of the confined animal feeding operation industry. [SD-408] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Finance
To continue hearings to examine carried interest [SD-215] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
- Senate Judiciary Committee
Business meeting to consider S.453, to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections, S.1692, to grant a Federal charter to Korean War Veterans Association, Incorporated, S.1845, to provide for limitations in certain communications between the Department of Justice and the White House Office relating to civil and criminal investigations, S.772, to amend the Federal antitrust laws to provide expanded coverage and to eliminate exemptions from such laws that are contrary to the public interest with respect to railroads, S.Res.282, supporting the goals and ideals of a National Polycystic Kidney Disease Awareness Week to raise public awareness and understanding of polycystic kidney disease and to foster understanding of the impact polycystic kidney disease has on patients and future generations of their families, S.Res.134, designating September 2007 as “Adopt a School Library Month”, and the nominations of Richard A. Jones, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington, Sharion Aycock, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Jennifer Walker Elrod, of Texas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit. [SD-226] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
S. 453: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007
S. 1692: A bill to grant a Federal charter to Korean War Veterans Association, Incorporated
S. 1845: A bill to provide for limitations in certain communications between the Department of Justice and the White House Office relating to civil and criminal investigations, and for other purposes
S. 772: Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2007
S. Res. 282: A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of a National Polycystic Kidney Disease Awareness Week to raise public awareness and understanding of polycystic kidney disease and to foster understanding of the impact polycystic kidney disease has on patients and future generations of their families
S. Res. 134: A resolution designating September 2007 as "Adopt a School Library Month"
- Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
To hold hearings to examine a Department of Homeland Security status report, focusing on assessing challenges and measuring progress. [SD-342] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.
- Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
To hold closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters. [SH-219] -- Sep 6, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.