The major action on Capitol Hill this week will be centered around around climate change legislation: the Senate should spend most of the week debating one of the competing proposals, America’s Climate Security Act. The House, meanwhile, will likely vote on an Iraq War supplemental, and both chambers still have to approve a 2009 fical year budget resolution that establishes the framework for next year's spending bills. In election news, the final Democratic presidential primaries happen tomorrow, as well as congressional primaries in seven states.
The America's Climate Security Act is bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the country by 70 percent by 2050. It would establish a “cap-and-trade” program: emissions would be "capped" at a certain level (with the ceiling dropping further every few years) through a permit system for polluters, with the holders of those permits allowed to reduce their emissions and then "trade" (read: sell) the permits for the remainder. This creates a financial incentive for polluters to reduce emissions that will increase over time as the lowering cap makes the permits more precious.
It's unlikely the bill will become law this year, however: it faces an uphill battle in the Senate and a likely veto from President Bush. Still, the the battle lines formed in the debate this weak will auger the the fate of the inevitable resurfacing of the issue in next year's Congress.
More on this week's legislation, committee schedules and an update on superdelegates after the break.
The Senate returned the Iraq War supplemental funding bill to the House recently, where it was approved two weeks ago. At the time, House Republicans voted “present” on one of three amendments – the one funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through early 2009, sending the bill to the Senate without it and, to the Republicans' eyes, with responsibility for the entire bill squarely on Democratic shoulders.
The Senate then reinserted the war money and also approved a series of domestic spending measures Democratic leaders wanted to tie to the Iraq funds (which the House had also already approved). Whether the House will rubber-stamp the Senate’s bill or try to modify it remains to be seen.
While the Democratic presidential primaries will wrap up this week with contests in Montana and South Dakota, a number of developments in the race occurred this weekend. Puerto Rico, with the largest remaining block of delegates, held its primary on Sunday, with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) carrying the election and a likely delegate gain of 38 to Sen. Barack Obama's 17.
In Washington D.C., the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee determined that delegates from Michigan and Florida could be seated at the party’s national convention in August. The catch: each delegate will receive half a vote.
The meeting was held to reconsider a sanction of a total stripping of delegates the committee had issued before when the two state parties had defied the DNC's primary calendar and pushed their elections ahead of most other states'.
You can find a delegate breakdown for each state by checking out the Michigan and Florida presidential primary pages. Saturday’s decision has also played with the superdelegate math: our Superdelegate Transparency Project has all the latest on those developments.
Below you’ll find this week’s hearing schedules for congressional committees. The House schedules aren’t yet online, but we’ll update this post as soon as they are.
June 3, 2008
- Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Hearing to examine nominations, 2:30 p.m., SD-538
- Senate Committee on Armed Services Hearings to examine the acquisition of major weapons systems by the Department of Defense, 9:30 a.m., SD-106.
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearings to examine energy market manipulation and federal enforcement regimes. 10:00 a.m., SR-253
- Senate Committee on Finance Hearings to examine rising costs and low quality in health care, focusing on the necessity for reform. 10:00 a.m., SD-215.
June 4, 2008
- Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs An oversight hearing to examine systemic indifference to invisible wounds. 9:30 a.m., SR-418.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Hearings to examine the nominations of Walter Lukken, of Indiana, to be Chairman, and Bartholomew H. Chilton, of Delaware, and Scott O'Malia, of Michigan, each to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 10:00 a.m., SR-328A.
- Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, Hearings to receive testimony from outside witnesses. 10:00 a.m., SD-192.
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Insurance, and Automotive Safety An oversight hearing to examine passenger vehicle roof strength safety. 10:00 a.m., SR-253.
- Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearings to examine ways to improve the detainee policy, focusing on handling terrorism detainees within the American justice system. 10:00 a.m., SD-226.
June 5, 2008
Senate Committee On Indian Affairs
Hearings to examine predatory lending in Indian country. 9:30 am, Dirksen 562.
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Hearings to examine off-highway vehicle management on public lands. 9:30 am, Dirksen 366.
Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs
Hearings to examine the state of the banking industry. 10 am, Dirksen 538.
- Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Hearings to examine National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reauthorization.10 am, Rayburn 253.
- Senate Finance Committee Hearings to examine the choices for small business in advance of tax reform, focusing on Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 Schedule C, Form 1065 Schedule K-1, and Schedule S. 10 am, Dirksen 215.
- Senate Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration Hearings to examine community preparedness for disasters. 10:30 am, Dirksen 342.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters. 2:30 pm, Hart 219.
June 6, 2008
Joint Senate Economic Committee
Holding hearings to examine the employment-unemployment situation for May 2008
9:30 am, Dirksen 562.
- Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Hearings to examine the organizational structures of the Department of State responsible for arms control, counterproliferation, and nonproliferation, focusing on the processes they have in place for optimizing national efforts. 2pm, Dirksen 342.