Congresspedia Preview: This Week in Congress (May 30 - June 5, 2008)

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.

Hearings Schedules:
June 3, 2008

June 4, 2008


June 5, 2008


June 6, 2008