This Week in Washington - May 3, 2010

This week, the Senate will start work on amending the ObamaBailout bill as the House takes up “Cash for Caulkers.”  In the wake of the attempted terrorist attack in New York City’s Times Square and the oil spill in the Gulf, expect discussion this week in the House and Senate about anti-terrorism and offshore drilling.  Oversight hearings are expected on both issues.  Conservatives eagerly await the President’s announcement of who he will pick to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court.

The issues for this week are as follows:

  • ObamaBailout – The Senate will work through Amendments on the bailout bill, S.3217 – the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, the whole week.  The first amendment is has been offered by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and would ban the use of taxpayer monies to bailout companies whose collapse poses a threat to the financial markets.  The Boxer Amendment states in part “shall be recovered from the disposition of assets of such financial company, or shall be the responsibility of the financial sector, through assessments.”  In legislative speak, this provision allows the taxpayers to be on the hook, until the federal government can tax banks through “assessments,” to pay for the liquidation of a company.  If the Courts strike down the “assessments” as a takings, then the taxpayers will be on the hook.  This amendment is an attempt to inoculate Senators supporting the bill from being tagged as pro-bailout.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is controlling the Amendment process and has stated that he wants Senate passage completed by the end of May. 
  • Cash for Caulkers – The House will take up “Cash for Caulkers,” also known as H.R. 5019the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.  This $6 billion bill will provide rebates of up to $3K for energy-efficient upgrades to a home.  The “Cash for Clunkers” program proved to be a waste of taxpayer dollars and a short term stimulus for the auto industry and this shall prove to be the same for appliances.  Get the government to partially pay for something and the taxpayers will subsidize the purchase of upgrades for homes on the taxpayers dime.  Silly.
  • Long Term Agenda – Global Warming Legislation, the Congressional Budget, Gays in the Military, Supreme Court and immigration are still hot issues and they may see time on the House and Senate floor later this year.

The schedule for the Senate this week according to the Senate Majority Leader’s web site:

The Senate Convenes: 2:00pm Resume consideration of S.3217, Wall Street Reform.

There will be no roll call votes on Monday, May 3.

The schedule for the House this week according to the House Majority Leader’s web site:

MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. in pro forma session.

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:30 p.m. for Morning Hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Suspensions (7 Bills)

  1. H.Res. 1307  Honoring the National Science Foundation for 60 years of service to the Nation (Rep. Gordon – Science and Technology)
  2. H.Res. 1213 – Recognizing the need to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, supporting the ideals of National Lab Day (Rep. Fudge – Science and Technology)
  3. H.Res. 1310 Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the laser (Rep. Ehlers – Science and Technology)
  4. H.Res. 1231 – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind (Rep. Holt – Science and Technology)
  5. H.Res. 1269 – Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first use of the telescope for astronomical observation by the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (Rep. Tiberi – Science and Technology)
  6. H.R. 1722 – To redesignate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps (Rep. Jones – Armed Services)
  7. H.Res. 1132 – Honoring the USS New Mexico as the sixth Virginia-class submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy to protect and defend the United States (Rep. Heinrich – Armed Services)


On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. On Friday, no votes are expected in the House.

Suspensions (13 Bills)

  1. H.R. 5160 – Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010 (Rep. Rangel – Ways and Means)
  2. H.Res. 1272 – Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, Kent State University shootings (Rep. Ryan (OH) – Education and Labor)
  3. H.Res. 1157 – Congratulating the National Urban League on its 100th year of service to the United States (Rep. Hastings (FL) – Education and Labor)
  4. H.Res. 1312 Recognizing the roles and contributions of America’s teachers to building and enhancing our Nation’s civic, cultural, and economic well-being (Rep. Graves – Education and Labor)
  5. H.Res. 1149 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Charter School Week, to be held May 2 through May 8, 2010 (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Education and Labor)
  6. H.R. 2421 – Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Rep. Capito – Financial Services)
  7. H.Res. 1295 – Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day (Rep. Fortenberry – Oversight and Government Reform)
  8. H.Res. 1247 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that public servants should be commended for their dedication and continued service to the Nation during Public Service Recognition Week, May 3 through 9, 2010, and throughout the year (Rep. Lynch – Oversight and Government Reform)
  9. H.R. 1722 – Telework Improvements Act (Rep. Sarbanes – Oversight and Government Reform)
  10. H.Res. 1301 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Train Day (Rep. Brown (FL) – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  11. H.Con.Res. 247 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby (Rep. Hoyer – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  12. H.Con.Res. 263 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run (Rep. Norton – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  13. H.Res. 1278 – In support and recognition of National Safe Digging Month, April, 2010 (Rep. Shuster – Transportation and Infrastructure) 

H.R. 5019 – Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 (Rep. Welch – Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule)

* Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.

* Motions to go to Conference should they become available.

* Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.