Recapping yesterday’s action:
The House finished up its business with that Mark Twain commemorative coin act, you’ll be relieved to know. But the bulk of the day was given over to passing yet another emergency transportation authorization patch, despite the fact that there’s a bipartisan Senate bill that passed with 70+ votes just sitting there, waiting to be taken up. Republicans were, of course, unable to resist the temptation to throw in some Keystone pipeline garbage (transferring approval authority from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and giving it a 30-day maximum to approve permit submissions). Oh, and get this: the Democratic motion to recommit, which was of course defeated on a party line vote, would have killed $ 12 million in road construction funding bound for… Canada. Not only do they get universal health care up there, but now we even build their roads for them. That’s pretty fiscally conservative there, eh? Republicans are hosers.
The Senate spent the day waiting for the cloture motion on the substitute amendment on the postal reform bill to ripen, and debating the motion to proceed to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization bill to kill the time, mixing in a few unanimous consent agreements on congratulatory resolutions, National Adopt a Library Day, and the like.
Looking ahead to today:
The House dedicates the day today to H.R. 9, the “Small Business Tax Cut Act” from Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-07). The bill number, by the way, would appear to imply that it was one of the first few bills introduced in the 112th Congress. But in fact, it was introduced just last month, and assigned one of the low bill numbers reserved by the Speaker at the beginning of this Congress for the leadership’s top priorities. So I guess what that tells us is that although a saying they’re for a small business tax cut is clearly a top priority for Republicans (duh), it took Eric Cantor until March 21st of this year to figure out just how to do it.
So just what kind of nonsense is this bill? Joan McCarter touched on the subject just last week.
The Senate schedule, as is so often the case these days, was foreshadowed by yesterday’s schedule. That is, they’ll be using the morning to debate the motion to proceed to the Violence Against Women reauthorization bill, while the final hours run out on the ripening of the cloture motion on the substitute amendment on the postal reform bill, and on the underlying bill itself. If the cloture vote on the substitute fails, they’ll move to a cloture vote on the bill as it stands. If they both fail, well, then it’s back to VAWA, I guess, and we’ll probably see a cloture motion filed on that as well.
So how about that, eh? Corporate tax cuts in the House, cloture votes on stuff that should be routine and easy in the Senate, and repetitive stress injury for you, watching these guys go round and round in the same circles, over and over again, with virtually nothing in the way of enacted law to show for it. Woohoo!
Today’s floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.
Except somebody’s yanking our chain over on the Senate side. They haven’t had the committee schedules right all week. I think maybe whomever they had doing the job before the recess might not have come back from vacation, and didn’t tell anyone where he put the keys, because there’s no way there were only three committees meeting this week. I think those were entered into the schedule weeks ago, and everything scheduled since just hasn’t been entered into the system. Which is a pretty major screw-up, really. I mean, would you mind telling America what its Senators are doing, maybe? Possibly? How about that? Thanks. That’d be great.