The Week Ahead for Congress: July 23 - 27
Bills before Congress: July 23 - 27
From our Hill Sources: The Senate will consider a bill reflecting President Obama's proposal extending middle class tax cuts at the end of the year and allowing rates to rise for people with higher incomes.
In the Senate
- S 3412 The Middle Class Tax Cut Act: This bill would keep current tax rates for anyone earning less than $250,000, but allow rates to increase above that income level, and also set a 20 percent cap on capital gains and dividend taxes.
The bill is supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. The Senate may spend a good part of the week trying to figure out how to move the bill ahead. Overriding Republican opposition may require Democrats to allow the GOP to debate and vote on their own amendment to the bill that keeps current tax levels for people at all income levels. Senate consideration of this bill is expected to follow House consideration next week of a Republican bill to maintain all current tax levels.
In the House
- HR 459 The Federal Reserve Transparency Act: This bill, from GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX), would require a full audit of the Federal Reserve, including the Fed's monetary policy operations. It has more than 270 cosponsors, and should pass this week.
- HR 4078 The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act: This legislation prohibits major federal regulations from begin released until the unemployment rate drops to 6 percent, and imposes other hurdles to new regulations.
- HR 6082 The Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan: This bill would require the Obama administration to conduct several delayed offshore oil and gas lease sales on the Outer Continental Shelf.
These bills are expected to pass the House this week, along with several other bills:
- HR 1237 Providing for a land exchange between the federal government and California.
- HR 2362 The Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act: To facilitate economic development by Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish enterprises.
- HR 2467 The Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act: to take certain Federal lands in Mono County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Bridgeport Indian Colony.
- HR 3388 The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Protection Act: to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of the Beaver, Chipuxet, Queen, Wood, and Pawcatuck Rivers in the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- HR 4157 The Preserving America's Family Farms Act: to prohibit the Secretary of Labor from finalizing a proposed rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 relating to child labor.
- HR 4484 The Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act: to provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah to Brigham Young University.
- HR 5859 To repeal a provision in US law requiring motor vehicle insurance cost reporting.
- S 1335 The Pilot's Bill of Rights
- S 2039 To allow a State or local government to construct levees on certain properties otherwise designated as open space lands.
Other bills of interest
The top two bills on POPVOX last week are both stuck in the Senate, and are both reactions to recent Supreme Court rulings:
- S 3369 The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act: The Senate tried to move this bill last week, but were thwarted by Senate Republicans who oppose it. The bill would require all entities to report campaign spending to the government once it reaches $10,000. Democrats saw the bill as a response to the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case.
- HR 6079 The Repeal Obamacare Act: The House approved this bill earlier this month, and sent it to a Senate that is likely to ignore it. The GOP bill was a reaction to the Supreme Court's June decision in favor of the 2010 healthcare law.
These other bills also received attention from POPVOX users:
- HR 5872 The Sequestration Transparency Act: This bill (number four on POPVOX last week), was approved by the House last week by an overwhelming 414-2 vote. The bill requires the administration to report to Congress on how it plans to cut spending in 2013 in line with last year's debt ceiling agreement, which calls for $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade.
Both sides have said they want to rework the sequester, which will make cuts to both defense and social spending starting in January. But Republicans and Democrats so far have been unable to reach any agreement for doing so.
- HR 5856 The 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations bill: The House passed this legislation (number 15 on POPVOX) last week; it spends $606 billion on the Defense Department and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a cut of about $27 billion.
- S 3364 The Bring Jobs Home Act (number 14 on POPVOX): The Senate last week tried to advance this bill, which would create a tax incentive for companies that bring jobs back to the United States. However, Republicans blocked it in a procedural vote.
(If you'd like this alert emailed to you directly once a week, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.