The House of Representatives adjourned Friday, May 13, for a week's recess. Before it did, members passed the Intelligence Authorization Bill by a vote of 392-15.
This week the House of Representatives intends to continueefforts to address rising gas prices by improving domestic production. After passing a bill last week that requires the administration to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the shores of Virginia, the bill, HR 1230, now goes to the Senate. Most Hill watchers believe the bill will not see the light of day due to the Democratic control of the Senate, even given the fact that the bill passed by a vote of 266-149. That vote includes the support of 33 House Democrats.
Remember the famed U.S. Senate session debates that occurred over the 2009 Christmas holiday? They brought us Obamacare. These were the marathon sessions needed in the Senate in order to slug through the GOP filibuster on the presidents health care bill.
This week lasted a bit longer than most congressional weeks, with both the House and the Senate staying in session late on Friday, April 8. They had to work late to avoid a complete government shutdown of all our departments and agencies due to a lack of funding.
A very similar long work week occurred in December 2010 when Congress passed the same stop-gap appropriations funding bill.
Members of Congress are pushing the timetable for resolving the omnibus appropriations/continuing resolution to the brink by trash talking each other for over a week. This began with Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y., labeling the tea party as extreme early last week. Once this comment became public, then the dueling press conferences and public warfare began to flow continuously through most of last week. This is a shame since the American public and valid government programs stand to be harmed or at least inconvenienced.
This week Congress returns from its weeklong spring recess prepared to convene committee meetings to ask questions about the presidents policies in Libya.
The House speaker, Congressman John Boehner, R-Ohio, stated in a letter to the president dated March 23 that he hopes the president will provide a clear and robust assessment of the mission and how it will be achieved. Similar questions are popping up on the Senate side with foreign relations' ranking member, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., calling on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold hearings.
The U.S. House of Representatives spent all week and several late nights debating hundreds of amendments to the omnibus appropriations bill that would continue our federal government funding through Sept. 30.
This past week the Senate continued debating the Federal Aviation Administation bill but mostly it was in recess while chamber Democrats conducted their legislative agenda retreat in Charlottesville, Va.
The Senate will resume with the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill for the second week after conducting a few votes last week regarding the health care repeal issue.