The House and Senate will next week reconvene for their second week back in session after the August recess. Members have a lot on their plates – both in terms of responding to President Obama’s jobs address and dealing with unfinished business on appropropriations and other matters. Here are five things to keep an eye on:
Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony: At 6 p.m. Monday, members of Congress will hold a 9/11 Congressional Remembrance Ceremony on the Capitol’s East Front Steps. The venue is the same spot where members spontaneously sang “God Bless America” after a news conference on the day of the attacks 10 years ago.
Boehner’s jobs speech: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will outline his vision for the economy at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, when he delivers an address before the Economic Club of Washington. The speech, which comes one week after Obama’s jobs address, will provide a key moment for the top House Republican to lay out his party’s agenda on jobs and deficit-reduction. Will Boehner strike a bipartisan tone – as he and other House GOP leaders have done in recent days – or will he seek to emphasize the differences between his party and the White House when it comes to jobs?
The debt “supercommittee”: The bipartisan debt-reduction panel holds its second public meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf is expected to testify at the meeting, which will be the committee’s first since President Obama’s jobs speech. How will members react to the president’s statement that the committee can find additional deficit savings in order to pay for his jobs plan?
Tax reform: Will the supercommittee tackle comprehensive tax reform? Members on both sides of the aisle say they’d like to, but time is running short while the list of demands on the panel is running longer by the day. One event that may help clarify matters is coming up next Tuesday, when former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and others testify at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Whether There is a Role for Tax Reform in Comprehensive Deficit Reduction and U.S. Fiscal Policy.”
Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization: Next week will be crunch time in terms of FAA funding. The measure currently keeping the agency running is set to expire on Friday, Sept. 16. The House is on track to offer a stopgap funding bill next week, according to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), and it appears that leaders of both parties are eager to avoid the type of impasse that led to a partial shutdown of the FAA last month. Still, it wouldn’t be Congress if there weren’t the potential for legislation to be derailed at the last minute by partisan disputes. Keep an eye on this one in particular, because if a stalemate does happen, it will have immediate – and costly – consequences for both parties.