wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Politics

Read In

Now Viewing: People from around the country looking at Post Politics section

See what's being read across the country ›

Social Surface: Politics

2chambers
Posted at 09:57 AM ET, 05/02/2011

The week ahead on the Hill: Lawmakers return to Washington – and to a post-bin Laden world

Members of Congress return to Washington Monday after a two-week recess that was dominated by debate over rising gas prices, Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) 2012 budget blueprint and the country’s debt ceiling.

All of those issues remain on the agenda this week, with a key point in the deficit-reduction discussion slated to come Thursday, when Vice President Biden hosts bipartisan, bicameral leaders at Blair House.

But the landscape is significantly altered following the news, announced by President Obama late Sunday night, that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden. Members of Congress from both parties heralded the news of bin Laden’s death in a flood of statements early Monday morning, and as more details emerge, the focus will likely shift swiftly from reaction to oversight of the sweeping military and intelligence operation that killed the al Qaeda leader.

While it’s not immediately clear how congressional scrutiny of the bin Laden operation will play out, one of the many legislative agenda items on which the news is likely to have an impact is the debate over renewing three key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law, which are set to expire at the end of the month. After efforts to renew the Patriot Act provisions encountered some unexpected opposition earlier this year, will the success of the bin Laden operation smooth the way for passage this time around?

The House freshmen – many of whom had already been busy getting up to speed on national security issues – will also likely be hustling over the coming days and weeks as they grapple with one of the country’s most momentous national security developments just four months into the 112th Congress.

Here’s a closer look at the week ahead:

Monday

The House is in at 2 p.m. Two votes are expected after 6:30 p.m.: One on an Oklahoma post-office naming and another naming the courthouse in Midland, Texas, the “George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building.”

The Senate is also in session at 2 p.m., with votes on two judicial nominations expected after 5:30 p.m.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The Center for Civic Education holds its annual “We the People” national high school competition on constitutional issues in 122 Cannon.

10 a.m.: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) delivers remarks on “Creating a Sustainable and Affordable Defense Posture” at a Center for American Progress event.

10 a.m.: House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) delivers remarks at an Independent Community Bankers of America summit at the J.W. Marriott.

2 p.m.: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, delivers a speech on the federal budget at Georgetown University.

5 p.m.: The House Rules Committee holds a meeting. Three bills are on the agenda: H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act;” H.R.1213, which would repeal mandatory funding of state-based health insurance exchanges; and H.R. 1214, which would repeal mandatory funding for the construction of school-based health centers.

8:15 p.m.: President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Jill Biden host a group of bipartisan committee chairmen and ranking members for a dinner at the White House. Obama will deliver remarks.

Tuesday

The House is in session at 10 a.m. to consider H.R. 1213 and H.R. 1214, two of the three health-care funding bills. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing on presidential records.

10 a.m.: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on “Afghanistan: What is an Acceptable End-State, and How Do We Get There?”

10 a.m.: The Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on Treasury Department and other nominations.

10 a.m.: The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on “Is the Distribution of Tax Burdens and Tax Benefits Equitable?”

10 a.m.: A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on border security.

10:30 a.m.: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “White House Transparency, Visitor Logs and Lobbyists.”

11 a.m.: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R); former secretary of state Henry Kissinger and others speak a Capitol Rotunda ceremony to dedicate a statue of Gerald Ford.

2 p.m.: A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on “The Threat to the U.S. Homeland Emanating from Pakistan.”

2:30 p.m.: A Senate Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing on “the health and status of the defense industrial base.”

2:30 p.m.: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence holds a closed briefing.

Wednesday

The House is in at 10 a.m. to take up H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8 a.m.: Members of Congress and others participate in the ACLI Capital Challenge’s annual three mile race to benefit the D.C. Special Olympics. Among the participants will be Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who will compete for his 30th (!) straight year.

9:30 a.m.: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “The Role of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in America’s Energy Future.”

10 a.m.: Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the 2012 budget.

10 a.m.: The House Homeland Security Committee holds a hearing on “Securing Our Nation’s Mass Transit Systems Against a Terrorist Attack.”

10 a.m.: Former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) and others testify at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on budget enforcement mechanisms.

10:30 a.m.: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Michael Vickers testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the 2012 military intelligence budget.

10:30 a.m.: The Senate Rules Committee meets to mark up S.Res. 116, a bill that would allow for the nomination process to be expedited.

12:30 p.m.: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) delivers a speech on “Creating First-Rate Education in Indiana” at an American Enterprise Institute event.

2:30 p.m.: A Senate Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing on implementation of the New START Treaty.

3 p.m.: The House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1230, two of the three health-care-related measures being considered this week.

3 p.m.: The Democratic National Committee holds a meeting to vote on President Obama’s choice to lead the committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

Thursday

The House meets at 9 a.m. to consider H.R. 1230, a measure that would require the Department of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. The House may also consider another measure, H.R. 1229, which would give the Interior Department a 30-day deadline by which to decide on drilling applications in the Gulf of Mexico. Last votes are expected by 3 p.m.

Thursday is also the day that Vice President Biden hosts a meeting on deficit reduction with bipartisan, bicameral congressional leaders at Blair House. No details yet on the timing of the meeting.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on “The American Energy Initiative.”

10 a.m.: The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on “Assessing U.S. Policy and Its Limits in Pakistan.”

10 a.m.: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies at a House Education Committee hearing on HHS “policies and priorities.”

10:30 a.m.: House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) participates in a Heritage Foundation discussion on “Protect America Month.”

1 p.m.: Arlington National Cemetery Executive Director Katherine Condon testifies at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the 2012 fiscal year budget for Army cemetery expenses.

2 p.m.: Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), the secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, testifies at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

5 p.m.: George Washington University hosts an event on pollsters featuring Tarrance Group CEO Ed Goeas; Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner founder Stan Greenberg; Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn; and Bill Schneider.

Friday

The Senate is in session; the House is out.

Committee hearings/other events:

8 a.m.: The United States Institute of Peace holds a symposium to discuss “Women and War.”

9 a.m.: The U.S. Capitol Historical Society holds its eighth annual conference on “Emancipation during the Civil War” in the Capitol Visitors Center.

By  |  09:57 AM ET, 05/02/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company