The week ahead on the Hill: Supercommittee hits crunch time,; another government funding battle


(Cliff Owen/AP)

There are only nine days left before the bipartisan “supercommittee” hits its deadline to draft its debt-reduction deal. But in TV appearances over the weekend, several members of the panel did not suggest that the joint committee is any closer to reaching an agreement than it was last summer.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), co-chairman of the panel, said on CNN Sunday morning that panelists haven’t “given up hope.” But both he and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) suggested that if the committee fails, they would be open to Congress working to undo the $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending cuts that would be triggered by a stalemate. President Obama has urged Congress not to do that.

Meanwhile, another spending fight begins this week – the battle over a “minibus” funding bill and a continuing resolution that both chambers need to pass before a Nov. 18 deadline. Will the fight go down to the wire as has virtually every other spending battle this year? Neither Democrats nor Republicans appear to have much appetite for an extended fight, especially with the supercommittee’s deadline looming. But, then again, during this Congress, gridlock has been the name of the game.

Here’s a closer look at the week ahead:

Monday

The House is in at 2 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., roll call votes under suspension of the rules are expected on nine courthouse and post office namings. The Senate is also in session at 2 p.m.; no roll call votes are expected.

Committee hearings/other events:

9 a.m.: The Motion Picture Association of America and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is hosting a discussion on “The Great Communicator - Ronald Reagan from Hollywood to the White House.”

9 a.m.: The Woodrow Wilson Center is holding a conference on “Ideological Storms: Intellectuals and the Totalitarian Temptation.”

9 a.m.: The Jamestown Foundation is holding a conference on “Central Asia, Afghanistan and the New Silk Road: Political, Economic and Security Challenges.”

10 a.m.: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), chairman of the Democratic Governor Association, is delivering remarks at a National Press Club newsmaker event on how Democratic governors “are leading the way on creating jobs and opportunity in the states.”

10 a.m.: Former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill and former commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan David McKiernan are holding a discussion on “U.S. Military Interventions” at George Washington University’s Lindner Family Commons.

12:30 p.m.: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will hold a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters.

1 p.m.: The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a briefing on “The World in a ‘Balance Sheet Recession’: What Post-2008 U.S., Europe, and China Can Learn from Japan 1990-2005.”

2 p.m.: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other House Democrats hold a forum in Rayburn 2226 on “Excluded from Democracy: The Impact of Recent State Voting Law Changes.”

5 p.m.: The House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R.822, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.”

Tuesday

The House is in session at 10 a.m. to begin consideration of several measures, including a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution; the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011; the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011; a measure to repeal the three-percent withholding rule on government contracts; and the Energy and Water, Financial Services and State and Foreign Operations minibus. The Senate is also in session, with votes expected on two judicial nominations.

Committee hearings/other events:

9 a.m.: The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a discussion on “Ideological Storms: Intellectuals and the Totalitarian Temptation.”

9:30 a.m.: The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on Iraq. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and others testify.

9:30 a.m.: The United States Institute of Peace will host a discussion on “Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the Afghan People.”

10 a.m.: Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf will testify at a Senate Budget subcommittee hearing on “Economic Effects of Fiscal Policy Choices.”

10 a.m.: A House Homeland Security subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Protecting the Homeland: How can Homeland Security use Defense Department Technology to Secure the Border?”

10 a.m.: A House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Cyber Security: Protecting America’s New Frontier.”

10 a.m.: A House Oversight subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Progress of the Obama Administration’s Policy Toward Iran.”

11:30 a.m.: A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Feeding the Dragon: Reevaluating U.S. Development Assistance to China.”

2:30 p.m.: A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The Fix Gun Checks Act: Better State and Federal Compliance, Smarter Enforcement.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Patricia Maisch, one of the “heroes” in January’s shooting in Tucson, and others will testify.

3 p.m.: A Senate Banking subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Financial Security Issues Facing Older Americans.”

Wednesday

The House is in session at 10 a.m. to continue consideration of the measures it began taking up on Tuesday. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8 a.m.: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a discussion on deficit reduction and legislative priorities. Participants include Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee.

9 a.m.: A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Weeding Out Bad Contractors: Does the Government Have the Right Tools?”

9 a.m.: The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up H.R. 3309, the “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011,” and H.R.3310, the “Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011.”

9 a.m.: The Cato Institute will host its 29th annual monetary conference, “Monetary Reform in the Wake of Crisis” Participants include Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank.

9 a.m.: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a news conference in Hart 216 to discuss the commission’s findings and recommendations regarding the 2011 Report to Congress.

10 a.m.: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Righting the Enduring Wrongs of the Holocaust: Insurance Accountability and Rail Justice.”

10 a.m.: The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on “Pay for Performance: Should Fannie and Freddie Executive Be Receiving Millions in Bonuses?”

10:30 a.m.: The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion on “Balanced Budget Amendment: Reclaiming Control Over America’s Future. Participants include Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas); and Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation.

2 p.m.: The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on “Manufacturing in the USA: Paving the Road to Job Creation.”

Thursday

The House is in session at 10 a.m. to continue consideration of the measures it began taking up on Tuesday. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

9 a.m.: Energy Secretary Steven Chu will testify at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on “The Solyndra Failure.”

9:30 a.m.: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and other House Democrats hold a news conference in Rayburn B-318 on immigration and a Congressional visit to Alabama on November 21.

9:45 a.m.: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will hold a news conference at the National Press Club on sexual assaults in the military.

10 a.m.: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to mark up H.R.2918, the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2011” and H.R.2992, the “Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011.”

10 a.m.: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China will hold a hearing on “China’s Censorship of the Internet and Social Media: The Human Toll and Trade Impact.”

10 a.m.: The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on whether tax reform can boost business investment and job creation.

1 p.m.: The National Archives and Richard Nixon Foundation hold a discussion on “Nixon and the Courts: Reforming the Judiciary.”

2:30 p.m.: The Senate Select Intelligence Committee will hold a closed-door hearing on intelligence matters.

3 p.m.: A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The 2011 International Religious Freedom Report.”

Friday

The House is in session at 9 a.m., with last votes expected no later than 3 p.m. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8:30 a.m.: The Urban Institute will host a discussion in 122 Cannon on “The Fight Against International Human Trafficking: How Evaluation Research Can Help.”

9 a.m.: The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a discussion on “The National Guard: Security America Can Afford.”

9 a.m.: A House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Creating a 21st Century Defense Industry.”

9 a.m.: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Internet Gaming: Regulating in an Online World.”

10 a.m.: The United States Institute of Peace will hold a discussion on “Where is Pakistan Headed?”

12:30 p.m.: The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will host a discussion on “Japan and Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation.”

2 p.m.: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge): Jobs, Energy and Deficit Reduction.”

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