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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 07/25/2011

The week ahead on the Hill: Two chambers, two debt-limit plans


(Brendan Smialowski - GETTY IMAGES)
Eight days remain until the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the nation’s legal limit on borrowing, and Congress has a long way to go.

Just two weeks ago, as the universe of possible deficit-reduction plans appeared to be shrinking, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters she believed that the narrowing field of options was a good thing.

“What I see it as is the elimination of some possibilities, and that’s progress -- elimination of possibilities; narrowing the paths that we may go down,” Pelosi said.

Now, it appears that the opposite is true: multiple options are being placed back on the table, including two divergent plans from Senate Democrats and House Republicans, neither of which appears to be particularly palatable to the White House.

House Republicans had originally maintained that a short-term increase in the U.S. debt ceiling was off the table. It now appears to be their preferred strategy.

And Democrats, after insisting for weeks that any debt-ceiling plan include tax increases, now look poised to move ahead with a proposal that seeks only spending cuts.

No bipartisan meetings are yet on the schedule, but on the House side, both parties are expected to hold caucus meetings at the Capitol this afternoon. Their respective plans – and members’ reactions to them – are expected to become clearer.

Here’s a more detailed look at what’s ahead this week:

Monday

The House is in at 10 a.m. to consider legislation extending the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller; a bill providing for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia; amendments to the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011; and the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012. First votes are expected at 1 p.m.

The Senate is in at 2 p.m. At 3:40 p.m., senators are to observe a moment of silence in memory of Officer Jacob J. Chesnut and Det. John M. Gibson of the U.S. Capitol Police, who were killed 13 years ago defending the Capitol against an armed intruder. At about 5:30 p.m., roll call votes are expected on two judicial nominations.

Committee hearings/other events:

1 p.m.: House Democrats have scheduled a news conference on jobs at the Capitol Visitor Center TV studio.

2 p.m.: House Republicans have planned a closed-door conference meeting in room HC-5.

3 p.m.: The House Rules Committee is to meet to formulate a rule on H.R.1938, the “North American-Made Energy Security Act.”

3 p.m.: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) are to speak at the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park.

5:30 p.m.: House Democrats have scheduled a closed-door caucus meeting in room HVC-215.

Tuesday

The House is in at 10 a.m. Ten measures are to be considered under suspension of the House rules, including eight post office namings and the Small Business Program Extension and Reform Act of 2011. Other measures to be considered include the North American-Made Energy Security Act and the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act. The House plans to also continue its work on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012. Also on Tuesday, the official photograph of the 112th Congress is scheduled to be taken during the first series of votes. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The Senate Armed Services Committee plans a hearing on the nomination of Army Gen. Martin Dempsey for reappointment to the grade of general and to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

10 a.m.: Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) is to testify at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on alternative tax systems.

10 a.m.: The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a hearing on the nominations of Martin Gruenberg to be chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Thomas Curry to be comptroller of the currency in the Treasury Department; and S. Roy Woodall Jr. to be a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

10 a.m.: The Senate Select Intelligence Committee is to hold a hearing on the nomination of Matt Olsen to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

10 a.m.: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is to testify at a Senate HELP Committee hearing on “Building the Ladder of Opportunity: What’s Working to Make the American Dream a Reality for Middle Class Families.”

10 a.m.: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) plans a briefing on “Eliminating the Debt and Creating Jobs without Raising Taxes” in 402 Cannon.

10 a.m.: The National Press Club has scheduled a Newsmakers news conference on “World Trade Center Redevelopment 10 Years Later: An insider’s account of the challenges, progress and status of the historic rebuilding effort.”

10 a.m.: NDN will have a discussion on “Meeting the Challenges and Seizing the Opportunities of a New Economic Age.” Participants are to include Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.); Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.); and Shadow Foreign United Kingdom Secretary Douglas Alexander.

12:30 p.m.: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is to deliver luncheon remarks at the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference.

2:30 p.m.: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to meet to mark up a number of bills, including S.1280, the “Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.”

3 p.m.: A House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on total force readiness.

Wednesday

The House is in at 10 a.m. and is to resume consideration of the measures it began taking up on Tuesday. In addition, the House may take up legislation on the debt ceiling as early as Wednesday. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on “Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland.”

9:30 a.m.: The American Society of Civil Engineers will hold two Capitol Hill briefings to discuss a new economic report “detailing the economic impact of failing to sufficiently invest in America’s ground transportation infrastructure.” The House briefing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in B-318 Rayburn; the Senate briefing is at 2:30 p.m. in 430 Dirksen.

10 a.m.: The Senate Homeland Security Committee plans a hearing on “Ten Years After 9/11: Improving Emergency Communications.”

10 a.m.: The Senate Judiciary Committee plans a hearing on “Fulfilling Our Treaty Obligations and Protecting Americans Abroad.”

10 a.m.: The House Armed Services Committee plans a hearing on “The Way Ahead in Afghanistan.”

10 a.m.: The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee plans a hearing on “Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans.”

11:30 a.m.: The American Meat Institute is to host its annual Capitol Hill hotdog lunch in the courtyard of the Rayburn House Office Building. The event is invitation-only.

2 p.m.: The House Financial Services Committee plans a hearing on “The Impact of the World Bank and Multi-Lateral Development Banks on National Security and U.S. Job Creation.”

6:30 p.m.: The Congressional Host Committee will hold the Eighth Annual Congressional Blues Festival at the National Building Museum.

Thursday

The House is in at 10 a.m. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8 a.m.: The Atlantic will hold the 2011 Women of Washington Event Series on “Our Fiscal Health: Addressing the Nation’s Deficit and Tax Policy” at the Newseum.

8 a.m.: Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) are to speak at a Ripon Society breakfast on tax policy at the Capitol Hill Club.

9:30 a.m.: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is to testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the state of the international financial system.

10 a.m.: The House Select Intelligence Committee will hold a closed-door hearing.

10 a.m.: The Center for American Progress holds a discussion on “A Return to Responsibility: The History of Defense Budgeting.”

1 p.m.: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is to address a National Press Club luncheon.

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

Friday

The House is in at 9 a.m. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8:30 a.m.: The Cato Institute will hold the final day of its summer seminar in Annapolis on the “Political Economy.”

9:30 a.m.: The College Republican National Committee will hold its 2011 Biennial Convention at the Renaissance Marriott Dupont Circle. Speakers include Reps. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Dick Morris.

Noon: The Heritage Foundation and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation plan a book discussion on “Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan”, featuring The Post’s Del Quentin Wilber.

Noon: The Women’s Foreign Policy Group will hold a book discussion on “Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century”.

By  |  10:29 AM ET, 07/25/2011

 
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