It’s officially crunch time: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Monday afternoon that the Senate will not recess until Congress passes a debt-limit deal, meaning that the chamber’s lawmakers will probably be in Washington every day — including weekends — leading up to the passage of a plan to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The House has also canceled its scheduled recess in order to continue working ahead of the Aug. 2 debt-limit deadline. But is Reid’s move likely to make a difference in the debt-ceiling talks?

Congressional leaders and White House officials on Sunday expressed confidence that Congress will pass a deal to avert a default by early next month. As Senate leaders continue working behind closed doors to craft a compromise, the House is going forward with plans to vote Tuesday on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, legislation that essentially serves as House Republicans’ latest marker in the debt-limit negotiations.

The more time passes, however, the more pressure is being applied to Republicans to oppose the deal being negotiated by Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The conservative Club for Growth announced Monday afternoon that it will score lawmakers based on how they vote on both the Cut, Cap and Balance Act and the McConnell-Reid proposal, which the club has dubbed the “Cut, Run and Hide” plan.

That means that even if the McConnell-Reid “Plan B” passes the Senate, it’s likely to face a tougher road in the House. And as leaders try to sell the plan to their rank-and-file members, there could be some bumpy caucus meetings to come.

Here’s a closer look at the week ahead:


The House is in at noon and is expected to hold a suspension vote at 6:30 p.m. on amending the Securities Act of 1933 to specify when certain securities issued in connection with church plans are treated as exempted securities. The Senate is in at 2 p.m. and is expected to vote at 5:30 p.m. on the nomination of J. Paul Oetken to serve as U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York.

Committee hearings/other events:

2:30 p.m.: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) unveils his long-term deficit-reduction plan in the Senate TV Studio.

3:30 p.m.: Senior White House officials hold an on-the-record conference call on the debt-ceiling negotiations.


The House is in at 10 a.m. and is expected to vote on the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

8:30 a.m.: The New America Foundation holds a discussion on “Should the States Take on Immigration?”

8:30 a.m.: The National Association of Drug Court Professionals holds the 17th Annual Drug Court Training Conference. The event includes a rally at Upper Senate Park featuring remarks by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.); actors Martin Sheen, Harry Lennix, Matthew Perry and Melissa Fitzgerald; and musician Trey Anastasio.

9 a.m.: Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) deliver remarks at a Third Way forum in the Capitol Visitor Center on “Trailing the Dragon: China, the U.S. and the $2.3 Trillion Energy Market.”

9 a.m.: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds a discussion on “The Dodd-Frank Act One Year Later: Keeping Our Markets Competitive Post Regulatory Reform.”

10 a.m.: The Senate banking committee holds a hearing on “Enhanced Consumer Financial Protection After the Financial Crisis.”

10:30 a.m.: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) holds his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters.

10:30 a.m.: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) delivers the keynote address at the Heritage Foundation’s Military Voting Rights Conference.

10:30 a.m.: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the recent report of the MIT Energy Initiative, “The Future of Natural Gas.”

12:15 p.m.: Senate Democrats and Republicans hold their weekly policy luncheons.


The House is in at 10 a.m. to consider the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011 and H.J. Res. 66, a measure approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. The Senate is also in session; the McConnell-Reid debt-limit plan is expected to be introduced sometime Wednesday evening.

Committee hearings/other events:

10 a.m.: The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on S.598, the “Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of the Defense of Marriage Act on American Families.”

10 a.m.: A Senate banking subcommittee holds a hearing on “Access to Capital: Fostering Job Creation and Innovation Through High-Growth Startups.”

10 a.m.: The Senate commerce committee holds a hearing on “Building American Transportation Infrastructure Through Innovative Funding.”

10 a.m.: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on “Yellowstone River Oil Spill Oversight.”

10 a.m.: The House Foreign Affairs Committee meets to mark up the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY2012.

10:30 a.m.: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “FDA Medical Device Regulation: Impact on American Patients, Innovation and Jobs.”

4 p.m.: The Cato Institute holds a discussion on “A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results.”

Evening: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) deliver remarks at the annual dinner of the Washington International Trade Foundation and the Washington International Trade Association at the Ronald Reagan Building.


The House is in at 10 a.m. to consider the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011 and the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2012. The Senate is also in session.

Committee hearings/other events:

9:30 a.m.: The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on several nominations, including the nominations of Navy Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., Army Gen. Ray Odierno and Air Force Gen. William Fraser III.

10 a.m.: The Senate banking committee holds a hearing on “Enhanced Oversight After the Financial Crisis: The Wall Street Reform Act at One Year.”

10:30 a.m.: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Sung Kim to be ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

11 a.m.: The Family Research Council holds a book discussion on “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.”

2 p.m.: The Senate Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing on reducing Medicare drug costs.


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

Committee hearings/other events:

11:30 a.m.: Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton hosts a seminar on “How to Fight Corruption in Washington.”

11:30 a.m.: The Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion with Dorothy Roberts, professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and author of “Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century.”

Noon: Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Leo Gerard of United Steelworkers headline a New America Foundation forum on “An American Jobs Agenda.”

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