They are baaaaaack…Both the House and Senate are back for work this week before recessing for their Thanksgiving break. The Senate this week is slated to worked on various unfinished appropriations bills. Some conservatives in the Senate are pushing hard to ensure that any spending measures passed by this Senate (while it is still Republican) do not contain earmarks. This would be a way of sending a massage to the Republkican base: we get it.
To accomplish that goal, the Senate would likely need to pass a continuing resolution rather than new appropriations bills.
Senate Republicans will vote to elect their leaders on Wednesday…more on that later.
Similarly, the House this week will have votes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on funding measures. The biggest item will be a continuing resolution that runs through December 8.
Republicans in the House will vote for their leadership on Friday. Democrats will vote on Thursday in what will be an early test of Nancy Pelosi’s power. Can she get her man Murtha elected over Steny Hoyer? It will be a tough go. Word on the hill is that Hoyer will release a letter today in which two thirds of the newly elected freshman class — a mostly moderate class — will show their support for the more moderate Hoyer.
NOTE: There are 54 total new freshmen in the House. 13 of those freshman are Republicans. 10 of those Republicans will join the conservative RSC. The Republican caucus in the House has become more conservative in numbers. The Blue Dog democratic coalition has increased from 38 members to 44. And finally, the liberal Republican mainstream partnership has been decimated by the elections.
HEADS UP: There is potential for both the House and Senate to make a run at an immigration package or an extenders/minimum wage package this week.
UPDATE: Below is the Senate Republican Policy Committee’s floorcast:
THIS WEEK’S FLOOR SCHEDULE: The week will begin with Morning Business at 2:00 p.m. today. It is expected that the first piece of legislation the Senate will take up is H.R. 5385, the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bill [see RPC’s Legislative Notice No. 59, released today]. Votes will not take place until tomorrow, likely in the afternoon after the Democratic Policy Lunch.
This week the Senate must pass a continuing funding resolution for those government agencies not yet funded for the 2007 fiscal year; the current C.R. runs through Friday. The new C.R. will likely provide funding through December 8. The Senate will also likely consider the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
REMAINDER OF 109TH CONGRESS: The Senate is expected to consider the remaining appropriations bills. The Senate may also act on the U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act. In addition, the Senate could act on any other bills, conference reports, or nominations cleared for action, including the Gates nomination for Secretary of Defense when it becomes available.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Senate will likely return from the Thanksgiving break on December 4 or 5.