112th Congress convenes January 5, 2011

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112th Congress convenes January 5, 2011

The 112th Congress convenes on Wednesday, January 5, with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives 242R-193D) and Democrats holding a narrow majority in the Senate (53D-47R, with two independents organizing with Democrats).  The first order of business in the House will be the election of the Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker.  After the new Speaker swears in the new House, members will consider a rules change package.  The new House rules are expected to allow the budget committee to prepare a budget resolution for FY2011 that will set a lower discretionary spending cap for the seven months of the fiscal year than is assumed in the FY2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will run our on March 4, 2011.  Also expected to be included in the package is a rule that requires putting savings from appropriations-cutting floor amendments into a special fund to reduce the deficit and a so-called “cutgo” rule that prohibits tax increases to pay for mandatory spending increases.  Looking into next week, House Republican leaders have said they will schedule a vote on January 12 to repeal the new health care law.  A House repeal will be symbolic as the Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to agree and, in any case, the president would veto such a bill if passed by Congress.  In the Senate, no leadership changes are required so Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to begin efforts to change the “filibuster” rules regarding how and when the Senate debates and votes on legislation.  Reid had originally hoped the Senate would approve a rule change this week.  However, it now appears that the effort will take a few weeks, rather than a few days, as there is not yet agreement on the final proposal among supporters.  Proposed changes, being championed Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), and a few incoming senators, range from ending the practice of placing secret holds on presidential nominees to changing the number of votes to end debate and force a vote and requiring Senators to remain on the Senate floor to sustain a filibuster.

By |2019-05-06T16:32:59+00:00January 4th, 2011|DoD on the Hill, News, Viewpoint|0 Comments

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