Correspondent Greg Kaufmann writes in with a look at the week ahead on the Hill:
Here’s the big stuff everyone will cover: The $825 billion recovery package will be taken up by the House while the Senate version makes its way through the Finance and Appropriations committees. The Senate will also probably pass its SCHIP bill and confirm Tim “Taxes, What Taxes?” Geithner as Treasury Secretary. The House will vote on the Senate version of the Lilly Ledbetter bill (reverses the awful Supreme Court anti-equal pay decision but doesn’t include House provisions allowing victims to sue for more money). CongressDaily writes that Ledbetter will be the first bill President Obama signs into law. Bush holdover Robert Gates will appear before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and other Defense matters (hopefully Senate Chair Carl Levin will finally realize that the current plan calls for sending 20,000-30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, not 10,000.) Finally, Al Gore will brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on climate change efforts leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.
A little less sexy: The House will take up Congressman Barney Frank’s TARP Reform and Accountability Act — an attempt to force the Treasury to pursue foreclosure mitigation. More on foreclosures — Senate Democrats will not include language in the stimulus bill allowing bankruptcy judges to reduce the principal of home mortgages. that makes Congressman John Conyers’ Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009 all the more significant. The House Judiciary Committee will take it up on Tuesday.
Some things you might not know about: on Tuesday, the House begins its effort to once again extend voting representation to 600,000 disenfranchised DC residents (the bill fell just 3 votes shy of the 60 needed to thwart a GOP filibuster in the Senate in 2007). The House Military Personnel subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Sexual Assault in the Military: Victim Support and Advocacy”.
And some good work by a couple progressive Senators: Sherrod Brown will push this week to ensure that “Buy American” provisions are part of the stimulus bill…. and Russ Feingold will introduce a constitutional amendment ending appointments to the Senate by state governors and requiring special elections to fill vacancies — call it the BlagoBurdy amendment. He chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution and will hold a hearing on this issue soon.