From Greg Kaufmann:
Before Congress can leave town for a week-long Memorial Day recess, members will take up credit card reform, the war supplemental, energy and climate change legislation, and hold a gazillion hearings on the FY10 budget.
The Senate takes up its version of the $90 billion-plus war supplemental approved last week in the House, 368-60. There will be debate on $80 million in funding to close Guantanamo — funds not included in the House bill. Unfortunately, there probably won’t be enough debate about the lack of an Afghanistan exit strategy, or the fact that 90 percent of the war funding is for military purposes — which contradicts the counterinsurgency strategy that requires 80 percent to go towards non-military needs.
The Senate will also probably pass its credit card reform bill. It would require a 45-day notice on rate increases, but it wouldn’t cap usurious rates as Senator Bernie Sanders and others have urged. Sanders is expected to introduce an amendment to set a 15 percent cap — the same limit used by credit unions. Dodd said there is a "growing appetite" for such a cap in the Senate.
House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin mark up of its energy/climate bill today and hopes to vote on it this week. CongressDaily reports that it is nearly 1000 pages long and Republicans might delay action by requiring the clerk to read the entire thing and by offering "hundreds of amendments."
In contrast to Waxman’s Committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee seems to be proceeding at a glacial pace on its energy bill. Tuesday it will mark up energy legislation on nuclear waste issues, cybersecurity, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Thursday it will reportedly consider legislation that includes a renewable energy standard for utilities.