Our View

From the Conference

Senate Snapshot

May 21 2012

Weekly Outlook:   

The Senate convened today at 2:00 p.m. and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S.3187, the FDA user fee legislation, which incorporates the bill reported by the HELP Committee along with a manager's amendment. 

At 4:30 p.m., the Senate will resume consideration of Executive Calendar #552, Paul J. Watford, to be a United States circuit judge for the Ninth Circuit.

At 5:30 p.m., the Senate is scheduled to have up to two votes on:

1) Confirmation of Executive Calendar #552, Paul J. Watford, to be a United States circuit judge for the Ninth Circuit

2) Cloture on the motion to proceed to the FDA user fee bill, S.3187 

We anticipate cloture will be invoked on S.3187.  We also expect we will spend the balance of the week on the FDA user fee bill.  Please note also the flood insurance authorization expires May 31, and Senate action before the recess is possible.  Senator Reid might also attempt to move a bill or resolution related to Iran. 

Senator Reid may also reconsider the failed vote on his student loan bill, S.2343, which increases taxes on small business.  Leader McConnell continues to push for a vote this week on the House-passed bill, H.R.4628, which is identical to the Senate GOP alternative, S.2366. 

Possible legislative items for the next work period: 

  • Paycheck Fairness Act
  • Farm bill
  • Appropriations
  • Highway bill conference (current extension expires 6/30)
  • Cybersecurity

What's Being Said – Senate Republican Conference & Senate Republican Communications Center:

SRC Video Clip:

Three Years and Counting … Senate Democrats Ignore Requirement to Pass Federal Budget

  • Senators featured in this video (in order of appearance): Boozman, Snowe, Isakson, Portman, Blunt, Ayotte, Toomey, Johnson, Crapo, Enzi, Graham, Chambliss, Sessions, Risch, Coburn, Heller, McCain, Lee, McConnell, Paul, Barrasso, Cornyn, Hutchison, Moran

SRC Policy Note:

Republican Senators Call on Reid to Prevent Tax Hike

  • On May 17, 2012, 41 Senate Republicans called on Senator Reid to act quickly to prevent a massive tax hike at the end of the year.
  • If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will be hit with a $310 billion tax increase in 2013, which is the largest tax increase in history.  This figure does not include the billions in new fees and taxes enacted as part of Obamacare. 
  • Extending this tax relief, which was previously supported by President Obama, is vital to economic certainty and job creation.   
  • Instead of addressing the upcoming "fiscal cliff," President Obama and Senate Democrats have spent much of the past year on political show votes and threatening small businesses with higher taxes.
  • It is essential that Congress and the president address these coming tax increases this summer, rather than creating additional uncertainty for families and job creators by waiting until the last possible minute.

Source: The Heritage Foundation

Republican Efforts to Strengthen the Economy:

  • Senator Ron Johnson Delivers Weekly GOP Address on Dems' Failure to Offer a Budget (Read More)
  • Senator Rubio to Geithner: We Have a Debt Crisis (Read More)
  • Leader McConnell: America's Challenges Are Too Serious to Ignore (Read More)
  • Senator Collins Provision Protecting Federal Contracting From Politics Passes Committee (Read More)
  • Senator Hutchison Urges FCC to Bring Spectrum to Market Quickly (Read More
  • Senator Sessions: By Refusing to Offer Budget Plan, Senate Majority Endorses Nation's Current Dangerous Financial Direction (Read More)