Senate Snapshot

Weekly Outlook:   

Today the Senate begins four weeks of session prior to the July 4 recess.  The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. today and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3220, the paycheck fairness legislation.                                                                

At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #613, Timothy S. Hillman, of Massachusetts, to be United States district judge for the District of Massachusetts.

On Tuesday at 2:15 p.m., the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3220.  There is a Republican alternative, Senator Rubio’s RAISE Act, but it is unlikely that it will come up for a vote on Tuesday.

This week Senator Reid may also file cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3240, the farm bill, in order for the Senate to begin consideration of the bill later this week or early next.  There is no agreement in place for consideration of amendments, particularly nongermane amendments.

Additional items which may be brought up during this work period include:

  • Flood insurance extension;
  • S. 2237, a bill offered by Senator Reid that would provide a 10 percent tax credit for increased payroll in 2012 and extend bonus depreciation until January 1, 2013;
  • S.J. Res. 37, the Inhofe Utility MACT resolution of disapproval;
  • Highway bill conference report, if one becomes available, or a short-term extension;
  • Appropriations, including CJS appropriations;
  • Cybersecurity;
  • Student loan legislation – on May 24, S. 2343 failed to receive 60 affirmative votes and was returned to the Senate Calendar; and
  • Violence Against Women Act reauthorization conference report, if one becomes available.  The Senate-passed bill includes a revenue provision, and if the Senate takes up the House-passed bill and amends it with the Senate-passed bill, the House will have to send it back due to a blue-slip problem.

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

  • Tough Sales Job: Despite President Obama’s Taxpayer-Financed PR Campaigns, Americans Think He “Made Things Worse”

SRC Video Clip:

Debt Soars; Democrats Continue to Reject a Budget

Senators featured in this video (in order of appearance): Sessions, Wicker, Johnson, Kyl, Grassley, Isakson, Alexander, Murkowski, Johanns, Paul, Blunt, Coburn, Heller, Rubio, Thune, Barrasso, Graham, Toomey, Corker, Crapo, DeMint, Hutchison, Moran, Vitter, Lee, Cornyn, McConnell

SRC Policy Note:

The Obama Economy Isn’t Working

  • In May, the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent for 40 straight months, which is the longest period of over 8 percent unemployment since monthly records began in 1948.
  • When President Obama pushed through his $831-billion stimulus bill, his administration claimed unemployment would drop below 6 percent by May 2012.
  • The “real” unemployment rate is 14.8 percent for May 2012 and has remained above 14 percent for a record-setting 41 consecutive months.  The real unemployment rate includes those who are underemployed and those who are not in the labor force but who wanted and were available for work and looked for a job at some point in the past year. 
  • Only 69,000 jobs were created last month, which is the smallest monthly jobs gain since May of 2011.  The April jobs report was revised downward to just 77,000 new jobs.  The economy needs to create 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.
  • The labor force participation rate is 63.8 percent, which is near a 30-year low. 
  • 23.2 million Americans remain unemployed, underemployed, or are only marginally attached to the workforce. 
  • 5.4 million Americans have been out of work for at least 27 weeks. The number of long-term unemployed has doubled under the Obama administration.
  • 28,000 construction workers lost their jobs last month.  However, President Obama continues to block the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create 20,000 jobs – most of which are construction jobs.
  • President Obama’s endless train wreck of new regulations, record-setting deficits, higher taxes, and new Obamacare mandates continues to be a drag on economic growth and job creation.   
  • GDP only grew 1.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, which was well below expectations.
  • Half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed in the Obama economy. 

Republican Efforts to Strengthen the Economy:

  • Senator Boozman: “Washington Has to Change Course” (Read More)
  • Senator Grassley: Unwrapping Debts and Diplomas (Read More)
  • Senator Corker Says Disappointing Jobs Report Underscores Need for Pro-Growth Tax Reform, Entitlement Reform, Deficit Reduction (Read More)
  • Senator Johanns Statement on May Jobs Report (Read More)
  • Senator Heller Responds to National Unemployment Figures (Read More)
  • Senator Sessions, Rep. Issa Press DOI to Stop Stonewalling, Provide Requested Info on Corporate Energy Loans (Read More)
  • Senators Burr and Brown Introduce Small Business Bill for Vets (Read More)
  • Senators Thune and Sessions Demand Transparent Plan from Obama Administration for Implementing Sequestration Cuts (Read More)