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Federal Legislative Update - Week of January 3

January 04, 2011 J

U.S. House

· On Wednesday, Jan 5, the House will consider a rules package that will make several changes to the procedures and administration of the chamber.

o The House will require a citation of constitutional authority on each H.R. or H.J. Res. bill before it can be put into the hopper; ceremonial or commemorative bills will not bear this requirement.

o The Budget Committee chairman (Rep. Ryan) will be able to set spending ceilings for the remainder of FY 2011.

o The House will strengthen the 3-day availability requirement before the chamber can vote on legislation.

o Committee votes will now be available online within 48 hours.

o Pay Go will be replaced with Cut Go, which is intended to encourage spending cuts instead of tax increases to offset new legislation.

o Strikes the Gephardt Rule, which will now require a separate roll call vote for all debt limit increases.

o Bars the use of budget reconciliation for any legislation that increases net spending.

o There are several other small changes, click here for a section-by-section breakdown.

· On Thursday, Jan 6, the House will consider a 5% cut in the chamber’s legislative budget.

U.S. Senate

· On Wednesday, Jan 5, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) plans to advance changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules. There is talk that this vote could get tabled until Jan 24. Stay tuned. Three proposed changes include:

o Ending “secret holds” wherein any senator can object to a bill being brought to the floor without disclosing his or her name.

o A pure ban on the minority’s ability to block moving to debate an issue.

o A requirement that senators would have to actually speak and hold the floor in order to filibuster legislation.

Legislation to Watch

· Senator Key Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) have both pledged to introduce a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s recently passed net neutrality rules.

· Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) will introduce a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the National Mediation Board’s rule that transportation unions only need to receive a majority of votes cast as oppose to a majority of all workers for the union to be certified.


AFP Key Votes and Letters of Support

* Letter of Support: Rep. Gingrey’s Federal Employee Accountability Act of 2011

* Letter of Support: Rep. Nunes’ Public Employee Pension Transparency Act

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