Washington Week Ahead: Lawmakers face fiscal cliff, PNTR with Russia

By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2012 - With the dust barely settled from last week's hotly contested elections, lawmakers return Tuesday to try to find a mutually accepted path forward on the nation's fiscal problems and perhaps address several other long-simmering issues.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to vote on a rule regarding H.R. 6156, “the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012,” on Tuesday afternoon, with a vote to approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia expected later this week. The bill would then be sent to the Senate, where the Finance Committee approved a different version of the measure in July.

Farm organizations and business groups hoped Congress would have acted shortly after Russia joined the World Trade Organization three months ago. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Russia could raise tariffs on U.S. exports to Russia if Congress does not approve PNTR.

 

The U.S. Senate will consider a motion to proceed with the Sportsmen Act, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., in September. The measure includes 15 bills that will benefit sport fishermen, as well as recreational shooters and hunters by providing for increased access, habitat conservation and improved fish and wildlife management.

 

Among other things, the bill includes a rather unique provision that directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue a permit for the importation of any polar bear part (other than an internal organ) from a polar bear taken in a sport hunt in Canada to any person who meets specified requirements.

Globally Positioned Agriculture

 

Midweek, Republicans will be focused on leadership elections and who will lead committees in the 113th Congress.

 

President Barack Obama invited House and Senate leaders to the White House on Friday to discuss how to tackle the nation's $16 trillion national debt, as well as the looming tax increases and government spending cuts that will occur automatically on Jan. 1, 2013. Failure to address the so-called “fiscal cliff” issues could result in even lower economic growth and a one percent increase in unemployment, according to projections from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

For a list of other scheduled events this week, see the list below:

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH

Veterans Day holiday for Federal employees

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH

Following the prayer and the pledge, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #504, S.3525, the Sportsmen Act, post-cloture.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 6190 - Asthma Inhalers Relief Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess / Energy and Commerce Committee)

2) H.R. 6371 - Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg / Education and Workforce Committee)

3) S. 1956 - European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Sen. John Thune / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

4) H.R. 6586 - To extend the application of certain space launch liability provisions through 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Steven Palazzo / Science, Space and Technology Committee)

3:00 p.m., Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to receive a closed briefing on attacks in Benghazi.

5:00 p.m., House Committee on Rules, Hearing: H.R. 6156-Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, H-313 Capitol

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH

On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

9:00 am. Farm Foundation Forum: “What the 2012 Election will mean for agriculture, food and rural policies,” National Press Club. http://www.farmfoundation.org/farmfoundationforums.aspx

10:00 a.m., Hearing: The Fungal Meningitis Outbreak: Could It Have Been Prevented? 2123 Rayburn HOB, Host: Committee on Energy and Commerce | Full Committee

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH

10:00 a.m., House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing on “Review of Veterans Employment Challenges and Initiatives of the 112th Congress”

10:00 a.m., Hearing: Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012, 2172 Rayburn HOB, Host: Committee on Foreign Affairs | Full Committee

10:00 a.m., Hearing: he U.S. Antarctic Program: Achieving Fiscal and Logistical Efficiency While Supporting Sound Science, 2318 Rayburn HOB, Host: Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

10:00 am, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Hearings to examine pharmacy compounding, focusing on implications of the 2012 meningitis outbreak.

10:00 am., U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance sponsors a Food Dialogue event in New York. “What does the city that never sleeps know about farming and ranching?” For more information:

http://www.fooddialogues.com/ny-food-dialogues/rsvp

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH

9:00 a.m., Hearing: A Line in the Sand: Assessing Dangerous Threats to Our Nation's Borders, 311 Cannon HOB, Host: Committee on Homeland Security | Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2606 - New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Grimm / Natural Resources Committee)

2) H.R. 6570 - To amend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to consolidate certain CBO reporting requirements (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett / Financial Services Committee)

3) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2453 - Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act  (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Financial Services Committee)

4) H.R. 6116 - To amend the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands to provide for direct appeals to the United States Supreme Court of decisions of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court, as amended (Sponsored by Del. Donna Christensen / Judiciary Committee)

5) H.R. 5934 - Stop Tobacco Smuggling in the Territories Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Del. Eni Faleomavaega / Judiciary Committee)

H.R. 6156 - Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp / Ways and Means Committee / Foreign Affairs Committee)

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