By Sara Wyant
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, July 4 - As Americans celebrate their country’s independence on this Fourth of July holiday, lawmakers are participating in parades and picnics across the country. Traditionally, the rest of the week is also time for constituent work in their respective states and districts. Not this year.
Facing an August 2 deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling without fear of default and no clear resolution on a budget cutting deal in site, House Republicans had already planned to return to Washington and work the remainder of this week. And after President Obama reprimanded lawmakers in a news conference last week to stay in Washington and reach a deal, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that for the first time in 37 years — the upper chamber would stay in for the July Fourth recess.
The Senate is set to return to work on Tuesday; House members follow suit on Wednesday.
But given the high level of polarization between Democrats and Republicans, some of the political fireworks witnessed in recent weeks are likely to continue. Both sides remain at sharp odds over what types of conditions will be attached to any vote for raising the debt ceiling.
Ranking Minority Mitch McConnell, R-KY, announced plans last week to start work on a balanced budget Amendment after the July 4th break.
“And Americans can expect all 47 Republicans in the Senate to support it,” he emphasized. McConnell said he and Speaker John Boehner are “united in this effort” and that Boehner has already committed to a Balanced Budget vote the week of July 25th.
President Barack Obama has criticized congressional Republicans for refusing to make "tough decisions" and consider new revenue sources.
The president has called for what he characterizes as a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes more revenue from some of the nation’s highest earners, elimination of tax breaks for corporate airplanes and other deductions in order to pay more for education, infrastructure, and clean energy.
On the CBS program Face the Nation Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed the frustration that many voters feel with the lack of a clear path forward.
"Washington has its head in the sand," said Villaraigosa.
"Democrats won't address entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, and Republicans don't want to talk about revenues or defense spending. The fact is we've got to do all of that," he said.
For more hearings and events this week:
Monday July 4, 2011:
No scheduled events today.
Tuesday July 5, 2011:
The Senate and House are in session at 2 p.m.
USDA Reports: Dairy Products, and Crop Progress
Wednesday July 6, 2011:
2:00 p.m., House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing titled, “Federal Government Spectrum Use”. 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
5:00 p.m., House Committee on Rules, will hold a full committee hearing on H.R. 2354 – Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2012. H-313 The Capitol.
USDA Reports: Broiler Hatchery
Thursday July 7, 2011:
10:00 a.m., House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade will hold a hearing entitled, “Regulatory Injury: How USDA’s Proposed GIPSA Rule Hurts America’s Small Businesses. 2360 Rayburn House Office Building.
10:00 a.m., House Committee on the Budget will hold a hearing entitled, “Budgeting for America’s National Security”. 210 Cannon House Office Building.
10:00 a.m., House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry will hold a hearing titled, “Agricultural Program Audit: Examination of Conservation Programs”. 1300 Longworth House Office Building.
2:00 p.m., House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture, will hold a hearing entitled, “Agricultural Program Audit: Examination of Specialty Crops Programs”. 1300 Longworth House Office Building.
2:00 p.m., House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, will hold a hearing titled, “Science on E15”. 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.
3:00 p.m., House Committee on Rules will hold a hearing on H.R. 1309 – Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011. H-313 The Capitol.
USDA Reports: Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts – Ann.
Friday July 8, 2011:
10:00 a.m., House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications will hold a hearing titled, “Communicating with the Public During Emergencies: An Update on Federal Alert and Warning Efforts”. 311 Cannon House Office Building.
10:00 a.m., House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest, and Public Lands will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 1505 and H.R. 587. 1334 Longworth House Office Building.
10:00 a.m., House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, and House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, will hold a joint hearing titled, “Challenges facing Domestic Oil and Gas Development: Review of Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Forest Service Ban on Horizontal Drilling on Federal Lands”. 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
To add your event to our calendar, please contact: Sara@agri-pulse.com
For other Agri-Pulse news stories, go to: www.agri-pulse.com