Published 12 Dec, 2011
This week may be the last that Congress is in session before the holidays, but only if they finish the important work before them. The House of Representatives is slated to vote on an unemployment insurance bill that slashes benefits, coupled with a provision to keep the Keystone XL Pipeline project alive under the auspices of creating jobs and is expected to pass on a party-line vote. What the Senate would do with it is unclear (though a floor speech from Sen. Durbin (D-IL), the Assistant Majority Leader leans against passing the bill) federal unemployment benefits expire December 31, and action is needed. Later the House will vote on military construction spending, and the defense authorization. In addition to tackling the UI bill, the Senate will also vote on a balanced budget amendment this week.
House Ways and Means will discuss the TPP—Trans-Pacific Partnership—which will be the first trade deal wholly negotiated by the Obama Administration, and with 111 days before the transit and highway extension is up and only 51 dats before the FAA extension expires, the House T&I Committee has been scheduled to vilify California’s high-speed passenger rail program.