Published 28 Jul, 2011
With the federal government rapidly approaching the debt ceiling, most of Congressional leadership’s time has been dedicated to negotiation a way to avoid default. After weeks of failed compromises and false starts, Senate Majority Leader Reid unveiled his plan to raise the limit by $2.7 trillion through a combination of deep domestic cuts and raised revenues on Monday morning. By the afternoon, Speaker of the House Boehner released his version of the plan, which requires the Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment. These developments leave the two chambers six working days to work through the differences and get a bill to President Obama’s desk by the August 2 default date.
Other business is continuing as usual, with both chambers scheduled to have a hearing on immigration reform, as well as the tax code. The Senate will also consider the American Dream, alternative aviation fuels, online gambling, and deficit reduction. The House will host hearings on veterans’ health bills and the impact of healthcare reform on small business.
Missing from the schedule is a road towards resolution of the current FAA partial shutdown, which has left 4,000 FAA employees furloughed due to over $200 million per week in lost tax revenues, in addition to thousands of now-unemployed construction workers who were assigned to complete over $2.5 billion in airport improvements. At present, it is unclear when the House will agree to pass a clean extension authorizing the FAA to complete their functions.