Published 28 Nov, 2011
Last week, the Super Committee failed to find a solution to creating revenue and attacking our nation’s deficit. Democratic members of the committee said Republicans had two goals; extending Bush-era tax cuts and cutting Medicare. As the Defense Act comes to the floor in the Senate this week, and avoiding sequestration heavily on the minds of members, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is offering an amendment to repeal sequestration of defense funding. Sequestration requires an across the board cut of both domestic ($500 billion) and defense ($500 billion); however, no one knows where the money will come out from in the domestic budget if defense is spared.
Coming up In the House this week, the controversial National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) bill that would reverse voting laws that permitted fair labor elections shorting the time to under 35 days. NLRB member Brian Hayes has caused an uproar with a letter iterating the possibility of his resignation. If he resigns it will leave two members on the board which means the NLRB cannot legally proceed with any votes. The AFL-CIO, SEIU, United Food and Commercial Workers and other key labor groups, such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the United Steelworkers have voiced their discontent about the issue and what Hayes’ departure would do.
Also on this week’s schedule are ongoing negotiations regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI). The current UI provisions expire on December 18. If UI is not extended, out of the 6 million people affected, 2 million will feel the repercussions in January. A hearing in the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee will hash out concerns next week.
The Senate is also in discussions about extending the payroll tax that gives a 2 percent reduction for middle class families. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) has announced a plan to stop a huge tax hike from hitting the middle class. Retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has promised to filibuster the bill.