Sunday, January 04, 2009

Busy week in Congress...

...and not one that the Reps are going to enjoy a whole lot.

The House will be starting up the 111th Congress on Tuesday. The planned agenda for Tuesday looks to be devoted to the sort of housekeeping activities needed to start up the new session (quorum call, swearing in members, etc.)

On Thursday, there will be a joint session of both the House and the Senate to count the Electoral College votes for President and Vice-President. Expect some sour pusses on the faces of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John Shadegg, and the rest of the Republican leadership of both chambers.

During the rest of the week will be taken up with consideration of two pairs of related bills.

The first pair should have an impact on George Bush's aspirations for a presidential library, the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act and the Presidential Records Act. While the text of each is as yet unavailable, previous (and unsuccessful due to Senate inaction) bills with those names have addressed full disclosure of contributions to presidential library committees and sought to create more open access to presidential records, something Bush strongly opposes.

Both will probably pass the House again, though it remains to be seen if they can get by any Senate filibusters.

Also likely to pass, but more likely to create an uproar among House Republicans are a pair of gender equity in employment measures - the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (allowing more time to sue in the event of pay discrimination) and the Paycheck Fairness Act (which would require employers to show that pay inequalities are job-related, not gender-related.)

"Uproar" may be putting it mildly. :))

Over in the Senate, they'll have their own fun, though the Reps will probably enjoy it more there than in the House (other than the joint session thing. :) ).

In the race for Minnesota's Senate seat, Democrat Al Franken will finally be declared the winner, though incumbent Republican Norm Coleman is expected to sue to prevent Franken from being seated. In addition, the Rep leadership in the Senate is expected to try to block Franken from their end, though they may be limited in effective options in that regard.

In regard to the turmoil surrounding the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama, Senate Democrats are twisting themselves in knots over Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris, a spectacle the Reps are probably enjoying thoroughly.

Still, with both the House and Senate reconvening with larger Democratic majorities, the certification of the Presidential election, and the gender equity bills, this should be a miserable week for Congressional Republicans.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. :))

Have a good week...

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