April 16, 2012
This Week in Congress
Congress is back in session today after a two-week break for the Easter holiday. Appropriators in both chambers will begin moving FY 2013 annual appropriations bills this week. The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday will start marking up its spending bills for FY 2013 with a goal of cutting federal spending by a little more than one percent, or $15 billion. Senate appropriators, on the other hand, will begin their markups with a slightly more generous target that would still keep annual discretionary spending relatively flat. Senate subcommittees begin the process on Tuesday with the Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development measures. The House Energy-Water subcommittee will meet Wednesday and the Commerce-Justice-Science panel is expected to meet Thursday. Under House rules, the draft bills will be made public 24 hours in advance of the markups; the Senate does not have a requirement for an early look.
Appropriators have yet to announce plans for writing the massive Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, which is always among the last and most controversial funding measures to move. The bill faces an additional challenge this year with the pending Supreme Court ruling on health care reform due in June. House appropriators might wait until after the ruling to move the bill. Meanwhile in the Senate expects the court will uphold the law and plans to write its spending bill assuming health reform will remain intact.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold subcommittee markups of its Commerce, Justice, Science FY 2013 spending bill and its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development FY 2013 spending bill.
- The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on the health and status of the Department of Defense science and technology laboratories and enterprise.
- The House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee will mark up its Energy and Water Development FY 2013 spending bill.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold subcommittee hearings on budget and spending concerns at the DOE and FDA User Fees 2012: How Innovation Helps Patients and Jobs.
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold subcommittee hearings on NSF Major Multi-User Research Facilities Management and Growing the Wireless Economy through Innovation.
- The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DOE National Labs: Finding Efficiencies and Optimizing Outputs in Homeland Security Research and Development.
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on Impact of Tax Policies on the Commercial Application of Renewable Energy Technology.
- The American Chemical Society will hold a Capitol Hill briefing on Cybersecurity and Smart Infrastructure: Ensuring Resilience and Deterrence.