The Senate will be in session this week while the House is in recess. The Senate is expected to take up the House-passed debt limit extension and the Sandy supplemental this week. The Senate may also take up Senator Kerry’s nomination, and hearings will begin on Senator Hagel’s nomination to serve as Secretary of Defense.
Last week, the Senate resolved its internal dispute over Senate rules and the use of the filibuster by limiting the use of such procedural tactics on motions to proceed to the consideration of legislation and lower level judicial and administration nominees. The agreement does not alter the 60 vote requirement to end debate in the Senate, but could free up necessary floor time to pass less controversial provisions.
Other Items of Interest:
Both Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced their plans to retire, setting up two key open seat contests in 2014.
The Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing on pipeline safety on January 28th in Charleston, WV. The focus of the hearing will be on the recent GAO study and a number of recent incidents calling into question the effectiveness of the reauthorized law.
The Senate Energy and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing this Thursday on the Harbor Maintenance Fund and the need to invest in the nation’s ports.
In what will likely be the liveliest hearing of the week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on gun control. It will feature both the head of the NRA and the husband of Congresswoman Giffords.
New Member of the Day: Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Committee Assignments: Environment and Public Works, Commerce, Armed Services, Indian Affairs, and Small Business
Chief of Staff: Mike Hybl
Policy Director: Niel Moseman
Sen. Fischer attended the University of Nebraska where she earned a B.S. in Education. She got involved in leadership in local and statewide education associations. She was elected to the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education, became President of the Nebraska Association of School Boards and served as a commissioner on the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education. In 2004, she was elected to the Nebraska Legislature to represent the 43rd District, and then re-elected in 2008. She most recently served as the Chair of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. She also served on the Revenue Committee and the Executive Board. She and her husband, along with their three adult sons and their families operate a ranch in Valentine, NE called Sunny Slope Ranch.
As a rancher and a proponent of both conventional and alternative energy, Senator Fischer brings a unique, agriculture-based appreciation to both environmental and energy issues. She is a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline as well as corn-based ethanol. The has expressed opposition overly burdensome EPA regulations and is an opponent of the Administration’s cap and trade proposals for climate change. With seats on the EPW, Commerce and Armed Services Committees, she is in a very good position to advocate for policies that will benefit energy consumers.
If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Hope you have a great week!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006