Cloakroom: April 22-26

House Cloakroom:

Analysis: This week, the House will bring a bill to the floor to fix one of the many failing parts of Obamacare. Obamacare created a deeply flawed temporary high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions to provide insurance coverage while the Obamacare exchanges and Medicaid expansion were set up. This high-risk pool had less than a third of the expected take-up, but still ran out of money sooner than intended. The bill uses money from the pernicious Prevention and Public Health Fund—essentially a slush fund for the Administration—to reopen the high-risk pools. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has acknowledged that she will use money from this fund for implementation. However, shuffling money between sections of this disastrous legislation does nothing to advance the full repeal of Obamacare.

Major Floor Action:

HR 1549 – Helping Sick Americans Now Act

Major Committee Action:

  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Future Export Controls.”
  • The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on “Highway Trust Fund Solvency.”
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will mark up a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on “Federal Residential Real Estate Tax Issues.”

Senate Cloakroom:

Analysis: This week, the Senate will be moving on to the Internet sales tax bill, the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. The proposed legislation would enable states to force businesses to collect sales tax from customers who live in their state—even when the businesses have no connection to that state. Essentially, retailers would be forced to act as tax collectors for states in which they have no voice or representation.

Major Floor Action:

S 743 – Marketplace Fairness Act (Internet Sales Tax)

Major Committee Action:

  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the “Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a vote on the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “Hydropower and Energy Savings.”
  • The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a hearing on “Drones and Targeted Killings.”

Source material can be found at this site.

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