This Week's Senate Committee Schedule
After his repulsive performance at the Republican National Convention, Joe Lieberman will begin pondering his few remaining weeks as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. While I'm sure Lieberman hopes this meeting is on behalf of his man John McCain, the committee will begin looking at an orderly transition of power when the new president takes office in January. The Wednesday meeting will "…assess the readiness and planning for a smooth transition and identify critical needs for the new Administration to address."
On a related note, the Senate Judiciary Committee will examine "Oversight of the Department of Justice’s preparations for the 2008 general election” with Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) already beginning to ride herd on the Bush administration and also trying to discern whether or not they will at least pretend to give a damn about fair elections in America.
One other interesting hearing will be in the usually-quiet Rules and Administration Committee, which will consider S. 3308, the Voter Registration for Wounded Warriors: Veterans Voter Support Act. Authored by committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the bill would force the Veterans' Administration to observe the National Voter Registration Act and enable voter registration within V.A. facilities for resident patients.
Under the Bush administration, the V.A. has deemed in-house voter registration too costly and, as Feinstein aptly said in introducing her bill in July "given the only resources needed is a photocopy of a voter registration form, I find that hard to believe."
The bill has 10 cosponsors and, of course, none of them are Republicans.
Here's the full Senate Committee schedule for the week:
September 9, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. To receive testimony on the current situation in Georgia and implications for U.S. policy.
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
September 9, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Strengthening the Ability of Public Transportation to Reduce Our Dependence on Foreign Oil
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Hearings to examine ways to improve consumer protection in the prepaid calling card market. The Committee will examine information disclosure to consumers, allegations of hidden charges and fees, discrepancies in minutes marketed and minutes received, alleged deceptive advertising practices, and efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to combat consumer abuse in this area. In addition, the Committee will consider S. 2998, the Prepaid Calling Card Consumer Protection Act of 2008.
Energy and Natural Resources
September 11, 2008 at 09:30 a.m. Meeting: to consider pending legislation
Environment and Public Works
September 9, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Hearing entitled, “Economic Development Administration Oversight.” (Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure)
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Hearing entitled, “Improving the Federal Bridge Program: Including an Assessment of S. 3338 and H.R. 3999.”
September 10, 2008 at 03:00 p.m. Hearing entitled, “Quality and Environmental Impacts of Bottled Water.” (Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality)
September 9 , 2008, at 10:00 a.m. Improving Health Care Quality: An Integral Step Toward Health Reform
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Business meeting to consider:
- S.3038, to amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to extend the adoption incentives program, to authorize States to establish a relative guardianship program, to promote the adoption of children with special needs
- S.1070, to amend the Social Security Act to enhance the social security of the Nation by ensuring adequate public-private infrastructure and to resolve to prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- S.1577, to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to require screening, including national criminal history background checks, of direct patient access employees of skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, and other long-term care facilities and providers, and to provide for nationwide expansion of the pilot program for national and State background checks on direct patient access employees of long-term care facilities or providers.
September 10, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Croatia (Treaty Doc. 110-20)
September 10, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. To consider the following nominations:
- Mr. Sung Y. Kim for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks
- Mr. C. Steven McGann to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru,the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and the Republic of Kiribati
- Ms. Carol Ann Rodley to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia
- Mr. Brian H. Hook to be Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
- Mr. Gregori Lebedev to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of Ambassador, and to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform
- Mr. Matthew A. Reynolds to be Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
September 9, 2008 at 3:15 p.m. To consider the following nomination: Ruth Y. Goldway to be Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Expediency Versus Integrity: Do Assembly-Line Audits at the Defense Contract Audit Agency Waste Taxpayer Dollars?
September 10, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. Managing the Challenges of the Federal Government Transition. The goal of the hearing will be to assess the readiness and planning for a smooth transition and identify critical needs for the new Administration to address. (Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia)
September 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. Dividend Tax Abuse: How Offshore Entities Dodge Taxes On U.S. Stock Dividends
September 11, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. To consider the following nominations: Carol W. Pope and Thomas M. Beck to be Members of the Federal Labor Relations Authority
September 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. To consider the following legislation:
- S. 3128, White Mountain Apache Tribe Rural Water System Loan Authorization Act;
- S. 3355, Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2008;
- S. 3381, A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, to develop water infrastructure in the Rio Grande Basin, and to approve the settlement of the water rights claims of the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, and Taos.
September 9, 2008 10:00 a.m. To consider the following nominations:
- Gregory G. Garre to be Solicitor General of the United States Department of Justice
- Clark Waddoups to be United States District Judge for the District of Utah
- Michael M. Anello to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of California
- Mary Stenson Scriven to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. “New Strategies for Combating Violent Crime: Drawing Lessons from Recent Experience.
Rules and Administration
September 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. TO consider S. 3308, Voter Registration for Wounded Warriors: Veterans Voter Support Act
September 11, 2008 at 09:30 a.m. Joint hearings with the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to examine the legislative presentation of the American Legion