Washington Watch - 4/16/13
THE PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
Last week, President Obama delivered his long-awaited budget proposal to Congress. It should come as no surprise that the President’s budget increases spending, increases taxes and increases debt as he has stated repeatedly that he does not believe pursuing a balanced budget is necessary for America’s prosperity or fiscal stability. While I’m disappointed with much of what the President had to offer in his budget proposal, and I do not share his belief that we can continue to deficit spend in perpetuity, I believe there are certainly some ideas in his budget that are worth pursuing. I look forward to finding those ideas and moving forward on them.
As a Member of the House Budget Committee, I had the opportunity to question the White House’s acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zientz last week. I will question Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today.
You may recall that last year, President Obama made headlines by making a series of appointments without the required Senate confirmations. The House and Senate had not adjourned and were holding pro-forma sessions. The President claimed that his appointments were indeed “recess appointments” even though the House and Senate were in session. The United States Court of Appeals ruled in January this year that since the Senate was indeed holding pro-forma sessions that the President’s appointments are unconstitutional. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the legality of the President’s actions. Meanwhile, the individuals that the President appointed—three of whom were to the National Labor Relations Board—continue to serve.
Last week, the House passed legislation that temporarily suspends any kind of decision-making power from these individuals and halts the implementation of previous decisions until the Supreme Court issues a ruling. I voted in favor of this bill, which you can read by clicking here.
The bill we passed last week is significant because until the Supreme Court rules, employers and employees are uncertain about the validity of decisions made by a constitutionally infirm Board. By passing this bill, we are adding stability to the process until the Supreme Court issues a final decision. I expect a favorable decision from the Court affirming the Constitutional necessity for the Senate to advise and consent to every appointment made when Congress is in session.
OUTLOOK FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK
- I will join my colleagues on the House Budget Committee for a hearing that will further evaluate the President’s FY2014 Revenue and Economic Policy Proposals. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify. More information is available here.
- The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will begin marking up a bill that will approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
- The House will consider three cybersecurity and information technology bills, H.R. 1163, H.R. 756, and H.R. 967. The bills will improve cybersecurity in federal offices.
- I will deliver a Special Order speech on the House Floor on the FairTax. This will happen after the final votes of the day. You can tune in by clicking here.
- The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing for H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would allow private sectors employers to offer comp time in place of overtime for employees that work more than 40 hours per week.
- I will manage debate on the rule for H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
- I will also join my colleagues on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee for a hearing that will consider the future of the U.S. Post Office, and potential options for reform. You can learn more about the hearing here.
- The House will finish consideration of H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which will make it easier for government researchers to coordinate with private industry leaders in tackling cyber threats.
- I will join my colleagues on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for a hearing that will analyze the effects of sequestration on essential security functions of the government, specifically the TSA. More information on this hearing is available here.
- I will be back in Georgia for site visit at the Aflac World Headquarters in Columbus.
- I will meet with the Columbus State University president on Friday to discuss the university’s Leadership Institute.
Thank you for all that you do to keep America strong.
Member of Congress