Reported with Dan Friedman
After a June highlighted by bipartisan cooperation on big-ticket bills, Congress is embarking on a few hot, political, and just about legislatively useless summer weeks.
The Senate holds a cloture vote Monday on an updated version of the Democrats' DISCLOSE Act, a bill that attempts to impose campaign finance disclosure requirements in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.
The new bill would raise the minimum amount requiring disclosure to $10,000, and Democratic sponsors say they have removed sections that previously drew objections from the GOP. But Republicans are expected to filibuster, and aides in both parties said it may be a party-line vote.
In a campaign year in which Republican-leaning groups are heavily outspending Democratic ones, Democratic lawmakers argue that the GOP will grab any opportunity to retain their advantage.
Senate Democrats also plan to force a cloture vote next week on a bill that would provide tax breaks to firms that return overseas jobs to the United States and raise taxes on companies that outsource jobs. The bill, sponsored by Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who is up for reelection this year, is timed to coincide with White House efforts to make a campaign issue of Mitt Romney's connection to past outsourcing of jobs.
House Republicans hope to put the administration on the defensive over sequestration cuts to defense spending scheduled in January by advancing a bill that would require President Obama to detail what military funding and programs it would cut.
While Senate Republicans also hope to force a vote on the bill in the upper chamber, the measure has little chance there. Republicans' goal is to highlight their contention that the White House has no plan for dealing with the first round of Budget Control Act-mandated cuts triggered by the deficit-reduction super committee's failure.
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