Good Monday morning and welcome to the new Influence Alley. Here's a look at what's happening around the Web.
By lobbyists' count, there are 16 legislative days left before politics takes over on Capitol Hill, Roll Call's Kate Ackley reports.
Once Congress leaves town, Members will gear up for the political conventions and are likely to return for only a handful of days in the fall. Much of July's legislative docket is already steeped in election-year messaging, with the Republican-controlled House scheduled to hold a Wednesday vote to repeal the health care law and Senate Democrats pushing for consideration of the DISCLOSE Act. Neither measure is expected to advance.
The Washington Times's Sean Lingell raises the question, Just what is a "jobs" bill anyway? Members universally say they want to put Americans back to work ...
But job-creation policies, like most everything else on Capitol Hill, rarely are devoid of partisan and political spin. And just what constitutes a "jobs bill" often is in the eye of the beholder, as Republicans characterized the employment report as proof that the jobs agenda of the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress has been a bust.
Over at The Washington Post's 2 Chambers blog, Ed O'Keefe in his "5 things to watch" post notes that some senators should reach voting milestones this week.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) expects to cast her 5,000th consecutive vote this week. She has never missed a vote since taking office in January 1997, and her record -- if she reaches it -- would place her second to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) among current senators. ... In another impressive feat, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) is 12 votes shy of casting his 14,000th vote.