For House, 2014 Will Be a Busy Year — Away From Washington

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 10, 2013.
National Journal
Billy House
Oct. 31, 2013, 9:20 a.m.

House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers plan to con­tin­ue the prac­tice of schedul­ing one week of re­cess dur­ing each month next year ““ and will free mem­bers up al­most en­tirely in the month be­fore the Nov. 4 mid-term elec­tions, and the week after.

Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor form­ally an­nounced the 2014 elec­tion year House cal­en­dar Thursday, and there’s plenty of time out­side Wash­ing­ton.

There’s a nearly two week spring break in April, and then law­makers will be out of ses­sion for the en­tire month of Au­gust and bey­ond ““ ex­tend­ing in­to first full week of Septem­ber, which in­cludes Labor Day.

The House will be in re­cess for an­oth­er week near the end of Septem­ber, be­fore re­turn­ing to Wash­ing­ton for just two days on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. Law­makers will then be in Wash­ing­ton the fol­low­ing week for their only two sched­uled ses­sion days dur­ing the en­tire month of Oc­to­ber.

In­deed, there are just 15 sched­uled ses­sion days over the fi­nal two months of the year.

Of­fi­cially, the second ses­sion of this 113th Con­gress is set to be­gin with the con­ven­ing of the House Jan. 7, but that is just one week be­fore gov­ern­ment fund­ing of­fi­cially ex­pires on Jan 15.

Wheth­er the tim­ing be­comes an is­sue de­pends on wheth­er — and when — the budget con­fer­ence com­mit­tee pro­duces a plan to fund the gov­ern­ment bey­ond mid-Janu­ary, and wheth­er the two cham­bers ap­prove that plan.

Can­tor de­scribed the sched­ule in a state­ment as a con­tinu­ation of an ap­proach since Re­pub­lic­ans took over the ma­jor­ity in 2011 that “has cre­ated cer­tainty, in­creased ef­fi­ciency and pro­ductiv­ity in the com­mit­tee pro­cess.”

But some have cri­ti­cized Con­gress this year as be­ing ex­actly the op­pos­ite ““ his­tor­ic­ally un­pro­duct­ive. For in­stance, the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, the power­ful tax-writ­ing pan­el, had yet to move any sub­stant­ive rev­en­ue bills by the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber this year.

And few are likely to con­sider the shut­ting down of gov­ern­ment for 16 days as a meas­ure of pro­ductiv­ity.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4535) }}

What We're Following See More »
LEGACY PLAY
Sanders and Clinton Spar Over … President Obama
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”

THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

DIRECT APPEAL TO MINORITIES, WOMEN
Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
17 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

Source:
WEEKEND DATA DUMP
State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Source:
×