This Week on the Hill

Following is an update of the latest available schedules for congressional leaders and committees for the week ahead:

CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP: House Speaker Gingrich is scheduled to address GOPAC at 9 tonight at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., plans to attend an education event Monday in New Jersey with freshman Democratic Rep. William Pascrell. At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Gephardt is scheduled to deliver remarks to the American Psychiatric Association meeting at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill; at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, he plans to hold a press conference with House Democratic freshmen at the House Triangle.

And Friday, Gephardt plans to participate in a trade forum at North Carolina State University hosted by North Carolina Gov. James Hunt.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., today will outline the Senate's legislative agenda and priorities for the International Association of Firefighters; at 2:30 p.m. today, he will address GOPAC.

A report on the contested Louisiana Senate race is due this week, and the Senate Rules Committee will hold a hearing on the matter Thursday.

BUDGET/APPROPRIATIONS: The Clinton administration and congressional budget writers this week are expected to launch a serious effort to cut a deal on a balanced budget plan.

Staff members have spent the past two weeks working to clarify the policy issues in order to allow "principals" to spend more time trying to reach agreement.

House appropriators also are expected to begin work on the $4 billion supplemental appropriations package for the Bosnia mission and disaster relief in several states.

Republican leaders still were attempting late last week to find offsets to pay for the spending, and it was unclear whether House Appropriations subcommittees would be able to mark up their parts of the package this week.

BANKING/FINANCE: The Senate Judiciary Administrative Oversight Subcommittee Friday will hear testimony on the increase in personal bankruptcy filings and the crisis in consumer credit.

On Tuesday, House Banking Chairman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, will address the Independent Insurance Agents of America at its national legislative conference, as will House Commerce ranking member John Dingell, D-Mich.

House Budget Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, is scheduled to speak to the group Wednesday.

In addition, the House Commerce Finance and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee plans to hold hearings Thursday and Friday on legislation concerning the manner in which stocks are priced.

CAMPAIGN REFORM: Senate Commerce Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., will address the Interfaith Impact Foundation Tuesday evening about campaign finance reform and its effect on religious organizations.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT: A cloture vote is set for Tuesday in the Senate on a motion to proceed on legislation to locate a temporary nuclear waste storage facility at a Nevada site. The Senate may vote on final passage later this week.

The House Education and the Workforce Early Childhood Subcommittee Tuesday will hold a hearing on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, which helps provide home heating oil to low-income residents.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee is holding an oversight hearing Thursday on the Superfund hazardous waste program.

Also Thursday, the House Resources Committee plans to mark up legislation sponsored by Reps. Wally Herger and Richard Pombo, both R-Calif., to exempt levees and other flood control projects from the Endangered Species Act.

The Resources Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee is holding a hearing Tuesday on livestock grazing in national forests. On Wednesday, the full committee has scheduled a joint hearing with the House Agriculture Committee on forest health.

Also on Wednesday, McCain is scheduled to speak to the National Parks and Conservation Association.

HEALTH: The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Tuesday on health insurance coverage for children, a potentially lively forum that could see outspoken Health Subcommittee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., and equally vociferous ranking member Pete Stark, R-Calif., lock horns.

On Thursday, the Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on payments to rehabilitation and long-term care hospitals.

The Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Wednesday will mark up the Welfare Reform Technical Corrections Act of 1997.

The same day, the full Ways and Means Committee Wednesday will mark up a bill to extend the terms of certain members of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission and the Physician Payment Review Commission.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday on post-acute care payment policies under Medicare.

Friday, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee will hold another in a series of hearings on the FDA. Industry and consumer witnesses are scheduled to testify.

JUDICIARY: The House Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on product liability reform and consumer access to life-saving products.

Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will delve into the product liability debate.

LABOR: The House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a Wednesday hearing on the fiscal 1998 Labor Department budget. Labor Secretary-designate Alexis Herman is scheduled to testify.

On Thursday, the subcommittee will hear testimony on the FY98 budget for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is currently embroiled in the debate about whether to adjust the Consumer Price Index for budget considerations.

A Senate vote on Herman's nomination is expected sometime during April, but no date has been set.

An aide said last Friday that Senate Labor and Human Resources Chairman James Jeffords, R-Vt., plans to poll senators once they arrive back in town to see if there are remaining concerns about Herman's possible confirmation.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: The Senate Commerce Committee Thursday will hold a hearing on multi-channel video competition. Witnesses include media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

TRADE: Trade Representative Barshefsky is slated to hold a series of meetings this week on Capitol Hill with GOP and Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss proposals for fast track trade negotiating authority. "She'll be spending quite a bit of time [on the Hill this] week," a spokesman said. Barshefsky also is scheduled Thursday to speak at an economic forum in Raleigh, N.C.

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