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 and Senate leaders have busy schedules this week, with a number of events lined up Tuesday for Tax Day Tuesday.

Today, House Speaker Newt Gingrich will spend the day with House Education and the Workforce Chairman Bill Goodling, R-Pa., in the latter's southeast Pennsylvania district. At noon Tuesday, Gingrich is scheduled to deliver remarks to the World Economic Forum meeting on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday, Gingrich is scheduled to deliver a foreign policy address to the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Both Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, will address the Empower America tax summit at the Capitol Tuesday morning. The two-hour session also will include remarks by Senate Finance Chairman William Roth, R-Del.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Armey is slated to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee.

House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., today will be at Johnson and Wales College in Providence, R.I., along with Reps. Patrick Kennedy and Robert Weygand, both D-R.I., to discuss the cost of higher education.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Gephardt is scheduled to address a building trades group at the Washington Hilton, and at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, he will speak to the Economic Strategy Institute at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.

From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., is slated to speak to the National Association of Development Organizations, which represents rural and small town development and elected officials, at the Capitol Hill Holiday Inn.

Later that morning, Daschle and other Democratic senators plan to hold a Tax Day press conference.

At 8 a.m. Friday, Daschle is set to address the Women's Leadership Forum conference at the Washington Hilton.

Meanwhile, the Senate Rules Committee is scheduled to hear from Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and the Republican candidate she defeated in the contested November 1996 election, Louis (Woody) Jenkins, or their attorneys, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The panel will hear their responses to outside counsel recommendations that the committee undertake a limited investigation into Jenkins' allegations of vote fraud. At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the committee will meet to vote on how to proceed.

And at 10 a.m. Thursday, the House Rules Rules and Organization Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on civility in the House.

APPROPRIATIONS/BUDGET: This is likely to be a busy week on the budget and appropriations fronts, as appropriators begin marking up an FY97 supplemental appropriations measure and budget negotiators continue the search for a bipartisan deal on an FY98 spending blueprint.

White House officials, congressional Democrats and Republican budget writers will continue meeting to try to cut a deal that would lead to a balanced budget in 2002.

Republicans had said early last week that they needed a deal by early this week, but House Budget Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, said Friday it may take another week of work. Today's discussion is expected to center on Medicaid.

Meanwhile, House Appropriations subcommittees will begin marking up their pieces of a $4.3 billion supplemental spending package this week.

The package includes about $2 billion to pay for the Pentagon's Bosnia mission and $2.1 billion for disaster relief. Much of the subcommittee discussions will center on how to offset the additional spending, a House Appropriations Committee aide said.

On Tuesday, the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the bill, with the National Security and Agriculture Appropriations subpanels markup slated for Wednesday, followed by the Commerce-Justice-State subpanel markup Thursday.

The Energy and Water, Labor-HHS and Treasury-Postal panels have not yet scheduled their meetings.

All Appropriations subcommittees are expected to complete their work by late Thursday, the committee aide said. The full panel will mark up the package on April 23 or 24, with the bill intended to go to the floor the first week of May.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT: The House Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee is holding a field hearing today in Atlanta on electricity deregulation. Friday, the subcommittee has scheduled a field hearing in Richmond, Va., on the same issue.

On Wednesday, the full House Commerce Committee will mark up the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Amendments Act.

Also Wednesday, the House Commerce Health and Environment, and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees are holding a hearing to review the EPA's proposed air quality standards.

The House Resources Committee Wednesday plans to mark up a bill exempting flood control activities from the Endangered Species Act and a dolphin conservation bill.

And race car driver Bobby Unser and entertainer Ted Nugent are testifying Tuesday at a National Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee hearing on the national wildlife refuge system.

FINANCE: The House Commerce Finance and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Wednesday continues hearings on the Common Sense Stock Pricing Act.

The bill, sponsored by Finance and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, would "decimalize" the stock market instead of having stocks priced under the current system of eighths of a dollar.

Also Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is holding an oversight hearing on the U.S. bankruptcy system and a status report by the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.

HEALTH: The American Medical Association today is scheduled to hold a healthcare forum at the J.W. Marriott hotel that will include speeches from Sen. John Breaux, D-La., White House healthcare adviser Chris Jennings and House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif.

Thomas' subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on issues relating to Medicare's coverage policy.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Chafee today will address the National Managed Health Care Congress.

On Wednesday, Chafee and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., will hold a press conference to announce legislation dealing with adoptions.

The House Education and the Workforce Early Childhood Subcommittee will hold a Thursday hearing on the safety of school lunch food, specifically focusing on recent hepatitis contaminations.

On the Senate side Friday, the Labor and Human Resources Committee will hold a hearing on preventative measures to improve children's health.

HOUSING: The House Banking Committee Tuesday will mark up the Housing Opportunity and Responsibility Act. The House Judiciary Committee Thursday will hear testimony on the Fair Housing Reform and Freedom of Speech Act.

LABOR: On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to begin debate and possibly vote on the nomination of White House Liaison Alexis Herman to be labor secretary.

The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee approved Herman's nomination by unanimous voice vote last week.

The Labor and Human Resources Employment and Training Subcommittee will hold a Tuesday hearing on adult job training, with the focus on corporate training. The subcommittee also has a hearing on youth job training scheduled for Thursday.

House Republicans Wednesday will hold a news conference announcing new legislation to consolidate federal job training programs and institute a voucher system.

The bill by House Education and the Workforce Postsecondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Howard (Buck) McKeon, R-Calif., would consolidate more than 70 job training programs into three block grants: adult education, adult training and vocational rehabilitation for disabled adults.

The bill also would give state and local officials greater authority to manage the program.

The House Education and the Workforce Workforce Protections Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday on new OSHA regulations that limit worker exposure to methylene chloride, which is used in furniture restoration and manufacturing and metal cleaning.

Small furniture businesses claim the lower exposure threshold contained in the new rule could put many of them out of business. Legislation by Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., will be the first test of the new expedited procedure that allows Congress to quickly consider overturning agency regulations.

TAXES: Taking advantage of the added publicity that will come with Tuesday's deadline for filing 1996 federal tax returns, the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing on the impact on individuals and families of replacing the current income tax.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing today on the Tax Foundation's new report on "Tax Freedom Day 1997", the day through which the group says people must work each year just to pay their federal, state and local tax burden before they are able to keep what they earn. The date in 1996 was May 7, 128 days into the year.

On Wednesday, the committee will hold a hearing on various proposals to give tax breaks and credits to help parents pay for their children's education. Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will present the administration's proposals. Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., head of the Senate GOP education task force, will present that group's plan.

And on Thursday, the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on selected revenue raisers in the administration's proposed FY98 budget. Donald Lubick, the Treasury Department's acting assistant secretary for tax policy, is among those expected to testify.

The House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee Thursday hears testimony on legislation regarding state taxing of non-resident employees of federal facilities.

TRADE: House Ways and Means Chairman Archer and Trade Representative Barshefsky, who were not able to arrange a meeting last week to talk about the administration's fast track trade negotiating authority, may try again this week.

TRANSPORTATION: Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Chafee is expected to join Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., this week to introduce legislation reauthorizing the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.

While Chafee is co-sponsoring the bill, aides said he is still working on his own proposal to introduce as the committee markup vehicle.

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