Senate eyes FAA, collective bargaining bills

As Senate Democrats struggle to line up votes for the latest iteration of a bill extending tax breaks, unemployment benefits and other programs, the Senate schedule through July 4 remains in flux.

In a change of plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is considering a few relatively low-profile measures next week. Those include a long-stalled FAA reauthorization bill and a bill giving public-safety workers, including firefighters, police officer and emergency medical technicians, collective bargaining rights. The bill would affect about 20 states that do not allow such bargaining.

Conservative commentators have attacked the collective bargaining measure, which is backed by labor, as a Democratic effort to bolster unions. But it enjoys enough GOP backing, with Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., a cosponsor, to make passage likely.

Reid had previously leaned toward bringing up a bill intended to spur creation of jobs by small businesses, backed by Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu, D-La., and ranking member Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

Snowe has expressed frustration with Reid, saying he had promised to move her bill quickly later this year in return for her dropping it as an amendment to jobs legislation this spring. So far, he has not brought the bill to the floor.

"I had been told that after the extenders, there would be consideration, but then on the other hand, I hear other things might come to the forefront," Snowe said. "I'm not sure of the sequence."

The small business bill could remain a possibility next week, aides said.

If Senate acts on extenders this week, the House will swiftly take up final action on the measure.

House Democrats already are planning to be in Washington for the day on at least one other item.

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told Democrats in a closed-door meeting this morning that a vote will be held Friday on the DISCLOSE Act, the campaign finance bill depicted as a fix to the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. But the House Rules Committee later postponed its meeting to take up the bill this afternoon, leaving in doubt when it would advance.

For next week, the House floor schedule remains in flux, according to Hoyer's office. But Democratic leadership sources said the House remains committed to passing its supplemental spending bill for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by the July 4 break. It is likely a strategy on how to proceed will crystallize by next week, they added.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.