Recapping yesterday's action:
Let's see. How can I recap yesterday's action? Well, the House did nothing at all, of course. They're on recess all week. The Senate confirmed an appeals court judicial nomination (Susan Carney, 2nd Circuit) by the solid but not overwhelming vote of 71-28. And then, they failed to agree to the motion to proceed to that Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act they were hyping yesterday. Failed by a vote of 52-48. That's right. A majority wanted to bring the bill to the floor, but they lost anyway. Here's why.
And here's an item not included in yesterday's wrap-up on the Senate schedule page, for some reason: Harry Reid has filed cloture on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of appeals. Liu's been blocked since forever, but with the cloture filing made, the path is cleared for a vote on Thursday. That's big news! But as you know, the title of the post is Today in Congress. And that's tomorrow.
Looking ahead to today:
Because yesterday was such a roaring success, how about we do it again today? That's what the Senate has set up for itself, this time with respect to S. 953, the Offshore Production and Safety Act. It's the Senate counterpart to the oil drilling free-for-all bills we saw over the last two weeks in the House.
The Senate is once again in the position of having to find 60 votes to end debate on the motion to proceed, having set up another very convenient "painless filibuster." Just as well, I guess, and perhaps just reward for yesterday, since I doubt many of us would be terribly enthusiastic about the bill.
And... that's it, as far as the schedule goes. It can be pretty short and to the point when all you've got to deal with is a gridlocked Senate.
Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.
The House is not in session this week.
In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 10:30am for debate only with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees.
At 10:30am, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #43, S.953, the Offshore Production and Safety Act with up to 4 hours of debate equally divided and controlled in the usual form.
Upon the use or yielding back of time (approximately 2:30pm), the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the motion to proceed to S.953, with a 60-vote threshold.
5/17 Senate wrap-up:
71: Confirmation of Executive Calendar #31, the nomination of Susan Carney, of Connecticut, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit;
72: The motion to proceed to S.940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (60-vote threshold); Not agreed to: 52-48
Adopted S.Res.186, honoring the 100th anniversary of the School of Fire for the Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Adopted S.Res.187, supporting national minority health awareness in order to bring attention to the severe disparities faced by minority populations such as American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks, or Africans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.