Weekly ‘On the Hill’ Update

ON THE HILL … This is the final week of the two week congressional spring break.

Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) is moving to mark up a 2013 budget resolution as early as next Tuesday. The markup, following months of uncertainty about whether the Chairman would bring a plan to the committee, runs counter to earlier statements by Senate Democratic leaders that a budget resolution is unnecessary this year since the August debt limit law provided a discretionary spending cap for fiscal 2013. But Conrad said this year he would bring a budget resolution before the Budget Committee to fulfill a pledge he made to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the panel. Conrad’s plan also would provide the Democrat-led Senate an outline for federal spending in the next fiscal year that would stand against the budget  passed by the Republican-led House. That proposal, by Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, would set discretionary spending below the level agreed to in last year’s debt limit agreement and calls for overhauling the tax code and entitlement programs. Republicans are expected to push for a Senate vote on the budget resolution adopted by the House last month. GOP senators also may introduce a proposal they say is President Obama’s budget, which they did last year.

The week ahead… The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, April 17, on H.R. 4297, “Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012”.  Witnesses for the hearing have not yet been identified.  Markup will be April 25. See WOW’s sign-on letter.  The bill, introduced by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R, NC), Buck McKeon (R, CA), and Joe Heck (R, NV) would repeal 16 job training programs serving special populations, including women seeking nontraditional occupations (WANTO) and low-income older workers (SCSEP). It would also eliminate the priority given to low-income workers and recipients of public assistance in current law.  A Democratic alternative, H.R. 4227, was introduced by Reps. John Tierney (D, MA), Ruben Hinojosa (D, TX) and George Miller (D, CA) and requires states to describe in their state plans their vision and goals for developing the skills through job training needed for both economic growth and economic self-sufficiency. For more on the hearing, go to

http://edworkforce.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=289629.

The House labor subcommittee will have a hearing  entitled “Reviewing the Impact of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Regulatory and Enforcement Actions” for 10 a.m. Wed., April 18.  OFCCP is expected to release proposed regulations in the near future concerning the employment of women and minorities on federal construction contracts. . A live webcast of the hearing will be available on the committee’s web site.

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday, April 17, on possible changes to tax-favored retirement savings plans. The session will focus on employer-sponsored defined contribution plans as well as Individual Retirement Accounts and will review whether the ad hoc development of retirement savings tax incentives has led to undue complexity and inefficiency that reduce the effectiveness of these incentives. For more information please visit http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=289485

The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, April 17, titled “Strengthening the Safety Net.” For more information please visit

http://budget.house.gov/HearingSchedule/Hearing4172012.htm

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, April 18, titled “From the Inside Out: A Look at Claims Representatives’ Role in the Disability Claims Process.” For more information please visit http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/from-the-inside-out-a-look-at-claims-reps-role-in-the-disability-claims-process

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