As the White House and Congressional Leaders seek to end the debt debate with non-stop weekend meetings, the Senate and the House will continue debate on a debt limit compromise during the first week of August, which will be the final week before the annual August recess. Both chambers are scheduled to adjourn until September 6 for the traditional month-long August and Labor Day break.
The story in energy and environment continues to consist of a Republican drive (being led by the House) to eliminate or alter most energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change programs as the Democrats (led by the Senate) seek to maintain energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental protection programs. The House is expected to resume consideration of the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2584). The bill is likely to fail in the Democratic controlled Senate, where the abundance of controversial riders make the entire bill a non-starter. Also due for consideration in the Senate, but unlikely to go anywhere, is the House bill (H.R. 1938) calling for an expedited review of the Keystone XL pipeline.