Wednesday: House takes up GOP budget, tries (again) on highway bill

Three of the amendments are Democratic, two are from Republicans, and one is a bipartisan substitute. While the annual debate in the House will eat up most of the day, House Republicans have already acknowledged that the effort is largely moot, as the Senate will once again pass no budget resolution, leaving the House and Senate on different pages as to how to allocate federal money in the pending fiscal year.

Also up in the House is a third attempt to pass a short-term extension of federal highway programs. On Monday, Republicans pulled a 90-day extension. On Tuesday, they pulled a 60-day extension, again under pressure from Democrats to take up the Senate-passed bill, which is a two-year bill.

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Late Tuesday, House Republicans said they would take up the "postponed vote" on H.R. 4239, the 60-day extension. That implies Republicans will call for a vote on the bill, which needs a two-thirds majority for passage because it's a suspension vote.

If the vote is called, and the bill is unchanged, and less than about 50 Democrats support it, the bill will fail.

Finally, the House is also expected to vote on H.R. 1339, which recognizes Salem, Massachusetts as the birthplace of the U.S. National Guard.

The Senate meets at 10 a.m., and will take up debate on the Paying a Fair Share act, S. 2230, which would ensure that wealthy taxpayers pay a minimum tax. The Senate is technically taking up a motion to proceed to the bill, but no vote is planned on this bill, also known as the so-called "Buffett Rule" bill.

At 5 p.m., the Senate will hold a vote on two district judge nominees: Miranda Du for Nevada, and Susie Morgan for Louisiana.

In the meantime, amendments to the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies act, S. 2204, are due to be filed by 11 a.m. Senate Republicans on Tuesday rejected a Democratic attempt to leave this bill and turn to a bill aimed at shoring up the U.S. Postal Service. Republicans have decided to stay on the oil tax bill because they think they can win the debate on this bill, which they roundly oppose.

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