Wednesday: Finishing Energy and Water, starting DHS spending bill

One amendment to watch for Wednesday is from Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), which would add $10 million to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the NRC has enough money to complete its permitting assessment of Yucca Mountain. The bipartisan amendment is aimed at preventing the Obama administration from shutting Yucca down.

Another amendment of interest is one from Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to cut another $3.1 billion from the $32 billion spending bill. So far, the House has rejected about $2.5 billion in additional cuts to the bill put forward by deficit-hawk Republicans, only to be rejected by mainstream Republicans and Democrats who argue that the bill cuts enough, even though it increases spending compared to current funding levels.

After passing the Energy and Water bill, H.R. 5325, the House should start work on the Department of Homeland Security spending bill, H.R. 5855. Late amendment work is expected into Wednesday night, including a series of votes just before midnight.

The House should also consider two motions to instruct conferees on the highway bill, which is still the subject of House-Senate negotiations. One from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) would call on negotiators to keep language that gives each state at least 95 percent of the funds it contributes to the highway bill.

The other, from Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), would instruct House negotiators to accept Senate language dealing with overseas tax havens.

The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m., and will take up the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, S. 3240, otherwise known as the farm bill. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a motion to end debate on the motion to proceed to this bill.

The bill eliminates direct payments, ends farm payments to millionaires, reforms crop insurance and dairy programs, adjusts environmental, trade and food assistance-related farm programs, and otherwise sets U.S. farm policy for the next five years.

The Senate is moving to the farm bill, as expected, after failing to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act on Tuesday.