Next week, House Republicans will try to fulfill President Obama's promise that people will be able to keep their health insurance if they like it.
The House returns as reports continue to roll in that several million people will be dropped from their insurance plans, due to new health insurance standards in ObamaCare. In response, the GOP will pass the Keep Your Health Plan Act, from House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
In the Senate, four Democrats have introduced a similar bill. That's a sign that some Democrats are increasingly becoming convinced of the need to change the law, but it's also a sign that these Democrats feel vulnerable on this issue — three of the four Senate Democrats supporting the bill are up for re-election next year.
In the meantime, there are some signs that the Obama administration may be preparing its own administrative fix to the law, which might keep Democrats away from the bill and make it easier for the Senate to ignore.
Off the floor, the House will hold no less than four hearings dealing with oversight of ObamaCare and the HealthCare.gov website.
Outside of ObamaCare, the House will pass two tort reform bills. One seeks to reduce the number of fraudulent asbestos claims, by making the dozens of asbestos trusts around the country submit reports on who has filed claims and who has received money.
The other would allow judges impose fines against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits.
The Senate will spend much of the week passing a bill that would make it easier to trace drugs throughout the supply chain, a bill the House has already passed in response to recent drug safety issues. This bill should pass the Senate at some point, although Sen. David VitterDavid VitterLobbying World Bottom Line Republicans add three to Banking Committee MORE (R-La.) has said he would try to attach language to it that requires all Congress members to report if they are requiring their staff to buy health insurance under ObamaCare's insurance exchanges.
Senate Democrats will also try to advance another nomination for the D.C. Court of Appeals. Republicans blocked a nomination last week, after arguing that the low caseload in the D.C. Circuit means more judges aren't needed.
Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:
Both the House and Senate are out for Veterans Day.
The Senate starts at 2 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m. it will consider the nomination of Nina Pillard to be a judge for the D.C. Court of Appeals. The Senate will vote on a motion to end debate on the Pillard nomination at 5:30 p.m.
Immediately afterward, the Senate will vote to limit debate on a motion to proceed to H.R. 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act. If that vote is successful, a vote to proceed to the bill could come immediately or soon after.
The House starts at 2 p.m., and it will consider up to six suspension bills:
— S. 252, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, reauthorizing grants to help reduce preterm labor and delivery and other pregnancy-related risks,
— S. 330, the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act,
— S. 893, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act,
— H.R. 2922, allowing the Supreme Court Police to protect court officials away from the grounds of the Supreme Court,
— H.Res. 196, supporting the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which deals with the right to legal counsel, and
— H.R. 2871, reorganizing the southern judicial district of Mississippi from five to four districts.
The House meets in the morning for speeches, and in the afternoon it will start work on the two tort reform bills. Members will begin by debating the rule for both bills, then proceed to debate on:
— H.R. 982, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.
The Senate is in for the rest of the week and will likely focus on the Drug Quality and Safety Act.
Members of the House meet in the afternoon to take up the other tort reform bill:
— H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act.
The House starts legislative work at 9 a.m., and will consider the big ObamaCare bill today, starting with the rule for the bill and then the bill itself.
— H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act.