Next week… Dodd-Frank and patent trolls

The House returns to Washington for a week of light work without the Senate, which GOP leaders will use to advance up to two bills they say will help U.S. job creation.

One is a proposal to ease regulations on private equity fund investment advisers, which Republicans say would help steer private capital to companies so they can expand and hire people. The bill has some measure of bipartisan support, so it should easily pass the House next week.

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The House may also consider a bill aimed at cracking down on "patent trolls," which are often entities that don't produce a product but own patents, and try to win concessions from companies that do produce goods. Republicans say patent trolls often lodge frivolous suits in the hopes of winning a settlement, which force companies to spend time and money on issues other than producing and creating jobs.

The two House bills will again draw out the differences in how Republicans and Democrats view "jobs" legislation. Democrats have consistently pushed for bills that fund billions of dollars in new infrastructure projects, while Republicans have moved several pieces of legislation over the last three years that they would create jobs through deregulation.

ObamaCare is another chief example of the sort of government program Republicans want to roll back, and the beleaguered healthcare law is likely to face GOP attacks again next week. Just before Thanksgiving, the Obama administration announced another delay in the law, this time to the online small business health insurance exchange.

Two House committees will again focus their attention on the ObamaCare rollout. A subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will meet Wednesday to examine what Medicare Advantage beneficiaries should expect under the health law.

And, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee will hold a field hearing in Arizona on Friday to examine the "broken promise" of letting people keep their health insurance if they like it.

Next week may also show evidence of mounting tensions about the need for a budget agreement in less than two weeks. Congress passed a short-term budget and debt ceiling deal that calls on budget conferees to reach a 2014 budget deal by December 13.

But there has already been open talk about the possibility of missing that deadline. Last week, the idea was floated to eliminate some of the sequester cuts by forcing government workers to contribute more to their retirement, something many Democrats will oppose.

Below is a closer look at the week ahead:

MONDAY

The House meets at 2 p.m. and will consider three suspension bills. They are:

H.R. 3547, the Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act,

H.R.__, to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 10 years, and

H.R. 3588, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt fire hydrants from restrictions on the use of lead pipe.

The Senate is out all week.

TUESDAY

The House meets at 10 a.m. for speeches, then at noon to again consider more suspension bills. Bills expected to be up on Tuesday are:

H.R. 1095, the TSA Loose Change Act,

H.R. 2719, the Transportation Acquisition Security Reform Act,

H.R. 1204, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act,

H.R. 255, amending the Provo River Project Transfer Act to clarify descriptions of certain properties,

H.R. 2388, authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to put land in El Dorado County, California, into trust to benefit the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians,

H.R. 1963, the Bureau of Reclamation Conduit Hydropower Development Equity and Jobs Act,

H.R. 1241, facilitating a land exchange involving National Forest System lands in the Inyo National Forest in California,

H.R. 1846, amending the law establishing the Lower East Side Tenement National Historic Site, and

H.R. 2650, the Fond du Lack Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Non-Intercourse Act.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY

Members meet to consider:

H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, aimed at freeing up small business investment.

The House may also consider:

H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, which would fight "patent trolls" by forcing patent litigants to file more detailed claims.

FRIDAY

The House is out.

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