By Bernie Becker, Peter Schroeder, Vicki Needham and Erik Wasson - 11/14/11 11:05 PM EST
The first “minibus” spending package is due out of a conference committee Monday night, which will allow the House and Senate to vote on it by the end of the week.
On Monday, appropriators trimmed the number of agencies it covers, as they decided not to add Homeland Security and legislative branch funding, The Hill's Erik Wasson reports.
While that's being ironed out, the Senate will start working on a second “minibus,” which contains funding for the State Department, financial regulators, the Energy Department and for water projects. Senate leaders are hoping to clear the bill by Thanksgiving, but the White House has called for several changes to be made to the current package before passage, including more money for tax collectors.
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR
Hide and seek: The supercommittee has no public events scheduled for this week, as the dozen members will be huddling in private to continue the hunt for a broad agreement that cuts the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. This is the last full week panel members have to work on an agreement before their Nov. 23 deadline.
On Monday night, the six Republican members of the supercommittee met for nearly an hour. Many of the members departed the closed-door powwow from a back exit to avoid the throng of reporters camped outside.
With little more than nine days before a deal must be presented to Congress, time is not on the committee members' side.
Supercommittee member Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told The Hill that there was still time for a deal to be struck with Democrats, but he refrained from guessing the likelihood that one would be ready.
Asked if a meeting was planned with Democrats on the panel, Upton couldn't say.
Reopening old wounds: The House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee is set to examine a tax credit for small businesses set up by the healthcare overhaul, after a federal audit released last week found that around 228,000 taxpayers had used the credit by May — far fewer than expected.
Treasury and IRS pushed back on the report's findings, saying, among other things, that the findings were outdated. But Republicans have said the study shows that the business community is skeptical of a credit they say is restrictive and temporary.
Change of scenery: Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, takes a break from testifying before the supercommittee to sit before a Senate Budget subcommittee. The topic? "Economic Effects of Public Policy Choices."
How ya'll doing over there: A House Oversight subcommittee looks into whether the Office of Personnel Management is meeting its mission with, among others, the OPM chief, John Berry.
Heard that name before: Hubert H. Humphrey III — son of the former senator — is set to testify before a Senate Banking subcommittee, in his role as CFPB officer for the elderly.
— Producer Price Index: The Labor Department will release its report that tracks the prices of goods at the wholesale level. The market tracks PPI closely because it represents prices for goods that are ready for sale to consumers.
— Retail sales: The Department of Commerce releases the measure of the total receipts of retail stores. The changes in retail sales are widely followed as the most timely indicator of broad consumer spending patterns.
— Business inventories: The Department of Commerce report includes sales and inventory statistics from all three stages of the manufacturing process (manufacturing, wholesale and retail).
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Sen. Scott Brown parts ways with Senate GOP on Consumer Bureau
— Van Hollen urges 'no' vote on balanced-budget amendment
— Liberal group: Raise taxes on rich now
— Sen. Coburn provides some impetus to raise taxes
— North Dakota lawmakers say $400 million approved for disaster aid funding
— Republicans want details on new financial research office's budget
— Illinois senators predict supercommittee will reach deal by Nov. 23
— Poll: Americans worried on economy, dissatisfied with country's direction
— Buffett: Stimulus won't fix housing market
— House Republican leader: GOP should keep word on taxes
— Cantor supports BBA but wanted it stronger
Tips and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org