By Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson and Peter Schroeder - 06/04/12 10:38 PM EDT
Backers of the bill also say it would build on the 2009 law named for Lilly Ledbetter, who sued Goodyear after finding out she was being paid less than her male colleagues were. The measure would allow women to press for punitive damages for pay discrimination, and force employers who pay women less to prove it was for business reasons.
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR:
So, then what?: If, as expected, the paycheck measure goes down in the Senate on Tuesday, then it’s farm time.
Senate consideration of the 2013 farm bill is likely to take up much, if not all, of the rest of June, with fierce debate expected over the size and nature of $23.6 billion in new proposed spending cuts.
The Senate farm bill eliminates direct farm subsidies, but creates new crop insurance aid that is too generous for some deficit hawks and too stingy in the view of Southern farmers. It also places new restrictions on food stamps that fall short of House GOP-favored cuts, even as some critics say the bill targets the poor just as the economy is slowing again.
As for the House: Senate farm bill supporters hope if they act, it will force the lower chamber to follow suit. But a farm bill looks to be a trickier proposition in the House, given that Tea Party sorts are more critical of farm subsidies.
Across the Rotunda: Back in town on Tuesday, the House will continue to consider appropriations for the Energy Department, the second of 12 annual spending bills.
The House continues to be on a collision course with the Senate over spending measures, with the Senate using figures based on last summer’s debt-ceiling deal and the House sticking with lower numbers.
But the energy and water bill is one of the least controversial of the annual spending bills, with the House measure containing increases for fossil energy technologies and for nuclear security.
Poverty battle: Off the chamber floor, the Senate Finance Committee will take a break from its long-running series of hearings on the big issue of tax reform to tackle the continuing poverty problem.
Lawmakers will be focusing their energies on how low-income living affects families, and what could be done about it in terms of federal policy. Members will hear from academics and experts, as well as an official from the Government Accountability Office about what control Congress has over the matter.
But mark your calendars: Because Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus will be returning to tax reform – and soon. The Montana Democrat’s office said Monday that Baucus would be sketching out his vision for tax reform next Monday, in a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Both the House and the Senate have held extensive hearings on tax reform, and Baucus and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are known to have a good working relationship.
Still, with policymakers looking toward the next Congress for a tax overhaul, Capitol Hill observers say a broad tax revamp remains a heavy lift.
Press conference junket: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is scheduled to sit down with reporters at a pen-and-pad briefing, while Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) gives an update on the transportation conference committee.
The American Petroleum Institute is slated to report on petroleum inventories.
Holes in the net: Public support for the social safety net is steadily dropping, according to a new Pew Research poll.
The poll found that roughly six in 10 believe that government has a duty to look after those who can’t care for themselves, down from seven in 10 in 2007.
Most Republicans, according to Pew, don’t think that protecting those who can’t watch after themselves is a government responsibility. Three-quarters of Democrats think it is.
A majority of independent voters still thinks the safety net is government’s responsibility, but support for certain assistance is dropping.
Raking it in: The legal team dealing with the aftermath of MF Global’s collapse earned $17 million in the four months after the bankruptcy, Reuters reports.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
On the Money’s Monday:
-- CFPB, bank regulators on same page on big banks.
-- Kirsten Gillibrand to start a floor fight over food stamps.
-- Bloomberg said no thank you to the World Bank.
-- Bipartisan pair introduce bill targeting federal funds for political conventions.
-- House takes lead on Russia bill.
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