Washington Weekly
Sep. 8, 2014

Last Week

The House and Senate were in recess.More

This Week

The House and Senate return for a two three-week sprint before departing again until after the midterm elections. The House will use this time to address lingering policy issues that are in need of passing, such a possible deal to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, reauthorizing the moratorium on Internet taxes, as well as ensuring that the government is funded through the remainder of the year, avoiding another government shutdown like 2013. In addition, the House intends to send over to the Senate packages of bills that have passed the House individually, but remain stalled in the Senate. Finally, the House is expected to dive into policy issues such as the turmoil in the Mideast (ISIL/ISIS), healthcare and government accountability. See the Majority Leader's memo to House Republicans here. The Senate, seeking to protect its majority, is expected to push for votes on raising the minimum wage and addressing student loans.More

Item of Interest

Last week, the governor of Colorado signed legislation into law (effective September 2016) that requires the sale of WaterSense-only plumbing products. The law prohibits the sale of plumbing fixtures that don't meet federal WaterSense standards. Specifically, plumbing fixtures constitute faucets, shower heads, toilets and urinals. WaterSense certification means the plumbing fixture uses at least 20 percent less water compared to standard models without sacrificing performance. For toilets, that means using 1.28 gallons of water or less per flush, as opposed to the federally mandated maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush.

By March 2017, manufacturers must submit to the state of Colorado the percentage of WaterSense-certified products sold to retailers. Retailers have no requirement and can sell non-WaterSense fixtures after the deadlines. The law can be viewed here.


The Cities Where Obamacare Plans are Getting Cheaper
National Journal
Obamacare premiums will barely change next year in some of America's biggest cities, but consumers are still at risk for big price increases if they're not willing to change plans. Because of the way the Affordable Care Act's insurance subsidies are structured, people who signed up for coverage this year will often have to pay significantly more to renew the same policy. But many people who are willing to switch plans will get a better deal in 2015 than they did this year, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. More

Ryan to Obama: Get Ready to Veto
The Hill
Republicans plan to test President Barack Obama's willingness to use the veto pen if they capture control of the Senate in November, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in an interview with The Hill. The Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said Obama hasn't had to make tough decisions on vetoing legislation because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has shelved most of the bills sent over by the GOP-led House. More

The Biggest 'Friday News Dumps' (in Politics) this Summer
National Journal
It was 6 p.m. on the Friday evening before Labor Day, and most reporters — most Americans — had begun to settle into the final long weekend of summer when the news broke. Jesse Benton, the campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was resigning. There is a long history of politicians, and just about everybody else, dishing out bad news at the closing bell of the work week, hoping to minimize coverage. The strategically timed Benton leak is just the latest sign that the "Friday news dump" is alive and well. More

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators
Roll Call
There is a new chart-topper in Roll Call's latest monthly ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators. Montana's appointed Sen. John Walsh was by far the most endangered incumbent in the chamber at the time of the previous installment in early August, but his decision in August to not seek a full term opened the top slot to a couple other worthy contenders.More