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Congress Gains Momentum with Hearings, Conference Committee Meetings

Nov 01, 2013

These excerpts are from the National Journal Toolbox,which is produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized for the glitch-ridden Affordable Care Act website in a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, and took responsibility for fixing it.
    • Look ahead: Jeffrey Zients, who is leading HHS’s "tech surge" to repair, said Friday that the website will be running smoothly for most users by the end of November.
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that the budget conference committee will not convene again until Nov. 13.
    • Look ahead: With so much attention focused on what, if anything, can be accomplished by the budget conference, it would be easy to forget about the debt limit. But many of the budget conferees have not forgotten.
  • The House on Wednesday passed legislation that scales back a major provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, allowing large banks to continue to keep some forms of derivatives trading “in house.”
  • House and Senate farm bill conferees held a conciliatory first meeting Wednesday and vowed to wrap up the legislation that has been in the works for two years.
  • The Senate Conservatives Fund is airing a television spot against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for making a deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
  • Alex Conant, a spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the senator does not support a conference committee on comprehensive immigration legislation, because he believes a proposal could not get enough votes.

The National Journal Toolbox is produced every Thursday by Courtney McBride, Jordain Carney, Alex Brown, Clare Foran, and Sophie Novack with National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team. Read the complete October 31, 2013, edition here.

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