Washington Watch, Week of May 11

The House of Representatives is in recess this week, so look for stepped up activities in the state for members of Connecticut’s House delegation. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, for instance, has planned three official visits to diners in North Haven, Stratford and Hamden.
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The Senate is in session, and a fight over an energy bill that includes approval of the Keystone pipeline is expected.

Also this week, the Supreme Court will meet to decide whether to take up another case concerning religion. This one concerns a challenge to a Wisconsin school district’s use of a Christian church for its high school graduation ceremonies.

Meanwhile, President Obama will continue to raise money for the Democratic Party at fundraisers in New York this week.

Monday, May 12

President Obama will host President Jose Mujica Cordano of Uruguay at the White House.

Tuesday, May 13

Gov. Dannel Malloy will visit Washington to be a featured guest at a discussion of the Affordable Care Act at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress. “A conversation with Governor Malloy to discuss the success of Connecticut’s marketplace and the lessons learned for the future” is on the agenda.

Wednesday, May 14

Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on ways to invest in mitigation and slow down federal flood insurance claims. A discussion on raising flood insurance rates   — again — is expected, a decision that would impact thousands of coastal Connecticut residents.

Thursday, May 15

Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on online advertising and threats to consumer privacy. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is not on the committee but has taken up the cause on behalf of consumers, calling Internet advertisers and marketers “the exploiters.”

The Health, Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on The State of Tobacco Use and Regulation in the U.S.” A debate over the issue of whether Congress should approve regulation to tightens sales and advertising of e-cigarettes to minors is expected. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is on the panel.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the state of veterans’ health care. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki faces mounting calls to resign because of reports that VA offices across the country falsified reports about how long patients wait to get medical help and that some vets  may have died while waiting for care at a Phoenix  hospital.

The Federal Communications Commission will vote Thursday on whether to move ahead with controversial net neutrality regulations that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites for faster service.

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