Washington Watch, Week of June 1

Washington Watch bugThe House of Representatives is out this week, but the Senate is in session.

Senate Democrats will use public outrage at the scandals at the Veterans Affairs Administration — scandals that led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday — to hold another vote on a bill that would expand veterans’ benefits and job training. The legislation was blocked by Republicans in February.

The Senate is also expected to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Health and Human Services Secretary this week — but not before GOP senators take more shots at the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama will spend the week in Europe, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy and seeking to reassure European allies the United States will stand with them as they confront Russia. A G-7 meeting in Brussels is on the president’s itinerary as is a visit to Warsaw.

 Monday, June 2:

Supreme Court is expected to issue opinions. The high court still has 10 decisions on major cases outstanding and all are expected to be released this month.

Tuesday, June 3:

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on “Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Examining the Safety and Effectiveness of our Transportation Systems.” Senator Richard Blumenthal is a member of the panel and likely to promote his ideas for changes to troubled Metro-North.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will move forward on the renewal of the  Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which is a top priority for Connecticut property and casualty insurers.

 Thursday, June 5:

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee holds a hearing on several bills, including one that would reform the VA. Senator Richard Blumenthal also sits on this panel.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the situation in Ukraine. Sen. Chris Murphy is a member of the panel.


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About Ana Radelat

Ana is a longtime Washington correspondent who has won numerous awards, including from The Associated Press and Gannett, has written for more than a dozen newspapers, including USAToday; The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger; the Shreveport (La.) Times; and the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. She’s also been a regular contributor to other publications, including the Miami Herald and Advertising Age. Some of the stories Ana has broken focused on the strategies of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Sen. Trent Lott’s fall from power and questionable Hurricane Katrina contracts. A regular contributor to WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio, a partner of The Mirror, Ana is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism. E-mail her at aradelat@ctmirror.org.