Washington Watch bug
Washington Watch bug

The House and Senate will try to cram in as much work as possible this week before they leave town for the Independence Day holiday. But partisan bickering over spending bills to fund the federal government and a final veteran’s health care bill may hurt chances of much being accomplished.

Debate over how this nation should address developments in Iraq will continue and Israeli President Shimon Peres visits Washington.

Monday, June 23

The Supreme Court is expected to issue decisions. There’s a watch for a ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which raises the question of whether a corporation has a legal right to refuse to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require it to provide contraceptive health insurance coverage for its women employees.

There’s also a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in the evening on “IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner’s Missing E-Mails.” Lerner was head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit at the time of the IRS scandal last year.

Tuesday, June 24

A  Republican-sponsored bill to bar so-called “secret science” will be considered by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency publicize its data and studies and is aimed to discourage new EPA regulations.

The House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on “Utilizing Canine Teams to Detect Explosives and Mitigate Threats.” No dogs have been called to testify.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing  to examine the proposed AT&T and DIRECTV merger. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is a member of the panel.

Wednesday, June 25

Rep. Elizabeth Esty will join other Democrats in a press conference to announce the delivery of about 130,000 petition signatures asking Congress to act on the SAME Act. The legislation would eliminate the requirement a same-sex spouse reside in a state that recognizes same sex marriage in order to be eligible for Social Security benefits.

President Obama will have lunch today with Israeli President Shimon Peres and honor Sprint Cup racer Jimmie Johnson.

Thursday, June 26

The Senate Health Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on rapes on campus, assaults that have occurred in dozens of schools, including the University of Connecticut. Sen. Chris Murphy is a member of the panel.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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