This Week in Washington

President Obama yesterday formally submitted a letter to Congress stating that the federal debt is within $100 billion of the current limit, thereby triggering a $1.2 trillion increase to the debt limit under the process laid out in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The House will hold a vote on a resolution of disapproval (which would block the increase of the debt limit) on Wednesday, January 18, one day after convening for 2012. A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate would vote on the measure soon after the Senate convenes on Monday, January 23. As with a previous debt limit increase under the BCA, the motion of disapproval likely will pass in the House but fail in the Senate. The increase is expected to permit enough borrowing for the federal government to meet its commitments for the rest of 2012.

The House Ways and Means Committee, on Wednesday, January 18, will mark up H.R. 1173, which would repeal the CLASS Act under PPACA. HHS last fall announced that it would not proceed with implementation of the CLASS Act.

The House Republican retreat will be held Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20.

House Democrats will hold their retreat a week later on Thursday, January 26 and Friday, January 27.

Conferees appointed to the committee to negotiate an extension of the payroll tax holiday UI, SGR will meet for the first time on Tuesday, January 24.

The State of the Union is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24.

The CBO Budget Outlook is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, January 31, and media reports indicate that the President’s budget proposal is expected to be released on Monday, February 6.

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