Friday, December 20, 2013

The Senate January 2014 Schedule and the CRPD

According to Roll Call (a Capital Hill newspaper; http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/senate-democrats-unveil-2014-schedule/) the Senate returns to D.C. on January 6, 2014 and stays in until January 23, 2014, takes 4 days in home states and returns to D.C. on January 27, 2014. Assuming the "first day" and "last day" in a week where a recess occurs is often a "travel day", we could be looking at 11 days in which work could be done with all Senators in DC. (Martin Luther King Day is January 20th, so that's another lost day).  Anther complication is a lot of Senate committee business occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, that means the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has 5 or 6 days available in January 2014 in which to hold a mark up. The later in January the committee holds a mark up on the CRPD, the fewer days available for the full Senate to vote on the CRPD.

By January 15, 2014 appropriators need to have authorized dollars to correspond to the miraculous, though modest, bipartisan budget deal reached this month. Otherwise, we face the possibility of another government shut down.

In February 2014 election campaigning for the entire House and one-third of the Senate begins in earnest. The little, sweet taste we had of bipartisanship probably will come to a screeching halt.

So, unless we advocate with great vigor for ratification of the CRPD by Martin Luther King Day (January 20th), we may lose our last real chance to see the CRPD ratified in 2014. If we face up to these calendar realities, maybe we can push to get the Senate to do what it must -- ratify the CRPD.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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