House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) unveiled the GOP’s September agenda in a memo to colleagues, outlining plans to pass a short-term spending bill as well as economic and energy packages. The memo also addresses the growing threat of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists and says House lawmakers will be actively considering how to address ISIS this month.
Regarding the short-term spending bill, the memo says “the House will also pass a Continuing Resolution that will continue government operations as they are on September 30th into the new fiscal year.”
The language leaves a key issue – re authorization of the Export-Import Bank – unresolved for now. Discussions on the bank are “still ongoing,” according to a House leadership aide.
The memo marks the first time McCarthy has laid out the GOP’s agenda since he ascended to the Majority Leader slot at the end of July, and its content offers a bit more voice and personality than the documents sent out by his predecessor, Eric Cantor.
For instance, McCarthy rails against the Forest Service for a recent advisory warning citizens about the dangers of roasting marshmallows and suggesting using fruit instead of the classic chewey campfire treats.
“This perfectly captures what is wrong with our government. Hard-earned tax dollars supporting bureaucrats who can’t pass up an opportunity to tell us how to live our lives. For the things that government is supposed to do – like confront terrorist groups – we don’t have a strategy, but for things Americans are supposed to be able to do for themselves – like figuring out the best ingredients for s’mores – government bureaucrats have that figured out,” McCarthy wrote.
Regarding ISIS, McCarthy said House committees will be actively reviewing the increasing threat while lawmakers attend briefings from administration officials and outside experts.
“I believe that it is critical that we confront and defeat ISIL and like-minded terrorists who directly threaten America. I – and I know many of you – have personally called on the Administration to address this growing national security challenge. As we return, our national security committees will continue their aggressive oversight work – including hearings with senior Administration officials – on both the rise of ISIL and what is necessary to confront and defeat them. I anticipate that Administration officials will be up to brief all Members. In addition, a number of other briefings by outside experts are currently being planned. These hearings and briefings will be absolutely critical in helping us take the appropriate steps necessary to achieve our objective: the defeat of our terrorist enemies,” the memo says.
The memo does not directly address legislation to authorize military action targeting ISIS.
House Republicans are also planning to bring up a series of bills that will help them drive their message ahead of the November elections.
One bill will combine a series of “jobs” proposals like a bill that would require congressional approval for regulations costing the economy more than $100 million a year.
A second bill will combine energy-related proposals like a measure to approve the Keystone pipeline.
Republicans will also be voicing disapproval of President Obama’s prisoner swap of five Taliban soldiers for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without notifying Congress.
In several cases, Republicans facing tougher than average reelection contests will be highlighted when their proposals are considered.
For example, Rep. Steve Southerland’s (R-FL) ” Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act” will come up as a stand-alone bill.
Read the memo: