Second Stimulus on Tap in September

Posted July 30, 2008 at 1:57pm

The House will spend September debating a second economic stimulus package, energy tax extender legislation and, ideally, the Defense appropriations bill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday.

Lawmakers need to pass a fiscal 2009 Defense spending bill this year, Hoyer said, suggesting that the bill will not be part of a continuing resolution that surfaces before Congress adjourns for the year.

Asked if Democrats will bring forward a continuing resolution amenable to both parties, Hoyer said he expects that “it will have items in it that need to be it,” both to the benefit of Congress and to the Bush administration. The extent of the continuing resolution “depends on the length of it,” he said.

Other bills on tap beyond the August recess include mental health parity legislation, a bill addressing the alternative minimum tax and the Defense authorization bill.

On the energy front, Hoyer said he would “certainly want to talk” to relevant committee chairs about the possibility of considering a bipartisan energy package being unveiled by Members later this week, independently of House leadership.

That package includes offshore drilling at its heart, and would funnel funds from drilling toward investments in renewable energy.

A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said only that they haven’t seen the bill yet.