posted on June 24, 2013 16:36
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up an Agriculture Department spending bill and two energy measures tied to offshore drilling, while the House Judiciary Committee continues a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.
Later in the week, the House will vote on a package of offshore energy legislation which is likely to provide the Republican Party with a legislative counterpoint to President Obama's climate change proposal due out on Tuesday, June 25.
The offshore drilling legislation includes provisions expanding offshore oil and gas drilling and promoting lease sales off the Virginia, South Carolina, and California coasts. The bill would direct the Interior Department to adopt a new leasing plan for 2015 through 2020. It is expected to easily clear the House, but will be dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate. The House will also take up legislation giving the Interior Department authority to enforce an offshore drilling deal with Mexico known as the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement.
The House Judiciary Committee is slated to mark up a high-skilled visa bill that would increase the number of H-1B visas available and eliminate a lottery that under current law distributes visas across various countries. The committee is also expected to mark up legislation that would require employers to electronically verify that the people they hire are authorized to work in the United States.