Morning Action: A Time for Choosing

EX-IM BANK.  Conservatives are steadily building opposition to the Export-Import Bank, a topic that Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 83% will discuss this week at the Heritage Foundation (sub. req’d):

Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling will make remarks at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday likely to focus on opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

The Texas Republican will speak at an event called, “A Time for Choosing: The Main Street Economy vs. The Washington Crony Economy.”

Conservatives are ramping up a push to let the Ex-Im Bank expire at the end of September, and they appear eager to make the Ex-Im reauthorization a flashpoint in the ongoing GOP civil war.

The Heritage Foundation wrote about the upcoming event here.

WATER BILL.  It is likely that the waterway projects bill will pass in the House and Senate this week, after a strong messaging push by the bill’s backers (sub. req’d):

This is the big final week for the waterway projects bill, a measure with strong support from an array of industry groups. It might pass the House on Tuesday and move through the Senate soon after. But even at the end of the long legislative route, bill managers have kept their eye on messaging. After conference negotiations were done last week, when deals were locked in and the package prepped for final floor action, backers kept making the sale.

From the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which pushed out the bill text and explanatory documents last Thursday, came an unusually art-heavy summary booklet . Along with easy-to-understand bullet points were big photos of containerships under loading cranes, and a towboat pushing a long string of cargo-filled barges past a city’s skyline. And then there was a sepia-tint image of a quill pen, part of an American flag and parchment document that began with the words “We the People…”

The Heritage Foundation has outlined that problems with the bill, explaining that it lacks necessary reforms and hikes spending.

DEFENSE.  The House is weeding through hundreds of amendments to defense bill while the Senate Armed Services subcommittees begin marking up their portions of the Senate’s defense policy bill (sub. req’d):

The Rules Committee meets Tuesday at 3 p.m. to whittle a list of perhaps hundreds of possible amendments to the House Armed Services-approved authorization bill ( HR 4435 ) down to maybe a few dozen. Until then, we don’t know which will be debated. It will be interesting to see if the committee makes in order any amendments that would provide a pathway to permanent legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the military. Also worth looking for are any attempts to move sexual assault prosecutions outside the military chain of command and any moves to require a new round of base closures. The deadline for submitting amendments is Monday morning.

Senate Armed Services subcommittees begin marking up their portions of the companion defense policy measure ( S 2289 ) on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the full committee is scheduled to begin its own markup Wednesday. Most of the subcommittee markups are now open (a change that has come about gradually over the last several years). But the full committee’s deliberations will remain closed.

OBAMACARE.  Obamacare is dragging Democrats down in the polls leading up to the midterm elections:

Deep dissatisfaction with President Obama and the health care law is dragging down Democrats heading toward this year’s midterm elections, with voters favoring Republicans in House and Senate races across the country, a new poll showed.

Voters in congressional districts and states that will decide the election say they prefer a Republican over a Democrat by a 7-point margin, 41 percent to 34 percent, with 25 percent undecided, said a poll conducted by GfK for Politico.

The survey found that voters in these battlegrounds disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance by 60 percent and nearly half support the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

BENGHAZI.  Speaker John Boehner explained what the substance of the Benghazi hearings will be (sub. req’d):

“This is a serious investigation. I don’t want theater. I don’t want a sideshow,” House Speaker John A. Boehnersaid last week on Fox News after appointing Republican members to a special committee that will investigate the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The fiery assault cost the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, went on to summarize three areas the committee would pursue:

• Events leading up to the attacks on the Benghazi compound, particularly “the number of requests for more security and why it was not provided.”

• “The events of the night of Sept. 11, 2012, what happened, why there was no response.”

• “Why did the White House describe this in a way I believe they knew was false?”

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