This Week on the Hill: Congress Returns from Recess to Noms, Financial Regs Work

Congress is returning from a two-week recess, with the Senate due to start work today and the House set to reconvene tomorrow. Without any pressing legislative deadlines, the upper chamber is expected to begin a busy period of confirmations for presidential nominees, starting with consideration of Claria Boom to become a U.S. District Judge in Kentucky. The next few nominees in the Senate queue include John Ring to join the National Labor Relations Board, Patrick Pizzella to be Deputy Secretary of Labor, and Andrew Wheeler to be Deputy Secretary of Labor.

The House will start with a handful of suspension bills before moving to consideration of a trio of financial services bills. The three measures (H.R. 4293, H.R. 4061, H.R. 4790) would ease regulations under the regime created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and are seen as part of the ongoing negotiation between House and Senate leaders on the bipartisan regulatory relief bill passed in the upper chamber earlier this year.

Lawmakers also plan to take up a resolution (H. J. Res 2) backing a constitutional “balanced budget” amendment that would require Congress to balance expenditures with revenues in the annual budgetary process. The resolution would likely only be a messaging exercise as constitutional amendments require supermajorities in both chambers and ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.