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This Week

The Senate expects to have a number of battles on its hands over nominations and energy policy. After years of an unrelenting push, there are reports that a vote will occur on the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate Majority Leader is said to be allowing the vote to occur as the Senate takes up a bipartisan energy efficiency bill. In addition, the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services will face her first of two committees this week; the nominee must go before the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions Committee as well as Senate Finance, which has yet to be scheduled. The House is making preparations for a pair of controversial votes for this Friday (1) to call on the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor with regard to the IRS and (2) a vote of contempt for Lois Lerner regarding her role in the IRS scandal. The House will also vote this week on the Success and Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act. Proponents say the bill would modernize charter schools by consolidating two federal programs into one and permit states more flexibility to allocate federal funds. more

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