Congressional Calendar April 21, 2010

The task of replacing the resigning Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens begins in earnest Wednesday as the leaders of the Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee meet with President Barack Obama to discuss his short list for a new associate justice. We don’t know who’s on that list yet, but we’ll be trying our hardest to try to name some names!

A major component of the financial regulatory reform puzzle gets its day in committee. Legislation to regulate the derivatives market gets marked up in the Senate Agriculture Committee at 9:30a. Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who is facing a tough re-election battle from the left and the right, gets a chance to show her constituents that she’s tying to protect her home state’s farmers, who use derivatives as a way to reduce risk.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats keep up the drumbeat on regulatory reform and work to assure the American people that the days of the taxpayer-funded bailout are over. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-CO) join with Wall Street reform advocates to detail plans to keep government money from funding large financial institutions at 10:30a.

Reconciliation is back! Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) brings a budget resolution before the committee in the afternoon that would slash the budget by $671 billion more than the budget proposed earlier this year by President Barack Obama. The reconciliation rules in the package will give the majority to pass items with a majority vote under strict time constraints. However, Conrad’s budget does not include several tax fixes (e.g. alternative minimum tax fix, estate tax fix) that are included on a yearly basis in his budget calculations, so it will be interesting to see how the whole bill shakes out.

Members of Congress hoping for a change to a district court decision declaring the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional will discuss “the history of the National Day of Prayer and affirm the right of Americans to pray according to their faith.” This won’t be the last you hear about this case, and it may be one of the first issues that our as-yet unnamed future Justice will have to consider as a member of the Supreme Court.

And as always, more news will develop throughout the day so stay tuned to Fox News for the latest…