Weekly Washington Outlook — March 21, 2016

US Supreme Court

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Monday, the House will consider the following legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 1670– National POW/MIA Remembrance Act of 2015(Sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch / House Administration Committee)
  • House Amendment to 192 – Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander / Education and Workforce Committee)
  • R. 4314– Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • 2393– Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015(Sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • Concur in the Senate Amendment to R. 4721 – Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
  • 1180– Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

On Tuesday the House will consider the following legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 4742– Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act(Sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Esty / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  • R. 4755– Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act (Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  • R. 482– Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Sanford Bishop / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 2857– To facilitate the addition of park administration at the Coltsville National Historical Park, and for other purposes(Sponsored by Rep. John Larson / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 4119– Gulf Islands National Seashore Land Exchange Act of 2016(Sponsored by Rep. Steven Palazzo / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 4472– Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act (Sponsored by Rep. Todd Young / Ways and Means Committee)
  • R. 4336– Women Airforce Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 2745– SMARTER Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold / Judiciary Committee)

 Senate:

The Senate is in recess this week and next, returning Monday, April 4.

White House:

The president will spend this week in Cuba. On Monday, he will participate in an official state visit, including a bilateral meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro and a state dinner. President Obama plans to address the Cuban people directly in a speech on Tuesday, and is also expected to meet with dissidents and watch an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National team. More details on the president’s trip can be found here.

Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in two cases related to the Puerto Rican debt crisis: Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust and Acosta-Febo v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust. The cases concern a measure passed by the Puerto Rican legislature in 2014, known as the Recovery Act, which allows the island’s utilities to restructure debt under local law. Tuesday’s arguments will affect more than $20 billion owed by the Commonwealth’s utilities, including $9 billion owed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). A decision upholding Puerto Rico’s restructuring measure could give the island negotiating power to address a larger portion of its $70 billion debt. The case could be heard by as few as seven justices; in addition to the vacancy of the late Antonin Scalia, Justice Samuel Alito may have to recuse himself due to a financial conflict of interest. For more information, see a Bloomberg analysis of the cases.

Also this Week:

Budget/Appropriations – Members of the Cabinet will continue to appear on Capitol Hill this week to make their budget requests to start the annual appropriations process. Among these, Education Secretary John King is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee.  This week’s appropriations hearings come as the House continues to find a path forward on passage of a budget resolution.  Budget Committee Tom Price (R-Ga.) advanced a budget last week out of Committee, but its prospects on the floor remain uncertain due to opposition over spending levels from conservative lawmakers.  House Leadership is expected to meet this week with members of the Freedom Caucus to determine how or if to move forward.  Several Committees have been tasked with identifying spending cuts to entitlement and other mandatory programs to help garner additional support for the budget, but the prospect for this legislation is similarly linked to the budget resolution.  House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) announced, however, that he would move forward with drafting appropriations bills regardless of the outcome of the budget resolution.

Immigration: The House Homeland Security Committee plans a mark-up Wednesday of H.R. 4482, the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016. The bill calls for the Homeland Security Department to conduct a Southwest border threat assessment, and for legislation with a focus on deterring terrorist recruitment.

Education: This week, the Department of Education will convene negotiators as part of its “negotiated rulemaking” process to begin implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Negotiators were nominated by a wide cross-section of stakeholders and represent the interests of teachers, administrators, and the civil rights community, among others.  They will address issues relating to assessment and a “supplement not supplant” requirement for federal funds.  The Education Department released materials earlier this month to kick off discussions.

Tax – The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee will hear proposals from Committee members on Tuesday about tax reform.  The hearing will likely focus on sales and excise taxes.

Housing – The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance will convene a hearing Tuesday on “The Future of Housing in America: Government Regulations and the High Cost of Housing.”

Weekly Washington Outlook — March 14, 2016

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week: 

Congress:

House:

On Monday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 2984– Fair RATES Act (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Kennedy / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 1268– Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4427– To amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 2080– To reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Clark Canyon Dam (Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Zinke / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 2081– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving the Gibson Dam(Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Zinke / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 3447– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4416– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. David McKinley / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4434– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Gibson / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4411– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4412– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • Con. Res. 121– Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the gross violations of international law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government of Syria, its allies, and other parties to the conflict in Syria, and asking the President to direct his Ambassador at the United Nations to promote the establishment of a war crimes tribunal where these crimes could be addressed, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • Con. Res. 75– Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • 2426– To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organization, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • R. 4721– To amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

On Tuesday the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 3797– SENSE Act (Sponsored by Rep. Keith Rothfus / Energy and Committee Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 4596– Small Business Broadband Deployment Act (Sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden / Energy and Committee Committee)
  • H. R ____– Authorizing the Speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the House of Representatives in the matter of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al. (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan / Rules Committee)

Senate:

On Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Dr. John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education. The Senate may also vote on final passage of energy legislation S. 2012. The measure has been stalled as Senators seek a path forward on an amendment that would assist municipalities such as Flint, Michigan, clean up tainted drinking water supplies.

White House:

On Monday, the president will visit the State Department to deliver remarks at the Chief of Missions Conference. Afterwards, he will deliver brief opening remarks to the performance of musical selections from HAMILTON. This will be a culmination of a daylong event hosted by the first lady for students with the Broadway cast of HAMILTON.

On Tuesday, the president will hold a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Kenny of Ireland.  Afterwards, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to the U.S. Capitol for the Friends of Ireland Luncheon. Later on, the president will deliver remarks at a reception for St. Patrick’s Day at the White House.

On Wednesday, the president will deliver remarks a reception for Women’s History Month at the White House.

On Thursday and Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

Also this Week:

Budget/Appropriations – Members of the Cabinet will continue to appear on Capitol Hill this week to make their budget requests to start the annual appropriations process. Among these, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Education and Workforce Committee; Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is scheduled to appear before the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday and the HHS-Education Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday; and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is scheduled to appear before the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday. These hearings come as the House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) seeks a path forward on a budget resolution.  It is possible that the Committee could approve a draft as soon as this week, despite objections from some conservative members over spending levels. These objections are being addressed through “sidecar” legislation that would make deep cuts to mandatory spending programs. This legislation would be taken up separately from the budget resolution. The House Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee are advancing separate pieces this week.

Tax – The House Ways and Means Committee will mark-up legislation this week as part of its portion of the “sidecar” to the budget resolution. Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced last week that this will include a provision requiring a Social Security Number to claim the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit. Democrats on the Committee are widely expected to strongly oppose: the legislation would deny roughly 4 million U.S. citizen children the credit and roughly 85 percent of the children impacted are Latino.

Immigration – This week, the House will vote on a resolution to file an amicus brief in support of Texas and other states in litigation opposing DAPA. Oral arguments in the case have been scheduled for mid-April. Related, the House Judiciary Committee’s Task Force on Executive Overreach, led by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), will hold its first immigration-related hearing on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the security of U.S. visa programs. David Donahue, principal deputy assistant secretary for consular affairs at the State Department, Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Sarah Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth are expected to testify.

Finance – The House Financial Services Committee will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday featuring the Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The hearing comes as the CFPB finalizes a rule surrounding payday lending, which is expected to require lenders verify a potential borrower’s ability to repay a loan prior to underwriting.

Health – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider legislation as part of the “sidecar” to a budget resolution that would seek to allow more lottery winnings to be counted as income for the purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, would reduce Medicaid reimbursement rates for prisoners, and would eliminate an increase in the federal matching rate for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The so-called “CHIP bump” has enabled states to expand the program to increase the number of insured children. Elsewhere, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday about Flint, MI’s tainted water. Related in the Senate, efforts are still underway to encourage Sen. Lee (R-Utah) to drop his objection to an amendment that would establish a loan to communities like Flint in need of infrastructure repairs.

Education – The Senate will vote Monday evening to confirm Dr. John King as the Secretary of Education. NCLR and the National Urban League posted an op-ed in support of his confirmation.

Puerto Rico – Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) plans to introduce legislation on Monday to provide a comprehensive solution to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis.  The legislation is similar in many respects to the Administration’s plan to address Puerto Rico, including debt restructuring, a financial control board, and tax and health provisions.  Additional details available here.

Supreme Court – The President may nominate a successor to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat as soon as this week. Republican Leadership in the Senate has stated repeatedly that the President’s nominee will not receive a hearing or a vote on the floor.

Weekly Washington Outlook — September 14, 2015

USCapitol

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

The House will not meet until Wednesday in observance of Rosh Hashanah.  At this time, it will consider legislation under suspension of the rules:

  1. H.R. 2961 – To establish a research, development, and technology demonstration program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in combined cycle and simple cycle power generation systems (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  2. Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 23 – National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Randy Neugebauer / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  3. Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 720 – Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. John Katko / Homeland Security Committee)
  4. H.R. 487 – To allow the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma to lease or transfer certain lands (Sponsored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin / Natural Resources Committee)
  5.  H.R. 959 – Medgar Evers House Study Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson / Natural Resources Committee)
  6.  H.R. 1214 – National Forest Small Tracts Amendments Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei / Natural Resources Committee)
  7. H.R. 1289 – John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier / Natural Resources Committee)
  8. H.R. 1554 –  –  – Elkhorn Ranch and White River National Forest Conveyance Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Natural Resources Committee)
  9. H.R. 1949 – National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. G.K. Butterfield / Natural Resources Committee)
  10. H.R. 2223 – Crags, Colorado Land exchange Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn / Natural Resources Committee)
  11. H.R. 2791 – Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act (Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio / Natural Resources Committee)
  12. S. 230 – To provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation located in Bethel, Alaska (Sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski / Natural Resources Committee)
  13. S. 501 – New Mexico Navajo Water Settlement Technical Corrections Act (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall / Natural Resources Committee)

On Thursday and Friday, the House plans to vote on the following:

  1. H.R. 758 – Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)
  2. H.R. 3134 – Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Diane Black / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  3. H.R. __ – Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Judiciary Committee)

Senate:

The Senate will meet on Tuesday evening.  A procedural vote has been scheduled on the legislative vehicle for a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear agreement.  Congress has until September 17th to object to the agreement.

White House:

On Monday, the president will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to join Secretary Duncan’s sixth annual Back-to-School bus tour. President  Obama and Secretary Duncan will host a town hall with high school juniors, seniors and their parents to discuss college access and affordability.

On Tuesday, the president will welcome the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies to the White House to honor the team on winning their Championship title. In the afternoon, President Obama will host Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain at the White House. Their visit reinforces the strong and enduring ties between the American and Spanish people. The first lady will also host Queen Letizia for tea and a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden.

On Wednesday, President Obama will travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and visit with wounded service members who are being treated at the hospital.

On Thursday, the president will attend a DSCC event in the Washington, DC area.

On Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Saturday, the president will deliver remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 45th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, DC; the First Lady will also attend.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a mark-up of S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act,” sponsored by Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Flake (R-AZ) on Thursday.  The legislation would block certain federal funding streams to so-called “sanctuary cities.”  This mark-up has been postponed several times due to concerns with limiting funding for law enforcement, and a substitute amendment that would impose a mandatory five year sentence for illegal re-entry.  Elsewhere, September 17th is Citizenship Day!  To celebrate, members of Congress are expected to make floor statements encouraging eligible lawful permanent residents to naturalize.  The Administration is also expected to launch a national campaign aimed at promoting citizenship.

Appropriations – Congress has until September 30th to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government, and just eight legislative days.  It is expected this funding vehicle will be short-term, likely through December – potentially tying the next appropriations fight to the debt ceiling.  The House originally planned to vote as soon as this week on a spending bill, but Leadership is still seeking a path forward to defund Planned Parenthood without jeopardizing passage of a clean CR.  For this reason, there is a tentative plan to vote on abortion-related legislation this week, and potentially include this in ACA-related reconciliation legislation later this fall.  In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that a CR with language defunding Planned Parenthood cannot pass.  Further complicating the spending dynamics, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi remains strongly opposed to any funding bill that maintains sequestration-level spending.

Nutrition – The Senate Agriculture Committee has scheduled a mark-up Thursday on legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs.  The previous authorization, which led to robust school nutrition guidelines, expires September 30th.

Financial Services – The House Financial Services Committee’s Small Business Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee will convene a hearing on Thursday on the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on small lenders.

Tax – The Senate Finance Committee will mark-up legislation on Wednesday that would give the IRS the authority to regulate paid tax preparers.  The bill would also strengthen identify theft provisions and other anti-fraud measures.  Additional information is available here.

Education – While conferees have not yet been formally appointed to the ESEA conference committee, staff-level work continues to reconcile the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act with the House’s Student Success Act.  There are significant differences between the two bills; notably, neither has strong accountability language ensuring intervention if students are not meeting academic goals.

Weekly Washington Outlook — September 8, 2015

USCapitol

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Tuesday, the House will consider legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 1344 – Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 1462 – Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 1725 – National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Authorization Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 2820 – Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Authorization Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • 1359 – E-Warranty Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer / Energy and Commerce Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week the House will vote on H. J. Res. 64 – Disapproving of the agreement transmitted to Congress by the President on July 19, 2015, relating to the nuclear program of Iran (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce / Foreign Affairs Committee)

It is possible additional legislative items could be added to the calendar.

Senate:

The Senate returns from its summer recess on Tuesday evening to consider a judicial nomination. Later in the week,  the Senate will take up H.J. Res. 61, the legislative vehicle for a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear agreement.

White House:

On Tuesday, the president will welcome the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion Duke University Blue Devils to the White House to honor the team on winning their Championship title.

On Wednesday, President Obama will travel with Dr. Jill Biden to Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich. to deliver remarks on the importance of investing in skills and growing the economy.

On Thursday, the president will award the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room; the first lady will also attend. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by the Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the Federal Government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

On Friday, President Obama, the first lady and White House staff will gather on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed again a mark-up of S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act,” sponsored by Senators Vitter (R-La.) and Flake (R-Ariz.). The legislation would block certain federal funding streams to so-called “sanctuary cities.” It is rumored that there was concern from the majority that the legislation as drafted could not pass out of committee. Some members raised issues with funding law enforcement and others were displeased the substitute amendment would have imposed a five year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal re-entry. It is unclear whether the mark-up will be rescheduled. Elsewhere, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will examine the safety of personnel and government assets along the Southwestern border.

Appropriations – Congress has just twelve legislative days to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond September 30. It is expected this funding vehicle will be short-term, likely through December – potentially tying the next appropriations fight to the debt ceiling. Despite calls in the lead-up to the recess to use the continuing resolution to defund Planned Parenthood after certain videos were made public, there is increasing speculation that Congress may be able to pass a spending bill with no problematic policy riders as soon as next week. However, extensions of child nutrition programs, E-Verify, and the EB-5 Investor Visa program may all be included, along with a host of other expiring authorizations.

Health – While Congress has missed its deadline to advance budget reconciliation legislation, there is speculation that Committees with jurisdiction over the Affordable Care Act may still attempt to move something this fall. Related, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on H.R. 1624, the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act.” The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will convene a hearing on Thursday on the competitiveness of health exchanges under the ACA. Elsewhere, the President has signed an executive order allowing federal contractors to receive up to seven days of paid sick leave.

Financial Services – The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday on the Administration’s proposed fiduciary rule. The hearing will focus on H.R. 1090, the “Retail Investor Protection Act.” This legislation would undermine the rule and has previously garnered bipartisan support.

Budget – the House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on young workers, focusing on the future of health and economic security programs.

Education – While conferees have not yet been formally appointed to the ESEA conference committee, staff-level work continues to reconcile the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act with the House’s Student Success Act. There are significant differences between the two bills; notably, neither has strong accountability language ensuring intervention if students are not meeting academic goals. At the same time, both the HELP and Education and Workforce Committee are moving forward with a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. To this end, the Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on campus sexual assault.

Weekly Washington Outlook — May 4, 2015

Congress-Instagram_new_560x292

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

The House is in recess, returning the week of May 11th.

Senate:

On Monday evening, the Senate will vote to override the President’s veto of S.J. Res. 8, a bill that would block a proposed National Labor Relations Board rule on expediting workplace elections in certain circumstances. On Tuesday, the Senate will resume consideration of legislation that would give Congress the authority to review any nuclear agreement with Iran. The Senate also plans to vote this week on a conference report of a joint budget resolution.

White House:

On Monday, the President will travel to New York City to deliver remarks at an event at Lehman College launching the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a new non-profit organization. He will also tape an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, and attend DNC events.

On Tuesday, the President will host a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House.

On Wednesday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.

On Thursday, the President will welcome the United States Air Force Academy football team to the White House to present them with the 2014 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. In the afternoon, the President will travel to the Portland, Oregon area to attend a DNC event.

On Friday, the President will attend an event held at Nike headquarters to discuss how workers will benefit from progressive, high-standards trade agreements that would open up new markets and support high-quality jobs both for Oregon small businesses and large companies like Nike. The President will also make the case that strong bipartisan trade promotion legislation – introduced this month by Senators Ron Wyden and Orrin Hatch – is an important step to ensure our trade policy works for the middle class through strong enforcement provisions, transparency, and the requirement that our trade agreements include high-standards to bring greater opportunity to American businesses, level the playing field for American workers, protect the environment, and raise human rights and labor standards around the world. Afterward, the President will travel to Watertown, South Dakota to deliver the commencement address for the graduating class at Lake Area Technical Institute. Lake Area Technical Institute is one of the top community colleges in the nation, and is recognized for rigorously preparing its students with the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century economy. With a two-year graduation rate more than twice the national average, Lake Area Technical Institute focuses on providing its graduates smooth pathways to high skilled careers with private-sector businesses.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will mark-up several bills on Wednesday, including S. 750, “Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation Act.” This bill would allow Customs and Border Protection access to federal lands in Arizona for their patrols. It has been criticized by environmental groups, immigration advocates, and others.

Appropriations – The Senate Appropriations Committee continues to hold hearings this week. The Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Tim Massad will both appear on Tuesday before the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make her first appearance in her new role on Thursday before the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee. When the House returns from recess, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has indicated he plans to bring the Legislative Branch funding bill to the floor before the end of the work period.

Budget – The Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a conference report on a joint budget resolution for FY2016. The measure maintains discretionary domestic spending at sequester levels, but increases defense spending by $96 billion. It also includes reconciliation instructions, setting the stage for a fight over repealing the Affordable Care Act later this summer. The House passed the conference report last week.

Education – Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote in his May memo that he still plans to bring H.R. 5, the “Student Success Act” to the floor in the coming weeks. Without any Democratic support, however, the legislation is rumored to still be short of votes needed for passage. Acknowledging this, Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) has recently signaled openness to a different legislative vehicle for passing legislation to rewrite ESEA. The Senate is likely to take up a bipartisan reauthorization bill in early June. The “Every Child Achieves Act,” which passed unanimously out of the HELP Committee earlier in April, still faces challenges from civil rights groups and others about what has been perceived as a weak accountability system.