Weekly Washington Outlook — July 6, 2015

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What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Monday, the House is not in session.

On Tuesday, the House returns at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. and the House will consider legislation under suspension of the rules:

1) H.R. 907 – United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 91 – Veteran’s I.D. Card Act (Sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 1531 – Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (Sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

Also Tuesday, the House will continue consideration of H.R. 2822 – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (Modified Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert / Appropriations Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider legislation subject to a rule:

  • Complete Consideration of R. 5 – Student Success Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Kline / Education and the Workforce Committee)
  • R. 2647 – Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Westerman / Agriculture Committee / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 6 – 21st Century Cures Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • Possible Consideration of a Motion to Go to Conference on H.R. 644 – Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act

Senate:

The Senate returns Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. and will consider S. 1177 to reauthorize elementary and secondary school programs.

White House:

On Monday, the president will make a rare visit to the Pentagon to meet with his national security team on the U.S. fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, President Obama will host the head of Vietnam’s Communist Party, the first party chief to visit the U.S. as the two countries seek closer ties 40 years after they fought a war.

Remainder of the week, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

Also This Week:

Appropriations – Both chambers continue work on FY16 spending bills, but the final passage of all twelve remains unlikely.  In the Senate, Democrats have vowed to block all measures upholding sequestration funding levels. While the House is resuming consideration of Interior-EPA appropriations this week, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s memo outlining the July work period only included the Financial Services Appropriations bill leaving a number of the more controversial bills still working through the Committee process up in the air.  This includes funding for the Department of Agriculture, scheduled for a mark-up at the subcommittee level on Tuesday and full committee on Thursday.

Education – This week both House and Senate are scheduled to take up legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In the Senate, the “Every Child Achieves Act,” a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization, is slated for the floor beginning on Tuesday. The business and civil rights community is continuing to work to get support for strengthening the bill’s accountability system for minority students and English Learners.  Elsewhere, the House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to create a new rule allowing up to two additional amendments to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) when it is brought back to the floor later this week.  The additional amendments are designed to garner conservative support to enable final passage.

Health – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will examine “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program.” This hearing comes in the wake of a July 24 deadline for Republicans to decide whether or not to use reconciliation to repeal the tax and spending components of the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration – The Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday titled “The 2014 Humanitarian Crisis at Our Border: A Review of the Government’s Response to Unaccompanied Minors One Year Later.”

Banking – As we approach the five-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, lawmakers are evaluating the effects to this legislation, starting with a Thursday House Financial Services Committee hearing “The Dodd-Frank Act Five Years Later: Are We More Stable?”  Also this week, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is holding a Wednesday hearing on “The Role of the Financial Stability Board in the U.S. Regulatory Framework.” Also Wednesday, the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will focus on “Examining the Designation and Regulation of Bank Holding Company SIFIs.”

Labor – Last week the Obama Administration released new regulations regarding overtime pay. The proposed rule would more than double the salary threshold for guaranteed overtime pay to $50,440, from the current threshold of $23,660. Today marks the start of the comment period, currently ending September 4. Labor advocates say the rule is long overdue, whereas business interests insist the rule will decrease worker hours, reduce worker benefits, and shift salaries workers to hourly ones.

Housing – This Thursday the House Judiciary Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The State of Property Rights in America Ten Years After Kelo v. City of New London.” Friday, the House Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee will examine “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Programs.”

Weekly Washington Outlook – June 2, 2014

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

The House:

The House is in recess this week, returning Monday, June 9.

The Senate:

The Senate returns from its recess Monday afternoon to consider a number of pending judicial and executive nominations, including Sylvia Matthews Burwell’s confirmation to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  While much of the week will be devoted to nominations, it is possible that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will take-up a bill making it easier to dismiss Veterans Affairs officials for misconduct.  It is also possible later in the week Senate Leadership will bring to the floor legislation that would permit recreational hunting and fishing in federal wilderness areas (S. 2363).

White House:

On Monday, the president will speak on a conference call in the afternoon on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Later in the evening, he will depart for Warsaw, Poland. On Tuesday morning, President Obama will arrive in Warsaw, where he and President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland will have an opportunity at the airport to meet with U.S. and Polish airmen who are supporting an aviation mission based at Lask Air Base. Following this event, the president will travel to Belweder Palace to take part in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Komorowski. In the afternoon, the president will travel to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister to participate in a bilateral meeting and deliver statements to the press with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Later, he will go to the Presidential Palace to co-host with President Komorowski a meeting with Central and Eastern European leaders. In the evening, the president will attend a Solidarity Dinner at the Royal Castle. On Wednesday, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and then travel to the Royal Castle to take an official family photo with leaders attending the Freedom Day event, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first partially free election. At the Royal Castle, Mr. Obama will deliver remarks commemorating Freedom Day. In the afternoon, he will fly to Brussels, Belgium. In the evening, the president will travel to the Royal Palace of Brussels to meet with King Philippe of Belgium. Afterward, he will attend the 2014 G-7 Summit, which will begin with a leaders working dinner on foreign policy issues. On Thursday, the president will participate in G-7 meetings on the global economy and energy and climate issues and a G-7 working lunch on development. G-7 leaders will also take a traditional “family photo.”  In the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. In the evening, the president will travel to Paris, where he will have dinner with President Hollande and remain overnight. On Friday, the president will travel to Normandy, France, to deliver remarks at Omaha Beach for the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. In the afternoon, he will travel to Sword Beach to attend a leaders lunch hosted by President Hollande and then attend the Ouistreham International Ceremony.  In the evening, President Obama will depart France en route to Washington. Continue reading