Weekly Washington Outlook — November 16, 2015

U.S. Capitol

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

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

H.R. 308 – Keep the Promise Act (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Natural Resources Committee)

]H.R. 1694 – Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

H.R. 3114 – To provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Grace Napolitano / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

H.R. 1073 – Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Homeland Security Committee)

H.R. 3144 – Partners for Aviation Security Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Donald Payne / Homeland Security Committee)

H.R. 1338 – Dignified Interment of Our Veterans Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

H.R. 1384 – Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

S. 599 – Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Cardin / Energy and Commerce Committee)

S. 799 – Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell / Energy and Commerce Committee)

H.R. 2583 – Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2262 – SPACE Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

H.R. 1317 – To amend the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to specify how clearing requirements apply to certain affiliate transactions, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Gwen Moore / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 3032 – Securities and Exchange Commission Reporting Modernization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema / Financial Services Committee)

S. 2036 – Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. David Vitter / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 1478 – Policyholder Protection Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey / Financial Services Committee)

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 208 – RISE After Disaster Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez / Small Business Committee)

In addition, the House may consider a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

On Tuesday, the House will vote on H.R. 511 – Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Todd Rokita / Education and the Workforce Committee).  The House will also vote on a motion to go to conference on legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

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

H.R. 1737 – Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Guinta / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 1210 – Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 3189 – FORM Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga / Financial Services Committee)

Senate: On Monday afternoon, the Senate will consider a judicial nomination.  Later in the week, the chamber will take up legislation blocking two Environmental Protection Agency Regulations, S. J. Res. 23 and S. J. Res. 24.  

On Wednesday, the Senate has scheduled a procedural vote on S. 2193, sponsored by Sen. Cruz (R-TX).  The legislation would establish new mandatory minimum sentences for illegal re-entry into the United States.

White House:

On Monday, the president will attend a G20 meeting on financial regulation, international tax, anti-corruption, and a G20 working lunch on trade, energy and the adoption of the Communique and Antalya Action Plan. In the evening, President Obama will hold a press conference before departing Turkey en route Manila, Philippines.

On Tuesday, the president will arrive in Manila, Philippines. In the afternoon, President Obama will tour the BRP Gregorio del Pilar. In the afternoon, the president will also participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Commonwealth of Australia.

On Wednesday, the president will hold a meeting with President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines. Later in the morning, President Obama will deliver remarks at a CEO Summit. In the afternoon, the president will take a family photo and participate in a meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the leaders of the TPP countries. Later in the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a Pacific Alliance meeting. In the evening, the President will participate in an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) family photo and attend an APEC welcome dinner and cultural performance.

On Thursday, the president will participate in the APEC family photo and the opening session of the APEC retreat on inclusive growth through integrated economics. In the afternoon, the President will participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and attend the second session of the APEC retreat on sustainable and resilient communities. In the evening, President Obama will participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

On Friday, the president will depart the Philippines en route Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Malaysia, President Obama will participate in a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) town hall.

On Saturday, while in Malaysia, the president will deliver remarks at the ASEAN business and investment summit. In the afternoon, President Obama will tour the Dignity for Children Foundation. Following the tour, the president will participate in a Civil Society roundtable at the Ritz Carlton and in the evening, President Obama participates in a US-ASEAN meeting. The president will also participate in a pull aside with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Later in the evening President Obama will attend and participate in a family photo and the EAS gala dinner at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

On Sunday, the president will participate in an East Asia Summit family photo and meeting. In the afternoon, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore. Later in the afternoon, the president will hold a press conference, before departing Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia en route Yokota, Japan on the way back to Washington.

Also this Week:

Education – This week, the House and Senate will appoint conferees to a committee to reconcile differences in House and Senate versions of legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (last rewritten as No Child Left Behind).  The conference committee is expected to meet on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday and final legislation is expected in both chambers sometime in early December. Informal negotiations have been ongoing since the summer, leading to an agreement on a framework announced late last week. In a statement, the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and Senate HELP Committee said they “believe we have a path forward” toward a compromise between the House version, H.R. 5, and the Senate-passed bill, S. 1177.

Immigration – The Senate plans to take a procedural vote on Wednesday morning on S. 2193, “Kate’s Law.” The legislation sponsored by Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) would create two new mandatory minimum prison sentences for five years for certain immigrants who re-enter the country illegally. It would also increase the penalty for first-time illegal re-entry from two years to five years and create new penalties for those who have illegally re-entered three or more times. Earlier in the fall, the Senate voted on similar legislation from Sen. Vitter that would block certain federal funding streams in addition to establishing a mandatory minimum sentence; Democrats successfully blocked this bill.

Consumer Protections – The House will vote on two bills this week relating to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulatory authority.  The first, H.R. 1737 would over-ride the CFPB’s guidance on fair lending requirement for indirect auto lending.  The second, H.R. 1210 would broaden the definition of a “qualified mortgage,” granting additional liability protection to mortgage lenders. 

Law Enforcement – Attorney General Loretta Lynch will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. This hearing was rescheduled from earlier in October.  Her remarks are expected to address issues facing the Justice Department, and law enforcement in particular. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee’s Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts Subcommittee will also hold a hearing on Tuesday on the relationship among federal, state, and local law enforcement. 

Nutrition – The House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to review the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Budget – The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on whether the Congressional budget process should shift from annual to biennial budgeting.  The Senate Budget Committee held a similar hearing earlier this fall. 

How Education Reform Will Affect Latino Students

You’re invited!

bfk_john-king_picture_large

John B. King, Jr.

Join the Honorable John King, Delegated Deputy Secretary of Education, and our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, for a conference call on reforming the nation’s education system.

Congress is currently working to rewrite one of our signature civil rights laws, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. You might know it better by the name it was given the last time it was rewritten: “No Child Left Behind.” On the call you’ll hear what this rewrite means for English learners and Latino students.

Don’t miss it!

NOTE: This call is closed to the press. 

Date: November 16, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
RSVP: oraledu@nclr.org

Call-in Number: (877) 888-4314
Conference ID: NCLB
Program Title: Reviewing No Child Left Behind

Opting Out Is Not an Option for Me

By Helia Castellon, NCLR Blog guest contributor

ParentBlog_Accountability

Castellon w/her husband and three daughters.

Every day I send my three daughters to school with the confidence that they are learning. And every day when I ask them about what they learned in school, I, like so many other parents, will more likely than not get the same response: “Nothing.”

“Really?” I’ll reply. “After seven hours in school, you learned nothing?”

Occasionally I’ll hear about some new project, and I’ll definitely hear about the homework assigned two weeks prior the day before it is due. But what my children don’t tell me in their own words, I can definitely hear in their changed vocabulary, in the new topics they want to explore at the bookstore, or even the unexpected references they make or questions they ask when watching a movie or listening to conversations around them. So I know they are learning “something” even though they tell me they are learning “nothing.”

Education is the most important thing I can provide for my three daughters. But it is not enough for me to know that they are learning; I need to know that they are achieving.

As a parent, I’ve heard about the many changes taking place in education. What hasn’t changed, however, is the importance and the necessity of tests. No one likes them—they cause sleepless nights, and on occasion they might even make my girls cry. But one thing I’ve realized as a parent is that the tests my children take allow me to know how my girls are doing and think about what more I can do as a parent to help them succeed. When I see in black and white that my nine-year-old is not doing so well in reading, then that’s a signal for me to encourage her to summarize what she read and check her understanding. If my 15-year-old is having trouble mastering algebraic equations, then that’s my signal to advise her on how she can approach her teacher for extra help, or take that next step and schedule a parent-teacher conference.

What I’ve learned over the years is that assessments benefit me just as much as I assume they benefit my daughters’ teachers. They keep me informed about my children’s academic progress in a more formal way that then allow me to have a discussion with their teachers on concrete facts and not on vague anecdotes. By having this information I can be a partner with my children’s teachers, all of us intervening in ways that are purposeful and within our capacity as parents and educators.

My daughters have spent countless nights preparing themselves to be the best students they can so that they can become the next generation of engineers, doctors, and whatever else they think of becoming. It is my right as a parent to make sure that they are learning, that their outcomes are measured, and their progress is accounted for. Opting out is not an option for me because without this knowledge I will not know where to push, where to support, or where I need to advocate on their behalf. Yearly assessments allow me to do just that.

Helia Castellon is an adjunct instructor for the Los Angeles Community College District. She is the mother of three school-aged children and lives in Fontana, Calif.

Weekly Washington Outlook — October 19, 2015

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What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

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

1)      H.R. 1428 – Judicial Redress Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner / Judiciary Committee)

2)      H.R. 3572 – DHS Headquarters Reform and Improvement Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Homeland Security Committee)

3)       H.R. 3350 – Know the CBRN Terrorism Threats to Transportation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins / Homeland Security Committee)

4)       H.R. 3493 – Securing the Cities Act of 2015, as amended(Sponsored by Rep. Dan Donovan / Homeland Security Committee)

5)       H.R. 1315 – To amend section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to require that annual budget submissions of the President to Congress provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Luke Messer / Budget Committee)

6)      H. Res. 348 – Supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely elect their government and determine their future, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline / Foreign Affairs Committee)

On Wednesday, the House will also consider legislation under suspension of the rules

1)       S. 1362 – To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to clarify waiver authority regarding programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE programs) (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper / Ways and Means Committee)

2)      H.R. 692 – Default Prevention Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock / Ways and Means Committee)

3)      H.R. 10 – SOAR Reauthorization Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Boehner / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

The balance of the week, the House is scheduled to vote on the following:

1)      H.R. 1937 – National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei / Natural Resources Committee)

2)       H.R. ___ – Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Price / Budget Committee / Ways and Means Committee / Energy and Commerce Committee / Education and the Workforce Committee)

Senate:

The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote on Tuesday on S.2146, Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act.

White House:

On Monday, the president will host a roundtable with CEOs to discuss efforts to tackle climate change both in the United States as well as on a global scale. The discussion will focus on how to further efforts around carbon mitigation, sustainability and resiliency and how technologies are emerging to support and scale these efforts. In the evening, President Obama will host the second White House Astronomy Night, bringing together students, teachers, scientists, astronauts and others to spend an evening stargazing. Participants will also learn about astronomical discoveries and participate in space-related educational activities to help promote the importance of STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers who will explore the stars.

On Tuesday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

On Wednesday, President Obama will travel to Charleston, West Virginia, to host a community discussion on the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic. Communities in West Virginia and in states across the country have been developing and implementing responses that involve all sectors of their communities. The president will discuss local, state and federal efforts as well as private sector initiatives with those who are addressing the epidemic on a daily basis.

On Thursday, President Obama will host Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan at the White House. The visit will highlight the enduring nature of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual interest, including economic growth, trade and investment, clean energy, global health, climate change, nuclear security, counterterrorism, and regional stability.

On Friday, the president will participate in an event with the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum and attend a DNC roundtable in Washington.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote this week on S. 2146, the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act.” This legislation is a revised version of a bill that was pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee for several months, but was never acted on given uncertainty that it could be reported out favorably. The bill would block certain federal funding streams to local law enforcement agencies that do not coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security. It would also impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence on illegal re-entry. Local sheriffs, domestic violence advocates, and others have expressed strong opposition.

Sentencing Rules – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday will hear from Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates and Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s third Attorney General, on the need to enact criminal justice reform. On Thursday, the Committee has scheduled a mark-up of S. 2123, bipartisan legislation that would eliminate certain mandatory life sentences for nonviolent offenders, provide judges more leniency in sentencing for low-level drug crimes and revise standards for juvenile corrections and parole.

Federal Budget – The Senate Budget Committee scheduled a hearing Wednesday on overhauling the federal budget process. Michael Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office are both scheduled to testify. Elsewhere, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last week that budget negotiations with the Congressional Leadership and the White House must include entitlement reforms. Democrats oppose including this element, potentially leading to a stalemate in the talks before they have even truly begun. The Administration’s goal was to reach a one or two year framework that included sequester relief and maintain parity with defense and non-defense spending cuts.

Debt Limit – This week, the House plans to vote on legislation (H.R. 692) that would allow Treasury to continue to borrow above the debt limit to make certain payments if lawmakers fail to act to raise it. The debt limit will likely be reached in early November; Congress could act as soon as next week to address this.

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. Conferees are likely to be named at some point in the coming weeks. Elsewhere, the House will vote this week to extend the D.C. school voucher program (H.R. 10) through 2021. Also this week, the Administration is launching a new higher education website, www.bettermakeroom.org, to encourage young people age 14-19 to seek education beyond high school.

Healthcare – The House will soon act on reconciliation legislation approved by the House Budget Committee that would repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act including the individual and employer mandates. It would also defund Planned Parenthood and prohibit Medicaid from reimbursing physicians for abortion, except those resulting from rape or incest. Senate action is expected after the House vote.

Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing Thursday on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Lawmakers will examine long-term solutions to address the island’s solvency.

Republican Leadership Election – Following the surprise resignation of House Speaker John Boehner, the Republican conference has still not coalesced around a leader. While many are advocating Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan take on the position, he has expressed extreme reluctance. The conference will meet Wednesday to discuss a path forward. At the moment, an election has not yet been scheduled and Speaker Boehner will remain in the position until a successor is chosen.

Weekly Washington Outlook — September 28, 2015

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

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

  • R. 1624 – Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • 136 – Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • R. 313 – Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • 565 – Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • R. 3089 – Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • R. 3614 – Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
  • 139 – Ensuring Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Ways and Means Committee)
  • R. 2061 – Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis / Ways and Means Committee)
  • R. 3594 – Higher Education Extension Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bishop / Education and the Workforce Committee)
  • R. 2617 – To amend the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 to postpone a scheduled increase in the minimum wage applicable to American Samoa, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Amata Radewagen / Education and the Workforce Committee)
  • R. 2786 – Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Filemon Vela / Homeland Security Committee)
  • R. 2835 – Border Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally / Homeland Security Committee)
  • Concur in the Senate Amendment to R. 2051 – Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway / Agriculture Committee)

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

  • R. 3596 – Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3595 – To extend the authorization to carry out the replacement of the existing medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver, Colorado, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

The House will also vote on H.R. 3495 – Women’s Public Health and Safety Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy / Energy and Commerce Committee)

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

  • R. ___ – Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Meehan / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • Legislation related to Continuing Government Funding for FY2016

Consideration of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1735 – National Defense Authorization Act for FY2016 is possible, as well as a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Senate:

The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote Monday evening on the legislative vehicle for a clean continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11th.

White House:

On Monday and Tuesday, President Obama will be in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. He will attend meetings at the White House the balance of the week.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate Judiciary Committee has rescheduled a mark-up of S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act,” sponsored by Senators Vitter (R-La.) and Flake (R-Ariz.). This mark-up has been postponed several times due to conservative concern with the underlying legislation and a substitute amendment. The bill would block certain funding streams for law enforcement in municipalities with community trust policies; some lawmakers have suggested that this approach is inappropriate. The substitute amendment would impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal re-entry, which has faced opposition from those interested in criminal justice reform. Democrats are united in opposition, although some remain interested in creating an alternative policy that would lead to some form of cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement.  Elsewhere, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration and the National interest Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday on the fiscal and security impact of the Administration’s recently announced refugee resettlement plans.

Appropriations – Congress has until September 30 to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government. After a procedural vote failed last week in the Senate to pass a spending bill until December 11 that would also defund Planned Parenthood, another vote has been scheduled for Monday evening without the controversial rider. In the House, Leadership has been clear that they will also move to a clean bill sometime this week. Precise details of this remain unknown, however. Both bills do contain a number of “anomalies,” extensions of expiring programs, including E-Verify, EB-5 Investor Visas, and others.

Health – The House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a mark-up on Tuesday of budget reconciliation legislation repealing pieces of the Affordable Care Act. Repeals of both the medical device tax and so-called cadillac tax are included. It is likely the House Energy and Commerce Committee will follow shortly with related legislation that will be combined into one bill to send to the Senate. The Committee has held a number of hearings on the ACA, and will continue on Tuesday with an Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee hearing on state-based marketplaces. It is not clear if Senate Committees with jurisdiction over the Affordable Care Act plan to move their own versions of repeal legislation. Under the reconciliation process, the Senate can pass a bill with a simple majority, allowing Republican Leadership to circumvent procedural hurdles that have prevented their priorities from getting to the President’s desk.

Nutrition – While authorization for child nutrition programs expire September 30, these were not included in the continuing resolution that is expected to clear the House and Senate this week. Instead, lawmakers are continuing work to find a path forward on a bipartisan reauthorization effort this fall. However, the Senate Agriculture Committee postponed a planned mark-up of legislation indefinitely, and it is not clear how the House Education and Workforce Committee plans to proceed. Community eligibility and nutrition guidelines are both controversial in the effort.

Taxes – The Senate Finance Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday with the U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on improper payments. The Earned Income Tax Credit is likely to be a part of this hearing, given many believe that the credit’s complexity lead to error.

Labor – The House Financial Services Committee will mark up a series of bills on Wednesday, including H.R. 1090, which would block the Department of Labor’s “conflict of interest” rule. Elsewhere, the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee will convene a hearing Wednesday on the proposed rule.

Consumer Financial Protections – On Tuesday, Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will give his semi-annual report to Congress to the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee has also scheduled a mark-up of a number of bills related to the CFPB on Wednesday. Among these, H.R. 957, legislation that would subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Inspector General to Senate confirmation, and H.R. 1266 that would change the CFPB’s governing structure from a single Director to a bipartisan commission.

Puerto Rico – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi will testify.

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. Conferees are likely to be named at some point in October.

Republican Leadership Election – On Friday, Speaker John Boehner announced he would be resigning at the end of October. He outlined an ambitious agenda for the next four weeks including reaching a budget deal, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, and passing a long-term transportation bill. Yet, all eyes remain on Leadership elections to replace him; these have not yet been scheduled, but could come as soon as this week. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is likely to replace the Speaker, although he is being challenged by Rep. Dan Webster (R-Fla.). The race for Majority Leader is also competitive with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) all vying for the position. A number of members are also running for Whip, including Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), and potentially Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The precise details are still taking shape, and it is possible that Rep. Peter Roskan (R-Ill.) could emerge as a candidate for any of these. He has gathered signatures for a conference meeting this week to discuss a plan for the Republican party moving forward.