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 — October 12, 2015

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What to Watch This Week:

 Congress:

House:

The House is in recess, returning Tuesday, October 20.

 Senate:

The Senate is in recess, returning Monday October 19.

White House:

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

On Wednesday, President Obama and the first lady will host the PBS In Performance at the White House Concert for the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

On Thursday, the president will deliver remarks and attend a reception for Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th Anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

On Friday, President Obama will welcome President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea to the White House. The president and President Park will exchange views on a broad range of security, economic, and global issues, including the U.S.-ROK alliance and the critical role it plays in assuring regional stability and security. President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference with President Park.

Also this Week:

Sanctuary Cities – When the Senate returns, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has teed up a cloture vote to proceed to S. 2146 (originally S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act”) next Tuesday. This piece of legislation would withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities,” municipalities with community trust policies. The bill would also boost criminal penalties for undocumented immigrants who re-enter the U.S. after they are deported. S. 1814 was the cause of intraparty discord, as some Republican Senators supported an amendment including a mandatory minimum prison sentence for illegal re-entry, while others opposed such language. The new bill appears to have mandatory minimum sentencing language included.

House Leadership – Following Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calkf.) surprising decision to withdraw from the race to succeed John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House Speaker, no fewer than ten Representatives have floated the idea of running to fill the post. The frontrunner is Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), though he has shown no intention of actually seeking the nomination thus far. The only two Representatives formally running at this point are Government Oversight & Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who has the backing of the House Freedom Caucus. Boehner has postponed all House leadership elections indefinitely.

Weekly Washington Outlook — October 5, 2015

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What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. in pro forma session. No votes are expected.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m when the House will consider the following legislation under suspension of the rules:

  •  H.R. 1553 – Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Financial Services Committee)
  • H.R. 1839 – Reforming Access for Investments in Startup Enterprises (RAISE) Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick McHenry / Financial Services Committee)
  • H.R. 2091 – Child Support Assistance Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin / Financial Services Committee)
  • H.R. 1525 – Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett / Financial Services Committee)
  • H.R. 3032 – Securities and Exchange Commission Reporting Modernization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema / Financial Services Committee)
  • H.R. 3102 – Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Katko / Homeland Security Committee)
  • H.R. 3510 – Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond / Homeland Security Committee)
  • S. 1300 – Adoptive Family Relief Act (Sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein / Judiciary Committee)
  • S. 2078 – United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • H.R. 2168 – West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler / Natural Resources Committee)
  • S. 986 – Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall / Natural Resources Committee)

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

  • H.R. 3192 – Homebuyers Assistance Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. French Hill / Financial Services Committee)

On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

  • H.R. 538 – Native American Energy Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young / Natural Resources Committee)

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

  • H.R. 702 – To Adapt to Changing Crude Oil Market Conditions, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton / Energy and Commerce Committee / Foreign Affairs Committee)

Senate:

The Senate plans to consider the conference report on the fiscal 2016 defense authorization, which has drawn a veto threat. A cloture vote is scheduled for Tuesday to limit debate on the $611.8 billion measure. After work’s done on the defense authorization, the Senate next could turn to chemical safety legislation S. 697, the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.”

White House:

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

On Wednesday, President Obama will host President Joachim Gauck of Germany for a meeting in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president will deliver remarks and participate in a town hall at the White House Summit on Worker Voice. The Summit will focus on how workers can make their voices heard in the workplace in ways that are good for workers and businesses.

On Thursday, President Obama will deliver remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) 38th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

On Friday, the president will travel to the Seattle area to attend an event for Senator Patty Murray and the Washington State Democratic Party and a DNC event. Later in the day, the President will travel to the San Francisco area for a DNC event. President Obama will remain overnight in San Francisco.

On Saturday, the president will attend a DNC event and travel to the Los Angeles area for DNC and DSCC events. Further details about the President’s travel to Washington and California will be made available in the coming days.

Also This Week:

Immigration – The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a Thursday mark-up of S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act,” sponsored by Senators Vitter (R-La.) and Flake (R-Ariz.). This mark-up was previously postponed 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 House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the security of the U.S. refugee admissions program. Also Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled “Secure Immigration Identity Documents.”

Appropriations – Last week Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government until December 11. The Obama Administration and congressional leadership have begun negotiations to work out a long-term spending deal. The president indicated he will not sign another short-term measure or a long-term deal that doesn’t lift current spending caps. As budget negotiations play out, Congress must also debate legislation to extend the government’s borrowing authority. The government will reach its borrowing limit on November 5 and Republicans will likely demand that debt-ceiling legislation include measures to lower debt obligations over time.

Health – On Friday, the House Budget Committee will mark-up budget reconciliation recommendations from three committees to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act and prohibit Medicaid reimbursement for abortion providers, among other things. The Budget Committee will combine the recommendations for House floor consideration. 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.

Juvenile Justice – This Thursday the House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing titled “Reviewing the Juvenile Justice System and How it Serves At-Risk Youth.”

Nutrition – Authorization for child nutrition programs expired September 30. 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. Elsewhere, on Tuesday the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the process for developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Tax – The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday examining the rising costs of higher education and tax policy.

Labor – The House Small Business Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Subcommittee will hold a hearing Thursday titled “The Consequences of DOL’s One-Size-Fits-All Overtime Rule for Small Businesses and their Employees.” Elsewhere, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts Subcommittee will hold a hearing vaguely titled “Opportunity Denied: How Overregulation Harms Minorities” on Tuesday. It is unclear what the focus of this hearing will be and witnesses have yet to be listed.

Consumer Financial Protections – The House will consider H.R. 3192 this week, which would prohibit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from enforcing a Dodd-Frank mortgage disclosure rule until Feb. 1, 2016. The rule was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 3. H.R. 3192 would also protect lenders from liability for any violations of the rule before Feb. 1 if they have made a good faith effort to comply. The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill 45-13 on July 28.

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 this month. Elsewhere, the House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing titled “Strengthening Head Start for Current and Future Generations” on Wednesday.

Republican Leadership Election – Last week Speaker John Boehner announced he would hold leadership elections on October 8 to determine his replacement. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is likely to replace the Speaker, although he is being challenged by Rep. Dan Webster (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who announced his bid over the weekend.  Speaker Boehner has indicated he might postpone elections for House majority leader and majority whip in response to a letter circulated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) requesting a delay. Further, there could be a change in internal party rules that would force candidates to resign their chairmanship and leadership roles to participate in the upcoming leadership elections. The House Republican Conference will meet to discuss rules changes on Wednesday afternoon. The race for majority leader is competitive with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) vying for the position. A delay in the election would give conservatives time to find a candidate to oppose Scalise and Price. If Scalise is elected as the next majority leader, there will be an election for his current post of majority whip.

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.

Remarks of Janet Murguía at NCLR Capital Awards

As prepared for delivery at the 2015 NCLR Capital Awards, Washington, DC

This year began with the convening of a new Congress. Republicans had campaigned for, and won, a majority in both houses and promised to take the country in a new direction. Their leadership vowed a more productive approach to governing that wouldn’t scare the American people by shutting down the government.

Except, apparently, when it comes to the Latino community.

It took just eight days for the majority of Republicans in the newly convened House to threaten homeland security funding by voting to block the president’s executive order on immigration.

To make sure their intentions were clear, they also voted to repeal the highly successful program that provides temporary status to the children and young people known as “DREAMers.”

And it wasn’t just Republicans in Congress who led the charge. Republican governors and attorneys general led a coalition of 26 states to file suit against the president’s executive action. They shopped for and found a sympathetic judge who ignored years of legal precedent to halt the executive order.

If I was being charitable, I might chalk these measures up as a political poke in President Obama’s eye.

But, to be honest, this doesn’t feel like just that.

This feels like it is about us—that when it comes to Hispanics and their families, too many in the Republican Party simply don’t care. They don’t care about the human toll their inaction has on our community. They don’t care how many of our children will lose a parent. They don’t care about the financial devastation they cause to our families and our communities.

I suspected as much last year when Speaker Boehner turned his back on bipartisan immigration reform. His refusal to allow a vote on a bill that had already passed the Senate—and had the votes to pass in the House—was a clear sign that there is no real solution that their party is willing to support.

Think about this week’s standoff in Congress, which thankfully ended this afternoon. What kind of statement does it make that pro-defense House Republicans would put our national security at risk rather than allow any amount of relief on immigration?

To Speaker Boehner I have this to say:

You avoided catastrophe today, but we’ve been at this for over a decade. You keep saying “no.” Any attempt to resolve our broken immigration system is always “dead on arrival.” No matter how much the American public supports a solution, the answer is always “no.” Even when the votes in Congress are there for passage, you block it.

Where is your solution? Where is your bill?

You talk about family values, but when it comes to our families, you sit idly by and watch as hundreds of thousands of mothers and fathers are taken from their children.

You talk about rewarding work but stand by as our families are thrown into poverty by the sudden and permanent loss of a breadwinner.

What kind of solution is that? What kind of life does that leave for those children—those American children—now that you’ve left them virtually orphaned? How does that improve our communities, our schools, our safety?

Many in the immigrant community have been here so long that they have put down roots in our cities and towns. They’ve married into our families and are now the parents of our grandchildren.

To us, they are family. Our family. Our American family. They are us.

Maybe you don’t see it. Maybe you believe the trumped-up extremist rhetoric that paints all undocumented immigrants as criminals, or even terrorists.

But, if you could see them through our eyes, you would know that the vast majority are hardworking mothers and fathers, neighbors and friends. They are the people who work beside us, who care for our children, and sit next to us in church on Sundays.

Every time you say no to reform it bears a real cost, a human cost, to countless families and their children.

Yet I hear no word of understanding about their suffering. I hear not a syllable of remorse. I see no sense of urgency to address this issue.

Instead, you chose to hide behind words like “sequestration,” “overreach,” and “filibuster.” Those words may have some value as a fig leaf inside the beltway. But what they say to the millions of people who are waiting for a solution is that our families don’t matter. You may think you were just stalling legislation, but for those people living in fear, you have kept their lives—and our community—in limbo.

President Obama stepped into the vacuum you left last year and issued an executive order on immigration.

When his action is upheld by a higher court—and it will be upheld—the steps he took will go a long way to end the nightmare that many face every day.

Families will stay together. Parents will continue to work and provide for their children. Communities and businesses will stop being turned upside down.

And millions will no longer live in fear, but will have the chance to get right with the law.

How can that not be good for America?

Regardless of what the courts do, the president’s order will still have a significant impact. U.S. immigration enforcement will now focus on actual threats to our security. As the president said, our priorities will be “felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.”

That, in and of itself, is a tremendous leap forward.

He deserves an enormous amount of credit for acting boldly and responsibly. And for that we say, thank you, Mr. President.

As a nonpartisan organization, we lay out a table of bipartisanship every year at this dinner, in the belief that compromise can be made and members of both parties can feel welcome working with our community.

NCLR has received the support of many Republicans over the years including on our Board of Directors, our Corporate Board of Advisors, and among our Affiliates. We have worked in collaboration with many leaders, including the late Honorable Jack Kemp, Senators John McCain and Mel Martinez, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and our guest tonight, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart.

They fought beside us to expand economic opportunity, champion human dignity, and help us pursue the American Dream. And we are grateful for their support.

And we have the support of most Republicans in this country. Fifty-one percent of Republican voters in a recent poll support a path to citizenship.

But, there is a malignancy in the Republican Party, and it is growing.

There was a time when the extreme views surrounding the immigration debate came only from the party’s extremists. Today, the extreme has become the Republican Party mainstream, and their rhetoric falls too readily from the lips of candidates at the national, state, and local levels.

That such rhetoric can have an impact should not be surprising. The political self-assessment published by the Republican Party after the last presidential election was unusually blunt.

As former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey said in this report, “We’ve chased the Hispanic voter out of his natural home.”

They should have listened to their own words.

The Republican Party’s blockade of any type of progress on immigration—whether in a bipartisan bill or the president’s executive order—sends a brutal message to our community.

Make no mistake. Our complaint is not partisan. It’s personal. The Republican blockade against reform is having a searing impact on our community.

And these actions will have political consequences. Candidates are already testing the waters for the next presidential campaign. Soon they will be asking for our vote—and with good reason.

The Latino vote is the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country. Some 14 million Latinos will vote in 2016.

We have already demonstrated that we can shake up the road to the White House. Next year we will also be looking at how our vote can impact Senate races in states like Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Missouri.

Candidates in those states and across the country have a choice. They can continue to follow the strategy that Pete Wilson used in California to marginalize our community—with predictable results—or they can step up to help us change the course of history.

One out of every four children born in this country is Latino. And every year for the next 20 years, nearly a million Hispanics will turn 18 and be eligible to vote.

You don’t need me to do the math.

How our community is valued today—by this Congress—matters. Absent a significant change, the Republican Party stands to lose the Latino vote for a generation.

It is in our nation’s interest that we find a way forward. The president’s executive action is a temporary fix to a complex problem. Even when his order is implemented, there will still be some five million people living outside the rule of law. Only Congress can craft a permanent solution.

Fortunately, the framework for a bipartisan bill exists. A majority of Americans from both parties support its passage. And I believe that if we can work together, we can find a way to move forward.

In America, every person’s dignity should be valued. Every child should come home from school knowing their parents will be there. Every worker should be able to earn a wage that supports their family. And every one of us should be able to pursue the American Dream.

But to succeed, we need a Republican Party that understands the human cost of saying “no.”

We need a Republican Party that sees beyond short-term politics to collaborate on a long-term solution. We need a Republican Party that can see our community the way we see it—as an integral part of this country and a critical part of its future.