Becker’s Washington Weekly: May 20, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: May 20, 2019

 

THE HOUSE

House Democrats’ oversight efforts continue this week with a number of significant actions expected in addition to votes on other notable legislation. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote this week on the public release of transcripts from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as well as possible “enforcement action” against Attorney General William Barr over his defying a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller Report. The House Judiciary Committee has a hearing on Tuesday where former White House Counsel Don McGahn is scheduled to testify but his actual participation in the hearing is currently unclear and may result in a subpoena. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee awaits a likely ruling from a federal court on the validity of the Committee’s subpoena of accounting firm Mazars USA for President Trump’s financial records.

Outside of oversight, the House is expected to take up notable legislation this week, including:HR 1500 – the Consumers First Act, blocking the Trump Administration’s efforts to all but eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

HR 1994 – the SECURE Act, providing Americans more flexibility in saving for retirement.

THE SENATE

Following a week of negotiations, Congressional Leadership came to an agreement on the broad outline of a Disaster Relief bill. While details such as Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby’s effort to include funds for harbor maintenance in the bill remain to be worked out, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to vote on legislation this week ahead of the Memorial Day recess next week.

McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will join their House counterparts later this week for a meeting with White House officials to begin negotiations on a new two-year budget deal. President Trump has signaled a willingness to raise budget caps, an important step towards securing Democrats’ support. Another issue that may come up during negotiations, to the chagrin of Republican leadership, is the possibility of raising the debt limit. GOP Leaders will work to ensure the two issues are not directly tied to each other.

THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to meet with the leaders of three pacific island nations: Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Micronesia, where he is expected to voice his support of all three in an effort to combat China’s growing military and economic influence in the regions. The President is also expected to host Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week to continue discussions on funding for a $2 trillion infrastructure package.

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Jacksonville, Florida Monday evening to speak at an event touting the benefits of President Trump’s USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit the House this week to brief members on the situation in Iran

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