Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of June 10, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of June 10, 2019


The House

The House returns this week with a focus on oversight and appropriations. On Monday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes” featuring John Dean, former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon, and other prosecutors. The House is also expected to consider H. Res. 430 this week, a resolution to enforce subpoenas for Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. If adopted, the resolution will make it easier for Committee Chairmen to enforce subpoenas and compel witness testimony without a full vote of the House, an effort Democratic leadership says will save valuable floor time. It is not just the Trump Administration that will feel the weight of the House’s oversight efforts this week though as “Big Tech” is now in the crosshairs. The House Judiciary’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a hearing on Tuesday titled “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press,” the first in what is expected to be a series of hearings on the dominance of Big Tech.

On the appropriations front, the House is likely to take up a “mini-bus” measure combining five FY2020 appropriations bills. HR 2740 would package together the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education, State and Foreign Operations, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch spending bills into one package totaling nearly $1 trillion in funds. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has stated his goal of passing all twelve appropriations bills by the end of June.

The Senate

The Senate is also back in session this week and will begin the week by considering the nomination of Ryan Holte for a federal judgeship. On Tuesday, a group of Senate Republicans is scheduled to meet with Trump Administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Office of Management and Budget acting director Ross Vought to discuss spending bills, raising caps on discretionary spending, and avoiding a default on federal debt.

As Senators from both parties have started to voice their displeasure with the chamber’s focus on judicial and cabinet nominations at the expense of actual legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has begun telling Committee Chairman to start preparing bills for the Senate Floor. As such, the Senate has a number of important hearings this week including:

  • A hearing titled “A Review of Waters of the US Regulations: Their Impact on States and the American People” to be held by the Committee on Environment and Public Works’ subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife on Wednesday morning.
  • A Finance Committee hearing on “China’s Belt and Road Initiative” held by the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness on Wednesday.
  • A Commerce Committee hearing on Oversight of the FCC on Wednesday.

The Administration

Following a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence today, President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with representatives from Major League Baseball to discuss their efforts to combat human trafficking at 3pm today.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be speaking at the World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony today at the State Department. The Department of Commerce and Secretary Wilbur Ross will host the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC this week from Monday to Wednesday.

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