Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of June 17, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of June 17, 2019

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THE HOUSE

The House will continue working on H.R. 2740 encompassing the appropriations bills for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State and Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development.   The House is also planning to take up a separate minibus package H.R. 3055 covering the Interior Department, EPA, and other environmental agencies.  This budget would give the EPA more than $9.5 billion in funding, $3.3 billion more than President Trump’s budget request, and it would be the agency’s second- largest budget in its history. There are also a number of important hearings scheduled for the week, including:

  • The Economic Opportunity Subcommittee of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing: “Examining Mid-Semester School Closures Impact on Students Vets”;
  • The House Judiciary Committee will hold its second hearing on the Mueller report focusing on a bipartisan prospective;
  • The Small Business Committee meets for a hearing on small business in the cannabis industry;
  • The Foreign Affairs Committee will consider nine measures, including legislation (H.R. 3190) to authorize humanitarian assistance and impose sanctions with respect to human rights abuses in Myanmar.

THE SENATE

The Senate will hold a floor vote this week on the National Defense Authorization Act (S.1790) providing $750 billion in the fiscal 2020 for national defense programs at the Pentagon, Energy Department, and other agencies. This bill provides service members with a 3.1% pay raise and requires the Defense Department to implement more policies to address sexual assault as well as authorizes construction funds to restore money redirected for activities along the southern border.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill to retool parts of the IRS and lay down groundwork for more change, sending the legislation to President Trump for his signature.

There are also a number of important hearings scheduled for the week, including:

  • The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will meet for a hearing titled: “Harnessing the Power of Community: Leveraging Veteran Networks to Tackle Suicide”;
  • The Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Keeping Congress Accountable: Term Limits in the US”;
  • The Senate Commerce Committee will have a full committee hearing on the “FAST ACT Reauthorization: Transportation & Security Issues.”

THE ADMINISTRATION

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will each meet with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is on his first official U.S. visit. Top congressional lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are expected to meet with White House officials to discuss budget caps to avoid automatic cuts to government spending as early as in December.


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