Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of November 18, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of November 18, 2019

THE HOUSE

The House returns Monday evening when they are expected to consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules including a reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and legislation which would require publicly traded companies to disclose the race, ethnicity, and gender of board members and executives.

Additionally, this is a busy week in the public impeachment inquiry being led by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). At least eight Trump Administration officials are expected to testify between Tuesday and Thursday of this week, including:

  • Jennifer Williams, Special Adviser on Europe and Russia for Vice President Mike Pence (Tuesday morning)
  • Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, NSC Director for European Affairs (Tuesday morning)
  • Kurt Volker, Former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine (Tuesday afternoon)
  • Tim Morrison, Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior NSC Director for Europe and Russia (Tuesday afternoon)
  • Gordon Sondland, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union (Wednesday morning)
  • Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs (Wednesday afternoon)
  • David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Wednesday afternoon)
  • Dr. Fiona Hill, Former NSC Senior Director for Europe and Russia (Thursday)

THE SENATE

The Senate also returned to session Monday evening and, along with their House counterparts, face a ticking clock to fund the government. The government is currently set to run out of funding on Friday of this week if an agreement cannot be reached by House and Senate leaders. While Congressional Leadership has expressed optimism about the prospects of passing another Continuing Resolution (CR) and avoiding yet another government shutdown Friday evening, members of Congress have yet to see any bill text on a proposed CR.

The Senate is also expected to continue work on pending nominations this week. The Senate will continue reviewing the nomination of Robert Luck to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court this week. The Senate Homeland Security Committee is expected to continue work on Peter Gaynor’s nomination to serve as the FEMA Administrator. On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is expected to take up Stephen Hahn’s nomination to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

THE ADMINISTRATION

On Monday, President Donald Trump announced an unexpected Monday morning meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Monday afternoon, President Trump is expected to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On Wednesday of this week, the President, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, is planning to travel to Austin, Texas to tour Apple’s new manufacturing plant.

On the international affairs front, Secretary of Defense Mark Asper will be in Asia this week for a series of meetings. His trip includes stops in Bangkok, Seoul, Manila, and Hanoi. Monday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Foreign Minister of Cyprus in Foggy Bottom at the State Department.

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