Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 21, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 21, 2019

The House

The House returns to session Monday evening with a full agenda for a shortened week. Votes on Thursday have been cancelled following the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. Cummings will lie in state in the Capitol on Thursday. Following a ceremony for family and Members of Congress, the public will be permitted to pay their respects.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that the House will bring to the floor a sanctions package for Turkey this week as the short term ceasefire in the region officially ends Tuesday evening. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday at a hearing examining Facebook’s role in the financial services and housing sectors.

The Senate

The Senate is also back in session Monday evening. Senators are expected to vote this week on a treaty formally designating the Republic of Northern Macedonia as a member of NATO. There is also an expected vote on the nomination of Andrew Bremberg to serve as the U.S. representative to the office of the United Nations in Geneva as early as Monday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold an important hearing on the reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, which is set to expire at the end of 2019. The hearing is expected to feature testimony from a witness panel comprised of a number of key industry stakeholders.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated last Thursday that the Senate will work to advance its first package of FY2020 appropriations bills this week, specifically domestic spending measures. At the moment, federal agencies are operating under a stopgap Continuing Resolution that is set to expire on November 21.

The Administration

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have a busy week ahead as the temporary ceasefire in Syria comes to end. On Monday, President Trump held a cabinet meeting in the morning, followed by a lunch with Vice President Pence in the White House. On Wednesday, the president is expected to travel to Pittsburgh to serve as the headline speaker at a natural gas conference where he will highlight the importance of domestic energy production. On Thursday, Vice President Pence will deliver the inaugural Frederic V. Malek Public Service Leadership Lecture at an event hosted by the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. On Friday, President Trump is expected to appear at a forum on criminal justice issues at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina.

On the impeachment front, a number of officials are expected to testify before the House committees leading the inquiry. On Tuesday, Bill Taylor, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine will testify. On Wednesday, Philip Reeker, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Michael Duffey, the Office of Management and Budget’s Associate Director for National Security, will testify. On Thursday, Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s Director for European Affairs, and Laura Cooper, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, will testify. Lastly, on Friday, Suriya Jayanti, a Foreign Service officer in Kyiv, and Tim Morrison, a National Security Council Senior Director for Russia and Europe, are expected to testify.

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