Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 23, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 23, 2019

The House

The House is back in session on Tuesday this week. While the House accomplished a great deal of its most pressing work last week in passing a Continuing Resolution aimed at avoiding another government shutdown at the end of the month and giving Congress breathing room as it works to pass spending bills through both chambers, there are a number of other important matters being addressed at the committee level this week, including:

  • On Tuesday, 9/24 the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee of the Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Protecting Benefits for All Service members.”
  • On Wednesday, 9/25 the Health Subcommittee of the Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Toxic Exposure: Examining the VA’s Presumptive Disability Decision-making Process.”
  • On Wednesday, 9/25 the Small Business Committee will hold a markup on pending legislation.
  • On Wednesday, 9/25 the Housing Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Protecting Seniors: A Review of the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program.”
  • On Thursday, 9/26 the Technology Modernization Subcommittee of the Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled, “The Future of VA Scheduling: Implementing a Commercial Off the Shelf Scheduling Solution at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
  • On Friday, 9/27 the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to hold a hearing on “Legislating to Secure America’s Wireless Future.”

The Senate

The Senate returned to session on Monday this week. While there have been persistent rumblings of a desire amongst Senators to take up bipartisan legislation on guns and background checks, any efforts are likely to continue to be stymied by leadership until President Trump makes clear where he stands on the issue. While the House has passed legislation to potentially avoid a government shutdown at the end of September, the Senate must still pass it as well, and work out any potential disagreements with the House, before it can be sent to the White House to be signed into law. Meanwhile, Senate Appropriators continue their work to pass long-term spending bills for the federal government.

The Senate Appropriations Committee Interior-Environment, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Homeland Security Subcommittees are all expected to meet on Tuesday to markup their respective spending bills. The full Committee is then expected to hold its own markups of those bills beginning Thursday morning of this week.

The Administration

President Trump begins his three-day visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York today. The main event on Monday for the President is an event on the persecution of religious minorities, specifically Christians. While in town, the President is expected to meet with a number of world leaders, including those from Iraq, Poland, France, New Zealand, Egypt, Singapore, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

The most notable meeting with a world leader comes on Wednesday, when President Trump is expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The meetings comes amid a swirl of controversy involving the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a whistleblower complaint made to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, and accusations of wrongdoing levied at President Trump.

While the President is in New York, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice will host an all-day workshop on Monday focused on competition in the labor marketplace.

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