Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 9, 2019

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 9, 2019

The House

The House returns this week from its six-week summer recess with a busy agenda. Monday evening, the House is expected to vote on a series of energy bills, including some that would block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The House Judiciary Committee is also set to vote this week on a package of special procedures impacting impeachment and investigation related hearings and would potentially allow the panel’s staff counsel to question witnesses. There are also a number of notable committee hearings this week including:

  • On Tuesday, 9/10 the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on improving maternal healthcare.
  • On Tuesday, 9/10 the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on making it more affordable to raise a family.
  • On Wednesday, 9/11 the Health Subcommittee of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a legislative hearing on a number of proposed bills.
  • On Wednesday, 9/11 the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on improving broadband maps.
  • On Thursday, 9/12 the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the role of data and privacy in competition.

The Senate

The Senate also returns from summer recess this week and along with their House counterparts, have three weeks to pass legislation to avoid another government shutdown. In the wake of a number of mass shootings over the recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will face increased pressure to take up gun control legislation but has indicated that he will not act until he receives clear guidance from the White House on what President Trump would be willing to sign off on.

Following the July spending cap agreement reached by Congressional Leadership and the Trump Administration which allows for $1.3 trillion in discretionary funds for FY2020, the Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to unveil topline allocations for the twelve spending bills and begin markups. There will be markups on Tuesday, 9/10 of the Defense and Labor-HHS appropriations bills in their respective subcommittees before a full committee markup of the Defense, Energy & Water Development, State & Foreign Operations, and Labor-HHS bills on Thursday, 9/12.

The Administration

What originally looked to be a busy and possibly historic week for President Trump has since been significantly scaled back due to last minute cancellation and health issues. Planned negotiations with Afghanistan and Taliban leaders in Camp David this week were cancelled by the President over the weekend. Additionally, a planned Thursday meeting with the emir of Kuwait has been postponed due to the emir’s health issues.

The President is expected to speak at a rally Monday evening in Fayetteville, North Carolina for Dan Bishop, a candidate in Tuesday’s special election in North Carolina. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton, is expected to deliver remarks on Monday at the Economic Club of New York. On Wednesday, Acting TSA Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell will be on Capitol Hill to discuss oversight of the agency and protecting the nation’s transportation systems. The Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, is in the United Arab Emirates this week to meet with the chiefs of the country’s banks and shipping companies as the Trump Administration looks to tighten the sanctions on the Iranian regime.


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