NATaT Weekly Legislative Report

Week of June 10, 2019

Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are both in session this week. The House will consider one bill under suspension of the rules, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 3253), which extends two Medicaid demonstration programs, modifies how Medicaid drug rebates are calculated, and expands state Medicaid Fraud Control Units' authority to investigate patient abuse. For the remainder of the week, the House will complete consideration of its first FY 2020 Appropriations minibus package (H.R. 2740), which includes $982.8 billion for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education; Legislative Branch; Defense; State-Foreign Operations; and Energy-Water Development spending bills. The House will also begin consideration of its second FY 2020 Appropriations minibus package (H.R. 3055), which includes $383.3 billion for the Commerce-Justice-Science; Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA; Interior-Environment; Military Construction-Veterans Affairs; and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bills.

The Senate will vote on five executive and judicial nominations this week, including: Sean Cairncross to be CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation; Matthew Kacsmaryk to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas; Allen Winsor to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida; James Cain, Jr. to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana; and Greg Guidry to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The Senate will also begin consideration of the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1790), which includes $750 billion to provide troops with a 3.1% pay raise, require the Defense Department to implement more policies to address sexual assault, and authorize construction funds to replenish money redirected for activities along the southern border.

On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will markup the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019," which provides $4.5 billion in requested funds from the Trump Administration for emergency humanitarian needs at the southern border. Lawmakers have yet to determine whether they can reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that would allow the bill to pass through both chambers, or if House Democrats will release their own measure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has pledged to force a vote on the measure during the week of June 24. Additionally, the four top Congressional leaders are planning to meet this week with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and acting White House Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought to discuss budget caps to avoid tens of billions of dollars in automatic cuts to government spending this fall as well as increasing the federal government's debt ceiling in order to avoid a catastrophic default.

On Tuesday evening, President Trump will travel to Orlando, Florida to officially kick off his 2020 re-election campaign. On Wednesday, Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Arthur Laffer, who is considered the "Father of Supply-Side Economics". On Thursday, Trump will host a bilateral meeting at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to "discuss the shared economic interests of their countries, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and opportunities to drive more growth and create jobs in both the United States and Canada. The two leaders will also discuss the upcoming G20 Summit, which will take place from June 28 to 29 in Osaka, Japan." Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will also host the annual Congressional picnic on Thursday evening.

Week in Review

House Committee Approves 5-Year Flood Insurance Extension with Bipartisan Reforms

House panel wraps up final 2020 spending bill as Senate lags

Senate passes bipartisan IRS modernization bill

House passes bill to bolster security at synagogues, churches, mosques

Fight over pay raise for Congress causes Democrats to pull spending bill

House Authorizes Lawsuits Against Barr, McGahn in Trump Probes

Hill push to battle foreign election interference is stuck at McConnell roadblock

Senate fails to block arms sales to Bahrain and Qatar

Trump Orders Federal Agencies to Ease Approval of New GMO Crops

Trump's latest government overhaul aims to cut advisory panels by one-third

Treasury Deals Final Blow to SALT Deduction Workarounds

U.S. Forest Service aims to speed up logging, infrastructure projects

White House expands health accounts aimed at small firms

Planned Parenthood sues U.S. to block rule that may limit abortions

Trump taps Eric Ueland to be legislative affairs director

Ken Cuccinelli starts as acting immigration official despite GOP opposition

Trump Says 'It Doesn't Matter' If Xi Agrees to Meeting at G-20

Mexico denies Trump's claim of secret concessions in deal

House Democrats make deal to see Mueller files on Trump

House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over Census dispute

DOJ releases legal opinion supporting Treasury refusal to turn over Trump tax returns

U.S. blames Iran for 'blatant assault' on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman

Justice Dept. Seeks to Question C.I.A. in Its Own Russia Investigation

NATaT Weekly Legislative Report