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Congressional Outlook

Congressional Update - Week of April 15, 2019

The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 29. Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) outlined the House’s upcoming agenda for May, saying that the House will be voting on: the Climate Action Now Act (H.R. 9), which would keep the United States in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change; the Equality Act (H.R. 5), which would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity at work and in public facilities; immigration measures, including those addressing migrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and undocumented immigrants that came to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers; healthcare legislation aimed at shoring up the Affordable Care Act and tackling rising drug prices; the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 2157), an expanded disaster relief funding package which includes an additional $3 billion to address urgent needs following flooding in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South; and another short-term authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which expires on May 31. Hoyer also stated that the House will focus on passing individual FY 2020 Appropriations bills in June and indicated that Congress must raise the federal debt ceiling by September or October in order to avoid a default.

When the Senate returns, it will consider eight executive and judicial nominations, including: William Cooper to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy; R. Clarke Cooper to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs; Gordon Hartogensis to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; J. Campbell Barker to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas; Andrew Brasher to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama; Rodolfo Ruiz II to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida; Raul Arias-Marxuach to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; and Joshua Wolson to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr told Congress last Tuesday that he will be releasing a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly 400-page report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, likely on Thursday, April 18. Barr would not discuss the substance of the Special Counsel’s investigation into possible connections between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, but he did explain some of what to expect when the report is released: he said the redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining any decisions to withhold information.

On Monday, President Trump will travel to Nuss Truck and Equipment in Burnsville, Minnesota to promote the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and hold a roundtable discussion on the economy and tax reform. On Tuesday, Trump will speak at an Opportunity Zone Conference with state, local, tribal and community leaders. On Thursday, he will participate in the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride with First Lady Melania Trump.


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