Saturday, December 21, 2019

Congressional Outlook

Committee Outlook

Lindsey Graham Invites Rudy Giuliani to Testify About Recent Ukraine Trip in Senate

Lindsey Graham: ‘Loves’ Joe Biden, But ‘None of Us Are Above Scrutiny,’ Begins Investigation

Lindsay Graham: FISA Reform Will Be Top Priority for Senate Judiciary Committee in 2020

House Outlook

Nancy Pelosi Again Won’t Commit to Sending Articles of Impeachment to Senate

Legal Expert: Pelosi’s Move to Withhold Articles of Impeachment From Senate a ‘Grave Injustice’

Graham: Pelosi Withholding Impeachment Articles Is a ‘Constitutional Crisis’

Democrat’s Impeachment Lawyer Says Trump Not Impeached If Pelosi Sits On Articles Of Impeachment

Congress Last Week

National Security

2020 NDAA includes a pay raise for military members, and proposals to hold China and Venezuela accountable

Trump Signs Defense Policy Bill That Establishes Space Force, Addresses China Threat

Foreign Policy

Federal funding bill includes bipartisan measures aimed at assisting Venezuelans

Bills to Counter China, Protect the Homeland Pass in Appropriations Package

Senate reaches compromise on religious freedom watchdog funding

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Address Emerging Challenges Facing Tibetans


U.S. citizenship path for thousands of Liberians tucked in spending bill


Mexico Objects to USMCA Provision but Says the Trade Deal is Still ‘Intact’

Tax Policy

Congress nears repeal of tax on churches

Federal Spending

FY 2020 appropriations bills support life by maintaining all existing pro-life protections

Rep. Rob Wittman: Domestic spending appropriations bill expands ACA abortion funding

Sen. Bob Menendez: VERDAD Act on Venezuela has been included in the final appropriations package which reaffirms US support for the Venezuelan people and Interim-President Juan Guaidó and expands strategic pressure on the Maduro regime.

Sen. Bob Menendez: Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act has been included in the final appropriations package which strengthens our bonds of friendship through joint efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security for our nations.

‘They’re spending crazy’: Levin on Congress’ budget deal

Year-End Spending Deal Includes Massive Bailout for Bankrupt Mine Workers Union Pension

Census effort gets $7.6 billion

Trump Signs Bipartisan Deal Mandating $255 Million in Funding for Historically Black Colleges


Senator Kennedy Asks Trump to Declassify Carter Page FISA Applications

Comey Admits He Was Wrong for Defending FBI’s FISA Process After IG Report, Gowdy responds

Barr: ‘Simply Not True’ That Comey Didn’t Have Role in FBI’s Trump Campaign Investigation

IG Michael Horowitz: ‘Text Messages’ Contained Evidence of ‘Political Bias’ at FBI

Majority Says Top Fed Cops Broke Law to Block Trump, Should be Jailed or Fired

CNN Sides With Trump After 2 Democrats Misquoted Ukraine Call During Impeachment Markup Session

House Judiciary Committee Releases Report, Explains Articles of Impeachment

Rep. Schiff: • Insists Impeachment ‘Isn’t a Failure’ Despite Past Comments, • Claims He Was ‘Unaware Of’ FBI’s Abuse of FISA System in Surveilling Trump Aide

Rep. Steve Watkins: H.Res. 764 that supports executive order combating anti-Semitism


Congress Poised to Pass Bill Lowering Barriers to Work for Ex-Offenders

Health Care Policy

AOC complains about having too many Obamacare plan options. Many Americans have faced a much different problem.

H.Con.Res.79: Expressing the sense of the Congress that assisted suicide (sometimes referred to using other terms) puts everyone, including those most vulnerable, at risk of deadly harm.

Legislation Introduced to Stop Expansion of Dangerous Abortion Drugs

Senator Lankford Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Moms and Babies from Abortion

Medical Abortions Four Times as Risky as Surgical

New Trump rule will require Obamacare insurers to bill separately for abortion


Democrats Spent $3 Million on Impeachment Inquiry: Heritage Foundation

Judicial Watch Sues Schiff for Documents Related to Release of Giuliani, Nunes Call Records

House Ethics Committee Reproves Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers For ‘Misuse of Official Resources’

Friday, December 20, 2019

Life-related policy in FY 2020 spending bills

The spending bills for FY 2020 spending bills are H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865. Policy provisions include:

Rejects Shaheen Amendment—The final FY2020 State/Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill maintains current law on abortion/contraception, rejecting Sen. Shaheen’s anti-life amendment—added at committee-- that increased funding for family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) by $57.55 million. These funds would have gone to pro-abortion US NGOs exempt from PLGHA - while also providing enforcement for an Obama-era regulation aimed at driving out faith-based providers.

Rejects House’s Anti-Life Riders—The final FY2020 LaborHHS, SFOPS, and Financial Services bills reject all anti-life riders in the House’s partisan appropriations bills—including undermining the Trump Administration’s Title X Protect Life rule, Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), conscience rule, and abortion fetal tissue policy, as well as funding abortions in D.C. . These riders were specifically opposed as anti-life poison pills that violate the budget deal by 26 Senators, in a Senate Pro-Life Caucus-led letter to President Trump.

Keeps the Senate Majority and Pres. Trump’s Pro-Life Promises—The FY2020 bills make good on the Senate Pro-Life Caucus-led letter to President Trump – signed by 49 senators- on protecting life in spending bills—to which Trump responded by pledging to veto any bill that undermines Federal pro-life policy.

Anti-life report language eliminated—Anti-life report language was rejected that would have added abortion into human rights reports, undermined the State Department’s Kemp-Kasten determination for UNFPA, integrated FP/RH into women’s economic empowerment programs, and undermined USAID’s administration of family planning programs internationally.

Preserves Longstanding Pro-Life Protections—The 12 spending bills preserve all longstanding pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment:

Saturday, December 14, 2019

House Committee Schedule

House Floor Schedule

From the floor colloquy:
As Members know, the current continuing resolution expires on December 20. The House will consider some appropriation measures.  Hopefully, and my expectation is, they are making progress in the Appropriations Committee on coming to a resolution on the 12 appropriation bills. It is my hope that we will consider those appropriation bills on the floor on Tuesday, perhaps a series of minibus packages to fund all of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. I would urge all of my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to do everything they can in the next 24 hours, frankly, to bring this matter to a close and agreement so that the staff will have an opportunity to put the bills together for consideration next week.

This week, negotiators were able to reach an agreement on a new trade agreement. The Republican whip has been asking me about that agreement.  I have assured him we wanted to get to yes, and we have gotten to yes.  We are pleased at that, this trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. It is possible that the USMCA trade agreement could be brought to the floor next week. …

This week, the House Judiciary Committee began markup, as the House knows and the country knows, of two Articles of Impeachment. Following committee action on these articles, the Judiciary Committee will make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives. We will determine a path forward on the floor following that recommendation.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, as is always the case in the last week, at least the last scheduled week of a session, there may well be other pieces of legislation that will ripen for consideration and that may well be considered next week. We will announce those as soon as we know which, if any, bills qualify for that treatment.

Senate Committee Schedule

Senate Floor Schedule

Program for Monday: Senate resumes consideration of the conference report to accompany S. 1790, National Defense Authorization Act, and votes on the motion to invoke cloture thereon at 5:30 p.m.

Congressional Outlook

Committee Activity

DOJ Watchdog Testifies in Congress About Report on Surveillance of Trump Campaign

Senate Banking Chairman Blocks Election-Meddling Bill

House Judiciary Committee Releases ReportApproves Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

Education Secretary Defends Student Debt Relief Plan

Floor Outlook

Dems impeachment drive hurtling toward House vote; the Rules are different in a Senate trial

House Could Vote on Articles of Impeachment Next Week

House meeting in pro forma session Saturday to enable impeachment floor vote Wednesday

Democrats Expecting Defections on Articles of Impeachment Vote

House Democrats Give Green Light For Trump’s USMCA Deal

Senate Majority Leader Says US-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Won’t be Taken Up This Year

Lawmakers Reach Deal on Defense Bill, Establishing US Space Force

Senate Could Start Impeachment Trial Against Trump in January: Majority Leader

Congress Last Week

Saturday, December 7, 2019

House Committee Schedule

House Floor Schedule

From the floor colloquy:
The House will consider H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. This legislation would lower prescription drug costs for every American, as well as level the playing field for American patients and taxpayers. Last year, House Democrats promised to lower healthcare costs by lowering the price of prescription drugs for the people, and we are proud to deliver on that promise this coming week.

In addition, Madam Speaker, the House will consider H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act. This bill is a package of bipartisan legislation that protects vulnerable coastal and Great Lakes communities impacted by the climate crisis.

Lastly, it is possible the House will consider the NDAA conference report.

Other legislation is possible, as well, as we come to the close of this first session of the Congress of the United States.

Senate Committee Schedule

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Business meeting to consider the nominations of
Mitchell A. Silk, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury,
Brian D. Montgomery, of Texas, to be Deputy Secretary, and
David Carey Woll, Jr., of Connecticut, and
John Bobbitt, of Texas, both to be an Assistant Secretary, all of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and
Peter J. Coniglio, of Virginia, to be Inspector General, Export-Import Bank;
to be immediately followed by an oversight hearing to examine the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Energy and Natural Resources
Hearings to examine the upcoming implementation of the International Maritime Organization's new global sulfur standard for marine fuels, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2020.

Hearings to examine encryption and lawful access, focusing on evaluating benefits and risks to public safety and privacy.

Senate Floor Schedule

Program for Monday: Senate resumes consideration of the nomination of Patrick J. Bumatay, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, and votes on the motion to invoke cloture thereon at 5:30 p.m.

Congressional Outlook

Committee Activity

House approves Democratic impeachment report in party-line vote

House Judiciary Committee Votes Down Calling up Whisteblower in Impeachment Hearing

House Announces Monday Judiciary Hearing to Hear Evidence on Trump Impeachment

'Medicare for All' to get its day in House commerce panel (Tuesday, 12/10)

FAA chief to testify at Dec. 11 U.S. House hearing on grounded Boeing 737 MAX

Floor Outlook

Prescription drug pricing bill vote in the House on Wednesday

Sen. Cornyn: Dems’ Broken Promises, Impeachment Threaten to Deadlock Budget at End of Year

Congress Last Week

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