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The House and Senate are in session this week.
President Trump will give the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, January 29 at 9:00 pm. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter on Thursday inviting President Trump to give the address. The House will come back on Tuesday. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are expected at 6:30 pm. There are 21 bills on coming to the floor on suspension. Consideration of these bills will be spaced out over the week.
As a reminder to those who may not remember, bills on the suspension calendar require two-thirds of members present and voting for passage or an affirmative voice vote. Generally, bills brought to the floor under suspension aren’t considered to be controversial.
Title III of the proposed amendments to the rules of the House, H.J.Res. 6, will be considered on Wednesday. Title I passed on Thursday by a vote of 234 to 197, with three Republicans voting for the rules and three Democrats voting against them. Title II passed on Friday by a vote of 418 to 12. Title I had the vast majority of the actual rule changes to the governance of the House while Title II created the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Title III will allow the House to intervene in the ObamaCare lawsuit, Texas v. United States, to defend the 2010 health insurance reform law.
Although the House passed two funding measures on Thursday of last week, H.R. 21 and H.J.Res. 1, the Senate didn’t take them up, and the White House issued a veto threat. The word this morning is that the House could try to take up individual appropriations bills to try to reopen affected departments and agencies. As a reminder, five of the 12 appropriations bills have been passed and run through September 30.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Tuesday to consider the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, S. 1. The bill combines three pieces of legislation (S. 2497, H.R. 2646, and H.R. 1677) that passed the House or Senate by vote voice in the previous Congress. It also includes another bill from the previous Congress (S. 170), which would have allowed state and local governments to divest from businesses that promote boycotts, divestments, or sanctions against Israel.