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Capitol Hill Update: June 11, 2018

06/11/2018

Schedule:

The House and Senate are in session this week.

House:

The House is back in session on Tuesday. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are postponed until 6:30 pm. There are 36 bills on the suspension calendar between Tuesday and Wednesday, many, if not most, of them dealing with opioids.

We wouldn’t be surprised if there were at least a couple of postponed suspensions that came up on Thursday or even Friday. The House will consider the Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments Demonstration Program (THRIVE) Act, H.R. 5735, and Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act, H.R. 5788. Both bills are subject to rules to limit or prevent amendments.

The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act, H.R. 2851. Giving the attorney general in any administration more power to schedule substances is a bad idea. The bill, which is subject to a rule, lacks a criminal intent requirement and does not include a mechanism for congressional approval for the scheduling of substances. We’re scoring against this one. It’s bad policy, but Congress wants to give the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), a win. It’s also gives the appearance that Congress is “doing something” on opioids.

The full committee schedule can be found here.

Senate:

The Senate will convene today at 3:00 pm. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, H.R. 5515, is on the floor. We know that there are two amendments on indefinite detention, one offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and another offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has introduced an amendment to address the Trump administration’s usage of Section 232 to unilaterally implement protective tariffs. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has an amendment to impose the REINS Act to keep the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States in check.

It’s unclear whether these amendments and others will be allowed votes from the floor. The latest word is that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will fill the amendment tree, not allowing these amendments to come up. The motion to proceed vote will come around 5:30 pm.

We’re still going through the Agriculture Improvement Act, but we do know that it doesn’t have the work requirements on SNAP that are in the House version. We’re sure you’re shocked to hear that. The Senate Agriculture Committee will markup the bill Wednesday, June 13. We’re hearing that the House could revisit its version, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, H.R. 2, as soon as next week.

The full committee schedule can be found here.