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Capitol Hill Update: November 13, 2017

11/13/2017

Schedule:

The House and Senate are in session this week.

House:

The House will reconvene on Monday, with votes on four bills on the suspension calendar. The Market Data Protection Act, H.R. 3973, sponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, H.R. 3739, introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) are among the bills on the suspension calendar for the day. Votes aren't expected until approximately 6:30 pm.

On Tuesday, the House will consider the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018, H.R. 2810, and the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, H.R. 2874. The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $708 billion in defense spending for FY 2018. This is a nearly $98 billion increase in defense spending over the previous fiscal year.

The 21st Century Flood Reform Act would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through FY 2022. The bill appears to move toward private flood insurance, where the government currently has a monopoly, but the proposal isn't perfect.

Finally, the House is expected to consider the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas). The Ways and Means Committee approved the bill on Thursday in a party-line vote. There were several changes made in committee to address concerns from members and fine the language.

The House Rules Committee currently has the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with a meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The committee will bring the bill to the floor under a rule, either structured to limit amendments or closed to prevent any amendments. Although some members have expressed opposition over the elimination of the deduction for state income and sales taxes and the limitation on the deduction for state and local property taxes, House Republican leaders should have the votes to pass the bill.

The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.

Senate:

Last week, the Senate confirmed four nominees to executive agencies. The chamber will begin this week by considering the nomination of Derek Kan to serve as an undersecretary for transportation policy at the Department of Transportation. With a large number of executive and judicial nominees awaiting confirmation, we expect the Senate to continue working through nominations this week.

The real action in the Senate this week, though, will take place in the Senate Finance Committee. Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has scheduled a markup beginning today at 3:00 pm on his version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. FreedomWorks' overview of the Senate's version of the bill is available here.

Another part of the reconciliation instructions in the FY 2018 budget resolution, H.Con.Res. 71, was a directive to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to produce legislation to allow for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The committee, chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), will markup recommendations for such legislation on Wednesday, November 15 at 9:00 am.

The recommendations from these committees will be submitted to the Senate Budget Committee, where they will be consolidated into legislative text, as an amendment. When the Senate begins consideration House version of H.R. 1, the Senate will consider the amendment. There will also be a vote-a-rama, where, theoretically, an unlimited number of amendments can be considered from the floor before a vote on final passage. The Senate is expected to consider the tax reform bill the week of November 27.

The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.