Capitol Hill Update: April 29, 2019
The House and Senate are in session this week.
The House will return today. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are postponed until 6:30 pm. There are a total of nine bills coming to the floor on suspension this week on Monday and Tuesday.
- H.R. 1222 – Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
- H.R. 91 – Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act
- H.R. 317 – Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act
- H.Res. 327 – Encouraging greater public-private sector collaboration to promote financial literacy for students and young adults
- H.R. 1876 – Senior Security Act
- H.Res. 328 – Supporting the protection of elders through financial literacy
- H.R. 1449 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3033 203rd Street in Olympia Fields, Illinois, as the “Captain Robert L. Martin Post Office”
- H.R. 1198 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 404 South Boulder Highway in Henderson, Nevada, as the “Henderson Veterans Memorial Post Office Building”
- H.R. 828 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 25 Route 111 in Smithtown, New York, as the “Congressman Bill Carney Post Office”
We had heard that House Democrats were going to begin doing serious legislating after the Easter recess. That doesn’t seem to be the case, at least for this week. The rule bill this week is the Climate Action Now Act, H.R. 9. This bill would keep the United States in the Paris Agreement and require the Trump administration to develop a plan to meet the commitments made by the Obama administration under the accord. Although the agreement is nonbinding, the Obama administration agreed to reduce the United States’ carbon emissions by between 26 percent and 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025 and committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, of which $1 billion has been paid.
In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and end payments to the Green Climate Fund. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he will contribute $5.5 million to the fund, on top of the $4.5 million he gave last year. The United States can’t actually leave the agreement until November 2020. A study by NERA Economic Consulting, the Paris Agreement could have reduced gross domestic product (GDP) by $250 billion in 2025 and nearly $3 trillion in 2040. The number of jobs could decline by 2.7 million in 2025 and by 31.6 million in 2040. The House Rules Committee will consider the rule and amendments on Monday at 5:00 pm. From what the calendar indicates, amendments will be debated on the floor on Wednesday. The vote on H.R. 9 will take place on Thursday.
The House Rules Committee will hold a hearing on the Medicare for All Act, H.R. 1384, on Tuesday at 10:00 am. Chairman James McGovern (D-Mass.) is a cosponsor of the bill. Although House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) is likely going to hold a hearing on the Medicare for All Act, the primary committees of jurisdiction, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, don’t appear to be interested in moving the bill. Chairman Yarmuth has been dismissive of this particular version of Medicare for All but has asked the Congressional Budget Office for a report that could be a blueprint for developing a single-payer health insurance system.
On Thursday at 9:00 am, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the report recently issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which Attorney General William Barr may not attend, as was originally planned. Attorney General Barr has requested that the committee change the format, allowing only committee members from both sides to ask questions. Democrats plan to let counsels from both sides to ask questions.
The committee schedule for the week is here.
The Senate will return Monday at 3:00 pm to resume the consideration of the nomination of William Cooper to serve as the General Counsel of the Department of Education. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture on eight nominations before the Easter recess. The remaining seven nominees will are as follows…
- R. Clarke Cooper to serve as an Assistant Secretary of State
- Gordon Hartogensis to serve as the Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
- J. Campbell Barker to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- Andrew Lynn Brasher to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- Rodolfo Armando Ruiz II to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- Raul M. Arias-Marxuach to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
- Joshua Wolson to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
The Senate Judiciary Committee will look at Russian interference in the 2016 election on Wednesday at 10:00 am. Attorney General Barr is expected to attend the Senate hearing. The rest of the committee schedule for the week is here.