Capitol Hill Update: December 9, 2019


The House and Senate are in session this week.


The House returns today. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are postponed until 6:30 pm. There are 17 bills coming to the floor under suspension of the rules between today and tomorrow. The suspensions are listed below. Additional legislation could be added to the calendar.

  • H.R. 4372 – MSI STEM Achievement Act
  • H.R. 4373 – Engineering Biology Research and Development Act of 2019, as amended
  • H.R. 2051 – Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019, as amended
  • H.R. 5213 – NASA Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act of 2019, as amended
  • S. 737 – Building Blocks of STEM Act
  • H.R. 4355 – IOGAN Act
  • H.R. 4566 – Virginia Beach Strong Act
  • H.R. 3669 – Weatherizing Infrastructure in the North and Terrorism Emergency Readiness Act of 2019
  • H.R. 4761 – DHS Opioid Detection Resilience Act of 2019
  • H.R. 4739 – Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and Training Act
  • H.R. 4727 – Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program Act of 2019
  • H.R. 3318 – Emerging Transportation Security Threats Act of 2019
  • H.R. 4713 – Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Authorization Act
  • H.R. 4402 – Inland Waters Security Review Act
  • H.R. 3469 – Covert Testing and Risk Mitigation Improvement Act of 2019
  • S. 256 – Esther Martinez Native Languages Programs Reauthorization Act
  • H.R. 5035 – Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019

Three rule bills are on the calendar, including the highly controversial H.R. 3. On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:00 PM for legislative business and consider H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act. Wednesday through the balance of the week, the House will consider H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The latter of these two has been the center of much controversy and has been anticipated to come to the floor for months now. Most recently, there have been reports of a Congressional Progressive Caucus effort to block the bill this week.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) wrapped up its public hearings a few weeks ago, and both parties have released their reports. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) is now back in the game. They held one hearing last week with four constitutional scholars as witnesses. A second hearing is ongoing this morning, as this email is being sent. Details and witnesses can be found here. Also notably, Speaker Pelosi announced last week that Democrats will be proceeding with articles of impeachment. The timeline for these and next steps is still very much in flux, but House Leadership has signaled that they will try and finish the process before the end of the year.

The full House committee schedule for the week is here.


The Senate will convene at 3:00 PM today to resume consideration of Patrick J. Bumatay to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. The roll call vote on cloture will be at 5:30 PM today. Cloture was also filed last week on Lawrence VenDyke to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, John Joseph Sullivan to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Russian Federation, Stephen Hahn to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services, and Aurelia Skipwith to be Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The full Senate committee schedule for the week is here.