Capitol Hill Update: February 10, 2020

Schedule: The House and Senate are in session this week. The House returns today and will be in session through Thursday. The Senate returns today at 3:00 pm and will be in session through Thursday.

Deficit watch: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the budget deficit through the first four months of FY 2020 is $388 billion, an increase of 78 billion compared to the same period of FY 2019. Tax receipts are up by 6 percent, but spending is up 10 percent. Notably, corporate tax receipts are up by 27.1 percent.

Suspensions: There are seven bills coming to the floor under suspension of the rules, including six federal office building namings. We expect that suspensions will be considered today and tomorrow.

  • H.R. 1980, Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act
  • H.R. 1494, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Homeland Security Partnerships Act
  • H.R. 504, DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act
  • H.R. 2932, Homeland Security for Children Act
  • H.R. 4737, Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act
  • H.R. 4432, Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats Act
  • H.R. 4753, Drone Origin Security Enhancement Act

Rule bills: The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday at 5:00 pm to consider amendments and the rule for the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, H.R. 2546, and the joint resolution removing the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, H.J. Res. 79.

Here’s what’s happening in House committees this week: The full House committee schedule for the week can be found here.

Senate: Before adjourning on Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture on five judges. The Senate will resume consideration of Andrew Lynn Brasher to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit when the senators return today at 3:00 pm. A roll call vote on the cloture motion is expected around 5:30 pm. The four other nominees on the agenda for the week are below.

  • Joshua M. Kindred to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska
  • Matthew Thomas Schelp to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • John Fitzgerald Kness to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Philip M. Halpern to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

It’s possible that the Senate takes up additional business this week: The Iran War Powers Resolution, S.J.Res. 69, which would direct the President to remove the United States from any military hostilities with Iran without an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), was supposed to come up in January, but the impeachment trial delayed consideration. Tensions around this aren’t running as high now, but we still expect a bipartisan vote on the Iran WPR. The House-passed CRA to nullify the Department of Education’s Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability Rule, H.J.Res. 76, could also come up this week.

And here’s what’s happening in Senate committees this week: The full Senate committee schedule for the week is here.