Capitol Hill Update: January 29, 2018


The House and Senate are in session this week.


It’ll be a short week for both chambers. Monday is the only day currently on the shortened calendar with any votes. There are seven bills on the suspension calendar, none of which appear controversial. Bills on the suspension calendar require two-thirds of members present for passage. These bills can also be voice voted out of the chamber.

The House will convene on Tuesday at 10 am for morning hour and at noon for legislative business. The only bill on the calendar is H.R. 695. The bill was originally the Child Protection Improvements Act. It passed the House and the Senate, where it was amended. The Senate sent it back to the House on December 20. The House Rules Committee will attach the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2018 to the bill. The House had already passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2018, but it was never brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

The House will not be in session Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The State of the Union address, which will be discussed below, and the House and Senate Republican issues conference on the agenda for the week. The issues conference will be held at The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and is hosted by the Congressional Institute.

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


The Senate will convene on Monday at 2:00 pm to consider the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S. 2311. Like the House, the Senate faces a shortened work week with the State of the Union and the House and Senate Republican issues conference on the agenda.

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

Joint Session:

Members of the House and Senate will convene for a Joint Session of Congress at 8:35 pm Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. The speech the president gave to Congress on February 28, 2017 was not considered a State of the Union address.

The theme of the speech is "Building a Safe, Strong and Proud America." President Trump is expected to talk about the accomplishments of his administration during his first year in office, focusing on five major issue areas. Of course, other issues will be discussed, some of which will be new for this White House.

The president is expected to discuss job growth and the economy. There is likely to be a focus on the tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress before Christmas, and his administration’s regulatory efforts. He is likely to shed more light on his infrastructure plan, some details of which were leaked last week. Immigration, trade, and national security are also expected to receive attention.

The tone is expected to bipartisan, although there are likely be calls to action for Congress, and forward-looking.

FreedomWorks is planning Facebook live streams on Tuesday for the State of the Union address. We’ll chat with Steve Moore, our senior economic contributor, at 11:30 am and, separately, we’ll chat with Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Dave Brat (R-Va.) at 3:00 pm about what they want to hear from President Trump. You can watch those Tuesday on FreedomWorks’ Facebook page.