Capitol Hill Update: July 22, 2019

Schedule: The House and Senate are in session this week.

Impeachment Resolution: Last week, the House voted on a privileged impeachment resolution authored by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) regarding President Trump’s tweets aimed at Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar, and Tlaib. A vote to table the resolution, which passed 332-95, prevented the resolution from moving forward. The resolution was not backed by House Democratic leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is waiting on investigations surrounding the “serious” and potentially, in their view, stronger case for impeachment that may come from such investigations.

Minimum Wage Bill: The House of Representatives also voted last week to pass a bill by a vote of 231-199, the Raise the Wage Act, that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over five years. As FreedomWorks noted in our key vote against the bill, a more appropriate short title for H.R. 582 would be the “Guaranteed Unemployment for Low-Skill and Entry-Level Workers Act.” Three Republicans, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-N.Y.), Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) voted for the bill, and six Democrats voted against it.

Suspensions: The House will return tomorrow. Legislative business begins Tuesday at 2:00 pm. Votes are postponed until 6:30 pm. There are a total of 34 bills coming to the floor on suspension this week.

  • H.R. 36 – Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act
  • H.R. 3196 – Vera C. Rubin Observation Designation Act
  • H.R. 34 – Energy and Water Research Integration Act
  • H.R. 1665 – Building Blocks of STEM Act
  • H.R. 2397 – American Manufacturing Leadership Act
  • H.R. 3153 – EFFORT Act
  • H.R. 617 – Department of Energy and Veterans’ Health Initiative Act
  • H.Res. 246 – Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel
  • H.R. 1837 – United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act
  • H.R. 1850 – Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevent Act
  • H.Res. 358 – Calling on the Government of Cameroon and armed groups to respect the human rights of all Cameroonian citizens, to end all the violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions
  • H.R. 2943 – Providing Benefits Information in Spanish and Tagalog for Veterans and Families Act, as amended
  • H.R. 2942 – HEALTH Act
  • H.R. 3504 – Ryan Kules Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act
  • H.R. 549 – Venezuela TPS Act
  • H.R. 2938 – HAVEN Act
  • H.R. 3304 – National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act
  • H.R. 3311 – Small Business Reorganizing Act
  • S. 504 – LEGION Act
  • H.R. 3409 – Coast Guard Authorization Act
  • H.R. 1984 – DISASTER ACT
  • H.R. 3245 – Restore Harmony Way Bridge Act
  • H.R. 1307 – Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act
  • H.R. 3352 – Department of State Authorization Act
  • H.R. 1365 – To make technical corrections to the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act
  • H.R. 434 – Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act
  • H.R. 759 – Ysleta del Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Settlement Act
  • H.R. 3375 – Stopping Bad Robocalls Act
  • H.R. 2035 – Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act
  • H.R. 776 – Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Reauthorization Act
  • H.R. 1058 – Autism CARES Act
  • H.R. 2507 – Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act
  • H.R. 693 – PAST Act
  • H.R. 3299 – PRIDE Act

Rule bills: The House will consider two rule bills this week, H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act and H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act.

There may be other bills on the floor: The House may consider H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act, subject to a rule.

Committee schedules: The House committee schedule for the week can be found here and the Senate schedule is here.

In the Senate: The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, July 22nd. The Senate will resume consideration of Executive Calendar #374, Mark T. Esper, of Virginia, to be Secretary of Defense. At 5:30 pm, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Esper nomination.

These nominees are expected to receive confirmation votes this week:

  • Mark T. Esper, of Virginia, to be Secretary of Defense.
  • Stephen M. Dickson, of Georgia, to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for the term of five years.
  • Wendy Williams Berger, of Florida, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida.
  • Brian C. Buescher, of Nebraska, to be United States District Judge for the District of Nebraska.

At 2:30 pm on Tuesday, the Senate will proceed to three roll call votes on the following in relation to H.R.1327, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, following an effort by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to secure votes on amendments to ensure any spending in the bill is offset.

  • Lee amendment #928 (60 vote threshold)
  • Paul amendment #929 (60 vote threshold)
  • Passage of H.R.1327 (as amended, if amended)

Potential Budget Caps Deal: It is rumored that a caps deal is in the works to bust the discretionary spending caps set in the Budget Control Act by more than $350 billion over two years. Although there are discussions of some offsets, which is mildly encouraging, one particularly toxic “offset” would be implementing government price controls in the healthcare market. Additionally, though, any spending above the caps is too much, no matter the offsets in play.

Oversight Hearing on JUUL: On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining JUUL’s Role in the Youth Nicotine Epidemic.” The focus is set to be JUUL’s marketing practices and whether or not they target minors. It is very concerning that a congressional subcommittee would target a private company in this way, especially when experts have been clamoring for a safer alternative to smoking for years.

Price Controls in Senate Finance: Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has proposed an amendment to the Senate Finance Committee’s drug package that would impose a monetary penalty on drug manufacturers that increase the prices of their medicine more than inflation. This is another way Congress is trying to implement price controls and meddle in the pharmaceutical market space.