Capitol Hill Update: June 15, 2020


The Senate is in session this week. The House is in recess.


The Senate will return today at 3:00 to resume consideration of H.R. 1957, the vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act. The Senate will begin a series of three roll call votes around 5:30 pm. We believe the Senate could be done with the Great American Outdoors Act by Wednesday, but it’s unlikely that a time agreement will be reached to shorten that window.

The first vote on the Great American Outdoors Act will be on a motion to waive the budgetary points of order. Several budgetary points of order lie against the Great American Outdoors Act. The most likely budgetary point of order to be used is the Senate’s Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which is enforced through Section 4106 of H.Con.Res. 71. Although no cost estimate has been publicly released, the legislation is expected to increase mandatory outlays $17.3 billion over the next ten years without any offsets. FreedomWorks supports invoking budgetary points of order against the Great American Outdoors Act and opposes efforts to waive them. Waiving a point of order requires 60 votes. If the point of order is sustained, failing to get the required 60 votes, the Great American Outdoors Act would return to the committee of jurisdiction. We do plan to score this vote. The second vote in the series will be the adoption of the amendment with the text of the Great American Outdoors Act. The third and final vote will be on the cloture motion for H.R. 1957, which has a 60-vote threshold. If cloture is invoked, the Senate will enter into 30 hours of post-cloture time before a vote on final passage.

The full Senate committee schedule for the week is here.

  • Oversight of FCC Spectrum Auctions Program (Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Tuesday at 10:00 am)
  • Hearing to Examine the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Energy Industry (Energy and Natural Resources, Tuesday at 10:00 am)
  • The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress (Banking, House, and Urban Affairs; Tuesday at 10:00 am)
  • Police Use of Force and Community Relations (Judiciary, Tuesday at 2:30 pm)
  • Nominations Hearing (Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Tuesday at 2:30 pm)
  • Nominations (Judiciary, Wednesday at 10:00 am)
  • Telehealth: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Wednesday at 10:00 am)
  • The President’s 2020 Trade Policy Agenda (Finance, Wednesday at 3:00 pm)
  • Nominations (Armed Services, Thursday at 9:30 am)
  • Executive Business Meeting (Judiciary, Thursday at 10:00 am)

It’s possible that more committee hearings will be added.


The House has added Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26 to the calendar. The chamber will consider the Justice in Policing Act during these two days. As mentioned last week, the House will be in session for a few days during the week of June 29 before going into recess again for two weeks.

The full House committee schedule for the week can be found here, although several hearings for the week are listed below.

  • Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education (Education and Labor, Monday at 12:00 pm)
  • Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector (Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Tuesday at 12:00 pm)
  • Business as Usual? Assessing How DHS Can Resume Operations Safely (Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management, and Accountability, Tuesday at 12:00 pm)
  • Racial Disparity in the Military Justice System – How to Fix the Culture (Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Tuesday at 12:00 pm)
  • Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, Tuesday at 12:00 pm)
  • The 2020 Trade Policy Agenda (Ways and Means, Wednesday at 10:00 am)
  • Markup of H.R. 2, the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act’’ or the “INVEST in America Act” (Transportation and Infrastructure, Wednesday at 10:00 am)
  • Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System (Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Wednesday at 11:30 am)
  • Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy (Financial Services, Wednesday at 12:00 pm)
  • Paycheck Protection Program: Loan Forgiveness and Other Challenges (Small Business, Wednesday at 1:00 pm)
  • Diversity and Diplomacy: Why an Inclusive State Department Would Strengthen U.S. Foreign Policy (Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Oversight and Investigations, Wednesday at 1:00 pm)
  • The Unemployment Pandemic: Addressing America’s Jobs Crisis (Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Thursday at 12:00 pm)
  • Tax Relief to Support Workers and Families during the COVID-19 Recession (Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Thursday at 12:00 pm)
  • Emerging Trends in Online Foreign Influence Operations: Social Media, COVID-19, and Election Security (Intelligence, Thursday at 12:00 pm)
  • Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era (Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, Thursday at 4:00 pm)

It’s possible that more committee hearings will be added.