Capitol Hill Update: June 19, 2017


The House and Senate are in session this week.


Members will fly in on Tuesday after what was a terrifying and emotional week. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) remains in serious condition at MedStar Washington Hospital. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at FreedomWorks remain with Whip Scalise, his family, his colleagues, and his staff.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver a speech on tax reform today at the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Summit in Washington, D.C. It’s Speaker Ryan’s first major speech on tax reform, coming a year after House Republican leadership unveiled the conference’s tax reform blueprint.

On Tuesday, the House is scheduled to consider 14 bills on the suspension calendar. Included on the suspension calendar is the Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act, H.R. 2857, introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), and the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, H.R. 1393, sponsored by Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.).

The Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act would allow states to use federal funds to support a child while his or her parent is treated for drug addiction. The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act seeks to simplify state income tax for employees who work more than 30 days outside of the state in which they reside.

On Wednesday, the House will consider the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act, H.R. 1873, sponsored by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), which relates to electric companies’ long-term plans for infrastructure on federal lands and the maintenance of plants and trees that grow in the impacted areas.

The House will, on Thursday, take up the Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act, H.R. 1654, introduced by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). California is getting over a severe man-made drought. This bill would make it easier for water utilities in states to cut through red tape to build dams and other water storage facilities more quickly.

And on Friday, the House will consider the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act, H.R. 2842, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.). The bill would set up a pilot program, funded to the tune of $100 million, to subsidize the wages of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients. The funds are already appropriated out of the TANF contingency fund. Up to 50 percent of a recipient’s wages would be covered by federal funds through a state.

One programming note. The Protecting Access to Care Act, H.R. 1215, introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) did not come up for a vote last week. House leadership pulled the bill from the floor because of concerns that the bill preempted states by moving medical malpractice torts into the federal court system. It’s unclear when, or if, the bill will come up for a vote.

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


All eyes are on the Senate as it prepares to roll out its version of the American Health Care Act, H.R. 1628. It’s likely that the Senate’s version of the bill will keep Medicaid expansion around longer than the House version, which repealed expansion on January 1, 2020, and extend some of ObamaCare’s tax hikes. The bill will likely also include funds to address the opioid crisis. Additional funding for tax credits and preexisting conditions were a forgone conclusion.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still wants to vote on the Senate’s version of the AHCA before the Independence Day recess, likely whether he has the votes or not. Reconciliation rules require a voterama in the Senate, making it likely that conservatives in the conservatives in the upper chamber will offer amendments to improve the bill. Ahead of all of this, however, Senate Democrats will attempt to slow down the process, as The Hill reports that they will stage a protest today on the floor.

Additionally, several nominees are awaiting floor consideration. The Senate is expected to take up the Coast Guard Authorization Act, S. 1129, and the FDA Reauthorization Act, S. 934, in the coming days.

On Wednesday, the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget request and his trade policy agenda. Separately, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will consider the nomination of Neomi Rao to serve as administrator of White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

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