Capitol Hill Update: November 16, 2020


The House and Senate are in session this week.


The Senate will reconvene on Monday at 3:00 pm to resume consideration of the nomination of Kristi Haskins Johnson to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. A vote on the cloture motion for Johnson’s nomination is expected around 5:30 pm. In addition to Johnson’s nomination, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture on six other nominations last week that will be considered on the floor this week.

  • Benjamin Joel Beaton to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
  • Judy Shelton to serve as a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Toby Crouse to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • Stephen A. Vaden to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of International Trade
  • Kathryn Kimball Mizelle to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Taylor B. McNeel to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

FreedomWorks will be scoring in favor of Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve. The nomination is for the unexpired term of Janet Yellen, who was confirmed in 2010. If confirmed, Shelton would serve through January 2024. Shelton has been criticized by many in the Washington establishment because of her views on the gold standard. As FreedomWorks’ John Tamny has written, “Funny about this manufactured controversy is that while a return to a gold-defined dollar would be a marked improvement on what we have now, the Federal Reserve is not empowered to bring about a return. And as Shelton would be the lone Fed board member promoting a stable dollar, what she wants is not what the Fed would deliver even if it could.” He added, “So what is it that Shelton’s critics are so afraid of?…If their reluctance is tied to a yellow metal, please be prepared for explanations that sound like Joe Biden sans a teleprompter. Those who despise the gold standard really don’t know what they despise.”

The full Senate committee schedule for the week is here.


The House will be in session every day this week. We do expect them to begin legislative business this morning, but any votes would be pushed into the afternoon. That was how the House handled business prior to the fall recess. Regardless, the House is taking up 54 bills this week under the suspension of the rules. We imagine these bills, which are listed below, will dominate the floor activity between Monday and Wednesday.

  • H.R. 1964, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Recognition Act
  • H.R. 6237, Proper and Reimbursed Care for Native Veterans Act
  • S. 327, Wounded Veterans Recreation Act
  • S. 1069, Digital Coast Act
  • S. 910, National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act
  • S. 3587, Department of Veterans Affairs Website Accessibility Act
  • S. 900, To designate the community-based outpatient clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Bozeman, Montana, as the "Travis W. Atkins Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic"
  • S. 3147, Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act
  • H.R. 4499, NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act
  • H.R. 5688, MODERN Labeling Act
  • H.R. 4712, Fairness in Orphan Drug Exclusivity Act
  • H.R. 2466, State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act
  • H.R. 2281, Easy MAT for Opioid Addiction Act
  • H.R. 2117, FASTER Act
  • H.R. 5855, Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act
  • H.R. 3878, Block, Report, And Suspend Shipments Act
  • H.R. 4806, DEBAR Act
  • H.R. 4812, Ensuring Compliance Against Drug Diversion Act
  • H.R. 6096, READI Act
  • H.R. 6624, USA Telecommunications Act
  • H.R. 7310, Spectrum IT Modernization Act
  • H.R. 2610, Fraud and Scam Reduction Act
  • H.R. 6435, Combating Pandemic Scams Act
  • H.R. 8121, Pandemic Effects on Home Safety and Tourism Act
  • H.R. 2914, Housing Survivors of Major Disaster Act
  • H.R. 8408, Aircraft Certification Reform and Accountability Act
  • H.R. 8266, FEMA Assistance Relief Act
  • H.R. 4611, Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II
  • H.R. 8326, Child Care is Economic Development Act
  • H.R. 5919, National Children’s Museum Act
  • S. 1869, Secure Federal Leases Act
  • H.R. 5953, Preventing Disaster Revictimization Act
  • H.R. 4358, Preliminary Damage Assessment Improvement Act
  • H.R. 5586, Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act
  • H.R. 4636, PLASTICS Act
  • H.R. 4802, To amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize rewards under the Department of State’s reward program relating to information regarding individuals or entities engaged in activities in contravention of United States or United Nations sanctions, and for other purposes
  • H.R. 5408, Ukraine Religious Freedom Support Act
  • H.R. 7703, Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Authorization Act
  • H.R. 7954, Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act
  • H.R. 8405, American Values and Security in International Athletics Act
  • H.R. 8438, Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act
  • H.Res. 672, Expressing support of the Three Seas Initiative in its efforts to increase energy independence and infrastructure connectivity thereby strengthening the United States and European national security
  • H.Res. 825, A resolution urging the United States to continue to be a leader in supporting the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the global nonproliferation regime to reap the benefits the NPT and such regime bring to United States and international security
  • H.Res. 1145, Condemning the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and calling for a robust United States and international response
  • H.R. 4644, Libya Stabilization Act
  • H.R. 6334, Securing America from Epidemics Act
  • H.R. 7276, Desert Locust Control Act
  • H.R. 7990, FENTANYL Results Act
  • H.Res. 349, Reaffirming the vital role of the United States-Japan alliance in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond
  • H.Res. 697, A resolution affirming the significance of the advocacy for genuine autonomy for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China and the work His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama has done to promote global peace, harmony, and understanding
  • H.Res. 809, Expressing the importance of the United States alliance with the Republic of Korea and the contributions of Korean Americans in the United States
  • H.Res. 1012, Resolution Recognizing the historic transformation of the United States-Republic of Korea alliance since the Korean War into a mutually beneficial, global partnership
  • H.Res. 1033, Condemning acts by the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that violate fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents as well as acts that undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy
  • H.Res. 1062, Affirming the nature and importance of the United States-Iraq bilateral relationship, including security and economic components of the relationship

Bills that come to the floor under suspension of the rules require two-thirds of members present and voting for passage. This is the most common way that bills considered by the House come to the floor. Some of these bills may be passed by a voice vote, rather than a roll call vote. Most bills that come to the floor under suspension aren’t widely considered controversial, although leadership may occasionally test a bill under suspension to gauge opposition or sneak a bill through the chamber.

The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday at 10:00 am to consider the rule and determine which, if any, of the amendments filed for the National Apprenticeship Act, H.R. 8294 will be allowed on the floor. The National Apprenticeship Act codifies the Office of Apprenticeship inside the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor, codifies National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships, codifies the requirements to recognize state apprenticeship agencies and state offices of apprenticeship, requires the Department of Education and Department of Labor to enter into an agreement to various types of apprenticeship programs, codifies occupations standards, registration of apprenticeship programs, evaluation of programs, and more. The National Apprenticeship Act authorizes appropriations of $350 million over five years. Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee criticized the National Apprenticeship Act as a “one-size-fits-all” approach that “would severely limit the ability to fully meet the demands within the apprenticeship space.” Republicans also blasted the bureaucracy that the bill would create.

The full House committee schedule for the week is here.