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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.
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:
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.
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.