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Capitol Hill Update: November 4, 2019

11/04/2019

Schedule:

The Senate is in session this week. The House is in recess until Tuesday, November 12. There are 20 scheduled legislative days left in the year for the House and 24 for the Senate. There are eight legislative days until the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on Thursday, November 21.

Senate:

The Senate will be in pro forma session today and will reconvene tomorrow at 10:00 am. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture late last week on the nomination of David Tapp to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A roll call vote on the cloture motion is expected to take place around 2:15 pm. There are four other nominees, listed below, expected to be on the floor this week.

  • Danielle J. Hunsaker to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • William Joseph Nardini to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Lee Philip Rudofsky to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • Jennifer Philpott Wilson to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Last week, the Senate passed H.R. 3055, which included the Senate’s versions of the Commerce, Justice, and Science; Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration; Interior and Environment; and Transportation and Urban Development appropriations bills for FY 2020. The vote was 84 to 9. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered his amendment to reduce spending by 2 percent, but that failed by a vote of 24 to 67.

There was a cloture vote on H.R. 2740. This is the vehicle for the Senate’s versions of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Defense, and Energy and Water appropriations bills for FY 2020. The cloture motion failed by a vote of 51 to 41. Sixty votes were needed to limit debate. Senate Democrats opposed the bill, according to Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), because the bill includes “authority for President Trump to raid American tax dollars from our military – money that is intended for specific military priorities – to pay for his wall, which he promised that Mexico would pay for.” Leahy also complained that funding for Labor-HHS-Education would be increased by “less than 1 percent.” He said spending on this appropriations bill should be increased by 3 percent.

We’ve heard that the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, H.R. 1994, could be the floor this week. This is the retirement security bill that passed the House back in May.

House:

The House is in recess until Tuesday, November 12. The depositions that are part of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump will continue.