POPVOX / Federal

Bringing the voice of the people to federal lawmakers.

JJuly 17, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jul 17-21, 2017)

House and Senate are in. While the voting schedule looks light, a lot of work is going on under the surface. The House will attempt to pass all twelve appropriations bills out of committee this week, for a possible omnibus funding bill vote before the August recess. (While the Senate has postponed its recess for two weeks, the House has not yet made an announcement.) The Senate planned for this week to focus on the health bill but that has been delayed after Senator McCain underwent surgery. Negotiations on the health package will continue, while committees will work on appropriations bills, vote on the FBI director nomination, and examine the road ahead for tax reform.


July 10, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jul 10-14, 2017)

Welcome back! We hope you had a wonderful 4th of July week and are enjoying your summer. Congress is back after a week-long recess with a lot to get done before August recess: pass a budget (or not?), pass 12 spending bills (or a continuing resolution), raise the debt ceiling. And all of that was supposed to come after the health care bill that appears stalled in the Senate. Several members are calling for canceling the annual break altogether.


June 23, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Jun 19-24, 2017)

All about the Health Care Bill…

This week in Congress was all about the health bill – from speculation about the content and complaints about the opaque process in the beginning of the week to analysis and commentary after the Thursday release. Also this week: the President signed the VA Accountability Act and new revelations surfaced about Russian efforts to hack the 2016 election.


June 22, 2017

Senate Health Care Draft Released

On June 22, 2017, Senate Republicans released a discussion draft for their health bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act: The "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017"


June 19, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jun 19-24, 2017)

All eyes on Senate Health Care bill…

The focus of the week will be health care, as the Senate works toward an agreement on a bill that GOP leadership hopes can get a vote before July 4. Senate Democrats plan to make speeches and hold the Senate Floor until midnight on Tuesday to protest the closed process for crafting the bill. The House will vote on several workforce development bills, including a renewal of the Perkins Act, which provides financial assistance for technical education. The House will also take up a series of bills that impact families in the foster care system and bills concerning the Department of Homeland Security.


June 16, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Jun 12-16 2017)

A week of hugs, tears, prayers, and unity…

A Wednesday morning shooting at House Republicans’ practice for the Congressional Baseball Game left five injured. The Congressional Baseball Game went ahead on Thursday night as scheduled, uniting lawmakers and much of political Washington, at least for one night. In other news, a small group of GOP senators continues work on a health care bill, amid growing complaints about the secrecy of the process. The House passed several bills in its "Part Three" plan for revamping the health system. The Senate voted on several significant international affairs bills, including narrowly approving the Saudi Arms Sale, overwhelmingly passing an amendment to add tough sanctions on Russia to its Iran sanctions bill, and an amendment reaffirming America's commitment to NATO's Article 5 "mutual assistance" principle.


June 12, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jun 12-16, 2017)

The big action this week will be on the appropriations process, which kicks off Monday, and again on Russia hearings in the Senate (AG Sessions set to testify on Tuesday). The House will vote on several bills to accelerate permitting for energy projects, a bill to standardize medical malpractice statutes of limitation for services or procedures financed by federal funds. The Senate will continue work on the Iran sanctions bill.


June 9, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Jun 4-9, 2017)

It was a short but busy recess week

It was a week for the history books, as the former FBI Director testified before Senate Intelligence. While all eyes were on the Comey hearing, the House passed a major bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations and significantly change the U.S. regulatory process. The Senate GOP kept working behind the scenes on a health care bill, and we saw the first signs of life in the appropriations process.


June 5, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jun 5-9, 2017)

Congress returns from recess (Senate in today, House back on Tuesday). All eyes will be on Senate Intelligence with a series of hearings culminating in the testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey on Thursday. The House will vote on a bill to unwind the Dodd-Frank financial regulations.


June 2, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (May 30 – Jun 2, 2017)

It was a short but busy recess week

President Trump announced Thursday that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. The backbeat of the Russia investigation continued. While members were away, staffers huddled to work on the Senate health care bill and lay the groundwork for Congressional budget bills.


May 26, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (May 22-26, 2017)

Memorial Day wishes…

The long-awaited CBO score for the House GOP health bill now clears the way for the Senate to cut its own path. The president released his budget and as usual, Congress will work on its own. But they'd better get moving. The legislative window is starting to close if Congress still hopes to do health care changes under a 2017 budget resolution and move on to tax reform with a 2018 resolution after September. One thing in Washington is not slowing down: the Russia investigation. With new developments every day and at least five simultaneous investigations in play, it's starting to consume the agenda in DC. But thankfully, it's Memorial Day weekend! Members are home in their districts, parades are scheduled, and it's a time for all of us to give thanks and remember those who sacrificed. To all who have served and all who have lost loved ones, thank you for your service.


May 22, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (May 22-26, 2017)

This week the House votes on bills related to protecting children and improving access to benefits for veterans. The Senate will vote on nominations for the ambassador to China and the deputy secretary of State. Senators may also vote on the first Trump appeals court nomination.

Look for two significant developments this week: the president’s budget will be formally transmitted to Congress on Tuesday and the “score” of the House health bill is expected from the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday.


May 19, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (May 15-19, 2017)

It's not a stretch…

to say that this was one of the crazier weeks in American political history. 

Most of the Capitol Hill coverage centered around reactions to revelations of former FBI Director Comey's notes about interactions with the president reports that the president gave classified information to the Russians, and the appointment of a special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Also this week, the FCC voted to begin the process of rolling back net neutrality rules; the tax-writing committee held a hearing to kick off tax reform efforts; and a group of senators met to discuss the outlines of a potential bipartisan health bill. Efforts to reform and upgrade government technology also got a boost with a House vote and a White House pow-wow. And the House passed several bills to mark National Police Week.


May 15, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (May 15-19, 2017)

House members return to Washington in the wake of the FBI Director firing that rocked Washington last week. For Police Week, the House will take on several related bills, including a bill making it easier to apply the death penalty in federal cases that involve the killing of a law enforcement officer.

The House will also take up a bipartisan Syria sanctions bill that would target the Assad regime and its supporters. Also in the House, a bill to update federal information technology.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on several nominations, including the Deputy Secretary of Transportation and the Associate Attorney General.


May 12, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (May 8-12, 2017)

FBI Director firing dominated the week…

Monday started with Senate testimony from Sally Yates and James Clapper, quickly eclipsed by the firing of FBI Director Comey on Tuesday. House members were in districts this week, where many held town hall meetings. Senate held votes on several nominations, including the U.S. Trade Representative, and a failed vote to overturn the Obama-era methane rule.


May 5, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (May 1-5, 2017)

Health bill crosses first hurdle…

The House passed the American Health Care Act, moving the action on health care to the Senate. Congress passed the Omnibus spending bill to fund the government through September, with a bipartisan compromise that had both sides claiming a win.


May 3, 2017

Omnibus Spending bill passed the House, heads to Senate

The bipartisan spending bill funds the government through October 1, 2017. View section-by-section summaries of the spending bill provisions:


May 1, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (May 1-5, 2017)

This week, Congress must vote on a spending deal to avoid a government shut-down (after they passed a one-week extension last Friday) and the House may take a vote on a revised Republican health care plan.

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of Jay Clayton to the SEC and the House will consider several financial services bills.