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April 28, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Apr. 24-28, 2017)

The week ended up where many expected…

Congress passed a one-week extension to fund the government past the April 28th deadline and did not hold a House vote on the health care bill.

The Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary, ensuring that President Trump’s cabinet reached 100% confirmed before the 100 Day mark.

Lawmakers spent a lot of time responding to developments in the executive branch, including: the release of the president’s tax reform outline, a Trump interview with Reuters indicating that “major major war” with North Korea was possible, and revelations that Trump’s former NSA advisor, Michael Flynn, accepted and did not report payments from foreign governments. In addition, President Trump and aides indicated support for proposals to “break up the 9th Circuit” Court of Appeals.

Also this week, the FCC released a proposed rule to roll back Title II Net Neutrality provisions that had prevented internet service providers from prioritizing certain content.


April 24, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Apr 24-28, 2017)

Congress returns from recess with an April 28th deadline looming. To avoid a government shutdown, lawmakers will either have to reach agreement on a spending bill or pass a short-term extension to allow negotiations to continue.

While the White House has implied that Congress would vote this week on a new bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, no text is yet available and the vote does not appear Congressional schedules.

So far, the docket for this week in the House includes extending FOIA to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while they are under federal receivership; making the Register of Copyrights a position that requires a presidential appointment and Senate confirmation; and increasing the security screening process for TSA agents.

This week the Senate will consider the nomination of Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture.


April 21, 2017

The first 100 Days of the 115th Congress

First 100 days…

You’re hearing a lot about President Trump’s first 100 days, but here at POPVOX, we’re all about Congress and legislation. Whether you’ve been too busy to pay attention or perhaps you got lost in all the developments (can you believe it’s already April?), we’ve created a quick look at what Congress has been up to in its first 100 days.


April 21, 2017

GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Apr. 17-21, 2017)

Week two of recess and lawmakers are preparing to return to Washington…

House Republicans are readying new version of an Obamacare replacement bill. Current spending authorization runs out next week, meaning Congress must pass a deal to avoid a government shutdown. The 115th Congress reached 100-day mark. White House is expected to drop tax overhaul plan next week. Speaker Ryan has said Congress might not pass a tax bill until much later in the year.


April 14, 2017

Former Congressman Scott Garrett to be nominated to head Export-Import Bank


On Friday, President Donald Trump named Republican Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The institution "aims to make U.S. exports more competitive around the world by lending money to foreign buyers."

"Mr. Garrett voted in 2012 and in 2015 against renewing the charter of the Ex-Im Bank, which guarantees loans for companies that export U.S. products." - Wall Street Journal


April 7, 2017

Gavel Down: Closing out the week in Congress

Senate made major rule change...

The Supreme Court will soon return to capacity with nine members. Senate Republicans invoked “nuclear option” and confirmed Neil Gorsuch with simple majority vote. Lawmakers responded to U.S. missile attack on Syria with mix of concern and praise, with several members calling on Trump administration to seek authorization from Congress for use of military force. House Republicans are working on reviving Obamacare replacement legislation. House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes stepped aside in committee’s Russia probe. North Korea launched another missile, with President Trump saying the U.S. is ready to act alone on North Korea if China doesn’t intercede.


April 6, 2017

Congress responds to US strikes on Syrian airbase

"The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in retaliation for their chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week." - CNN

Here are the immediate responses from Members of Congress to reports of the military strike:

April 3, 2017

The Week Ahead in Congress

All eyes on the Senate this week for the vote on Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. The House will vote on a bill to add North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea is on the agenda for the first meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.


March 31, 2017

Gavel Down: Closing out the week in Congress

Congressional Review Act stayed in the spotlight…

Congress passed bill to allow states to deny federal funds to clinics that provide abortions. State Dept. notified Congress it will proceed on Bahrain arms sale without human rights conditions, kicking off approval period. House joined Senate in passing bill to reverse broadband privacy rules for internet service providers. Senate Intelligence held open hearing on Russia investigation. House Intelligence postponed second public Russia hearing and cancelled meetings for the week. Senate Judiciary teed up Supreme Court nominee vote for next week. President Trump signed four bills into law, reversing Obama era rules concerning education, public lands, and federal contractors. Senate committees advanced final Cabinet nominees to full Senate for consideration.


March 27, 2017

The Week Ahead in Congress

House votes on a significant change to requirements for science supporting EPA regulations and a Senate-passed resolution to overturn the FCC’s broadband privacy rule. The Senate will vote on ratification of Montenegro as the newest member of NATO. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence holds its first hearing into Russian Activities in the 2016 election.


March 24, 2017

Gavel Down: Closing out the week in Congress

From health care reform to Russia probe to Supreme Court nominee…

there was A LOT competing for your attention this week! House Republicans pulled the American Health Care Act without a vote and began looking to tax reform. Senate passed resolution reversing broadband privacy rules. Top officials confirmed FBI investigation into potential ties between Trump campaign team and Russian government and refuted President Trump's wiretapping claims. Bipartisan lawmakers called for independent commission to examine Russian interference in the 2016 election. Senate Judiciary held four-day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Senate confirmed new ambassador to Israel and held confirmation hearings for three more Trump nominees.


March 23, 2017

New CBO Score released for the AHCA

The Congressional Budget office has released its "score" of the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, based on changes made to the bill since the original score.


March 23, 2017

Supreme Court Nomination Hearings

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch spent the week testifying before Senate Judiciary. Every senator will vote on this nomination eventually.


March 23, 2017

What's up with the "same-day rule" and the AHCA?

We're getting lots of questions about the "same-day rule" and the revised American Health Care Act. Here's the deal:

The House sets its own rules for the chamber and for how each vote will be conducted. Noncontroversial bills can be considered under "suspension of the rules," but larger bills must be considered "under a rule."

Yesterday, House Rules met all day to consider amendments to the revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) and set the "rule" for how the legislation will be considered on the House floor. Recently, we talked about how Rules committee works and the spectrum of "rule" types, from open to closed. (If you missed that Q and A, here you go.)

After 11+ hours, Rules passed a "same-day" or "martial law" bill that allows the bill to be considered any time through Monday. (Normally a bill must have at least 24 hours from the time a rule is released before it gets a vote.) So, now everyone's in a holding pattern, and this could be a crazy weekend.

The same-day rule allows leadership to keep negotiating to reach deals (on both the rule and any amendments that it will allow) and then bring the rule to the floor as soon as they have an agreement.

So then what happens? Well, there will be debate on the rule, vote on the rule, and if it passes, the House will move to consider the bill under the procedure laid out in that rule. We will keep you posted every step of the way!


March 20, 2017

Senate Judiciary held confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Day two will begin tomorrow, March 21 at 9:30 am.

March 20, 2017

House Intelligence held first public hearing on Russia probe. FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testified before the committee.