Gavel Down: Closing Out the Week in Congress — 10.16.15

2 min read

POPVOX This Week

Top Search on POPVOX: H.R. 3698

Most Active Issues on POPVOX:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement

from The Obama Administration

“The United States is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). TPP is a comprehensive agreement that will open markets, set high-standard trade rules, and address 21st-century issues in the global economy.”

Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act

from Senator David Vitter [R, LA]

“S. 2146 is a bill to hold sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for defying Federal law, to increase penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed, and to provide liability protection for State and local law enforcement who cooperate with Federal law enforcement and for other purposes.”

OCTOBER 8, 2015

Members of Congress made nice with stormtroopers and Darth Vader at Movie & TV Magic Day, hosted by the Creative Rights Caucus.
Check out POPVOX’s Capitol Hill eyes and ears for everyone


#HFC Joins Twitter

Twitter was a buzz this week with the House Freedom Caucus becoming a member. Check out all 21 congressional caucuses on Twitter.


On Tuesday, Democrats held their first Presidential Debate. POPVOX live-tweeted the debate with bills related to candidates’ mentions. Here are five bills pending in Congress that relate to the topics that got a mention in the first Democratic Debate.

#LWCF & Efforts to #LiftTheBan on Crude Oil Exports

We’re hearing rumblings that the Land and Water Conservation Fund (which ended on October 1 without Congressional reauthorization) could be added to a bill to lift the ban on crude oil exports, when it comes up in the Senate. (But President Obama has indicated a possible veto on that bill.)


Recess is the perfect time for staffers to get together and hammer out complex bargains… and this round of budget negotiations was no different. While Members were home on holiday, reports emerged about Majority Leader McConnell floating entitlement changes and House Democrats ruling that out. We expect to hear a lot more in the coming week.


November 3rd is now the big day, when the U.S. reaches its borrowing limit. (Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew delivered the bad news to Speaker John Boehner in a new letter this week.)
Most of Washington expects John Boehner to work a deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit. Senate Majority Leader McConnell sent hints that he wants other concessions to raise the limit (but is not expected to risk breaching the debt limit). The House Freedom Caucus has threatened to call a vote to remove John Boehner immediately if he goes through with the bipartisan approach.
Could this happen?

No #SocialSecurity Increase Next Year

While no inflation and low gas prices can be seen as a good thing, for seniors it means that for only the third time in 40 years, social security benefits will not have a cost of living increase next year. (The amount is tied to the consumer price index, which did not increase this year, in large part due to low gas prices.)


Before the House left town for recess, The House Budget Committee approved a reconciliation package to repeal key elements of the Affordable Care Act: the “cadillac tax”, the individual and employer mandates, medical device tax and employer auto-enrollment. It would also defund Planned Parenthood for a year. This bill will soon head for a vote on the House Floor and then off to the Senate, where it can be considered without a 60-vote cloture requirement (assuming the package passes muster with the Senate “Byrd Rule.”) The President is then expected to veto, setting up a veto override vote in Congress.

#TPP – not until Lame Duck?

It seems Congress may not take any action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement until after the 2016 Election.  President Obama has said he wants action on the trade agreement before the year is over.

Weekend Reads

Will the Default Prevention Act make debt ceiling standoffs less dangerous?  – Philip A. Wallach, Brookings

TPP – Big Business for Lobbyists – LobbyBlog

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate “Byrd Rule” – Congressional Research Service

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.