WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Mar 13-17, 2017)

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The Congressional Budget Office releases its report on costs and coverage numbers for the House Republican health plan, which is slated for mark-up in the Budget Committee on Wednesday.  On Tuesday, President Trump submits his budget to Congress. 

The Senate votes on the president's choice to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, while the nominee for U.S. Trade Rep will get a hearing. The House will vote on changes to hiring and disciplinary procedures at the VA, Homeland Security acquisition processes, and a bill to limit VA mental health findings from impacting firearms permit determinations.


House Budget Markup of the American Health Care Act

The much–anticipated report on costs and coverage estimates for the House Republican health plan will is expected on Monday. The bill will get "marked up" in the House Budget Committee on Wednesday, after being favorably reported out of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees last week.


 

Presidential actions and oversight

Wiretapping claims
Monday is the deadline for the Department of Justice to comply with a bipartisan letter from House Intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff requesting evidence to support President Trump's claims that former President Obama "tapped the wires" in Trump Tower.

Revised Travel Ban executive order
With the President's revised travel ban executive order set to go into effect at 12:01 AM ET on Thursday, several court challenges to the order will go forward this week, including cases in Maryland, Hawaii, and Washington.

 

The Presidential Budget
This week President Trump submits his budget to Congress. While the president's budget is generally a suggestion of how an administration would like Congress to construct the budget that eventually passes, this first budget from the Trump Administration may provide the most comprehensive picture to date of the new president's governing vision and priorities. Presidential budgets are scored by the CBO, and most kick off a series of budget hearings in relevant committees, in which administration officials testify about the plans and needs of their agencies. Notably, Congress chose not to hold hearings on the budget submitted by President Obama in his final year.


In the Senate: Confirmation Hearings and Votes

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of the nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

 

Seema Verma

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
 

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the President's nominee to be the U.S. Trade Represenative.

 

Robert Lighthizer

U.S. Trade Represenative

 


In the House: Changes to VA Hiring and Disciplinary Practices

Establish a database for recruiting and job placement,

Measure and collect information on hiring, and

Establish a fellowship program for management.

(Source: CBO)

 

  • H.R. 1259 – VA Accountability First Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1]

    H.R. 1259 would modify administrative procedures of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) affecting disciplinary actions for employees. Additionally, H.R. 1259 would give VA the authority to recoup all or part of bonuses and awards paid to employees and grant the authority to recoup amounts spent to relocate VA employees if the department determines the recoupment is appropriate. (Source: CBO)

  •  

Also in the House: 

  • H.R. 1181: Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
    Sponsor: Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1]

    H.R. 1181 would modify an existing requirement that certain individuals determined to be mentally incompetent by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) be prohibited from purchasing or possessing legal firearms. 

    Under current law, when VA deems individuals to be mentally incapacitated, mentally incompetent, experiencing an extended loss of consciousness, or otherwise unable to manage their own affairs, the department is required to provide that information to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Such individuals are then added to the list of those prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Under H.R. 1181, a judicial authority would have to determine that veterans are dangerous before VA would be required to report them to DOJ. CBO expects that such a requirement would have an insignificant effect on VA’s workload. (Source: CBO)


Also in the House

 


Please keep in mind that highlighting specific legislation 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.