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.
 


THIS WEEK'S HEARINGS


The Big Issue: Government funding authority expires midnight April 28.

 

Without Congressional action to extend spending authority, the government will shut down at midnight April 28th. Bipartisan support is required for any funding bill to pass. Negotiations are ongoing around several issues:
  • Border Wall: President Trump wants a funding bill to include money to begin building a southern border wall.
  • Defense spending: Republicans also want an increase in military spending.
  • ACA Insurance subsidies: The White House has threatened to stop some cost-sharing payments to health insurers, which insurers have said would cause them to raise rates.
  • Miners' health benefits: Government-funded health benefits for miners are also set to expire. Some lawmakers are pushing to make the benefits permanent.

Lawmakers may vote on a new funding bill or opt to extend existing funding in the short-term to allow more time for negotiations.

 

 


In the Senate:
Secretary of Agriculture nomination

 

Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary nominee, Sonny Perdue


George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III (born December 20, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 81st Governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011.  On March 30, 2017, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved his nomination by a 19-1 vote.
 


In the House: Fannie / Freddie Transparency, Copyright Register, and more



H.R. 1694: Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act
Sponsor:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3]

The bill amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to make its provisions apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when the two entities are in federal conservatorship or receivership. Source: CBO



H.R. 1695: Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act
Sponsor:
Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6]

The bill requires the Register of Copyrights to be nominated by the President of the United States and subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  Currently the Register is appointed by, and responsible to, the Librarian of Congress. 



H.R. 876: Aviation Employee Screening and Security Enhancement Act of 2017
Sponsor:
Rep. John Katko [R, NY-24]
 

The bill would require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to undertake a variety of activities to improve the effectiveness of processes for screening, vetting, and credentialing personnel at airports, particularly individuals with access to secure areas.



H.R. 1372: Homeland Security for Children Act
Sponsor:
Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10]

The bill would require that the needs of children are considered in homeland security planning, 



S. 496: To repeal the rule issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration entitled “Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform”
Sponsor:
Sen. Tammy Duckworth [D, IL]


The bill would repeal the Obama Administration’s Metropolitan Planning  Organization rule.



H.R. 534: U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act
Sponsor:
Rep. Tom Emmer [R, MN-6]


The bill calls on the Secretary of State to rejoin the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to give U.S. cities a chance at competing for an Expo on the world stage. (The last U.S. hosted World's Fair was New Orleans in 1984.)
 


Also in the House:


H.Res. 187: Relating to efforts to respond to the famine in South Sudan

Sponsor:
Rep. Karen Bass [D, CA-37]

 

H.R. 534: U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act Sponsor:
Rep. Tom Emmer [R, MN-6]


The bill calls on the Secretary of State to rejoin the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to give U.S. cities a chance at competing for an Expo on the world stage. (The last U.S. hosted World's Fair was New Orleans in 1984.)

H.R. 455: To designate the United States courthouse located at 501 East Court Street in Jackson, Mississippi, as the “R. Jess Brown United States Courthouse” Sponsor:
Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2]


 


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.