WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (May 1-5, 2017)
Things may sound a little familiar…
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.
Government funding deal coming
Late Sunday evening, reports of a $1 trillion deal began to emerge that would fund the government through October 1:
- $2 billion for NIH and the "cancer moonshot" begun under President Obama
- Long-term extension of miner's health benefits
- $15 billion in new defense spending to combat terrorism
- $1.5 billion for border security (though not for the construction of a border wall)
- $2 billion in disaster funding for California, West Virginia, Louisiana and North Carolina
As noted by U.S. News, the bill would be "the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during President Donald Trump's short tenure in the White House." The bill will require Democratic votes to pass.
Notably, the deal does not contain some of the more contentious provisions that were under consideration:
- It does not fund a border wall
- It does not de-fund Planned Parenthood
- It does not eliminate funding for sanctuary cities
GOP Health Bill may be closer to vote
Most expect that the House will turn back to its health care bill as soon as a spending deal passes. Members continue to refine the MacArthur Amendment hat emerged last week (a change introduced by Rep. Tom MacArthur [R, NJ] to the to the House GOP American Health Care Act).
The amendment allows states to apply for waivers to permit exceptions to key provisions of the original Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), such as requirements to cover "essential health benefits," requiring coverage of preexisting conditions, and allowing rates to be set based on medical history.
Over the weekend, however, President Trump said that the new plan would guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions.
In the Senate:
Walter J. "Jay" Clayton is an American attorney who specializes in mergers and acquisitions transactions and capital markets offerings. He is a partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. He is President-elect Donald Trump's selection to chair the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In the House: Financial Services, FEMA, and more
Rep. French Hill [R, AR-2]
The bill establishes a safe harbor that would allow broker-dealers to issue research reports that cover Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), so that these reports are not considered “offers” under the securities law.
Rep. Bruce Poliquin [R, ME-2]
The bill requires the SEC to respond to recommendations by the Forum on Small Business Capital Formation.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez [D, NY-7]
The bill would end the registration exemption for companies that issue securities in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other United States possessions.
Rep. Sean Duffy [R, WI-7]
The bill would extend whistleblower protections to fed employees who refuse to violate federal rules or regs (currently only applies to laws)
Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3]
The bill would establish a commission to plan for commemoration of arrival and influence of Africans and descendants in America since 1619.
Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-39]
The bill would expand existing sanctions and impose new sanctions against North Korea.
Rep. Rodney Davis [R, IL-13]
H.R. 1665 would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to give greater consideration to the local effects of disaster events when reviewing state or tribal requests for a major disaster declaration.
Rep. Garret Graves [R, LA-6]
The bill would require FEMA to modernize its grant management system and provide secure online access to applicants.
H.R. 1678: To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act concerning the statute of limitations for actions to recover disaster or emergency assistance payments
Rep. Lois Frankel [D, FL-21]
H.R. 1678 would establish a three-year statute of limitations on actions to recover Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants provided to state or local governments following a declared disaster.
Rep. Martha Roby [R, AL-2]
H.R. 1180 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide compensatory time for employees in the private sector. In lieu of overtime pay, employees could receive compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime pay would otherwise have been required.