WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Jun 26-30, 2017)

3 min read

Negotiations continue on the Senate health bill. The tone of the week will largely be determined by the CBO Score for the Senate Health — expected “early” this week.

The House will vote on a variety of topics, including increased penalties for convicted felons who return after deportation, a bill capping noneconomic losses in medical malpractice suits to $250,000, and a resolution reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Article V of NATO, among others.


In the Senate: Health Care Bill

The "score" from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected Monday or Tuesday, with estimates on total costs and coverage impacts of the bill.

Negotiations over the Senate health bill were in full swing this weekend. Potential swing votes were the center of attention – none more so that Sen. Heller [R, NV], who wound up the subject of a Twitter hashtag war after announcing opposition to the bill. The bill was written specifically with room to negotiate – a bit like leaving "room for cream" in your coffee order. This week we will find out if there is enough room to get the 51 votes needed to pass the bill. An end-of-week goal for a vote is looking very optimistic, according to Majority Whip John Cornyn [R, TX], though he puts August 1 as a "drop-dead" deadline.

Resource: How will your premiums and tax credits change under the BCRA?

Tell your Senators what you think:

Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Republican health care bill (discussion draft)

In the House


Immigration Enforcement


H.R. 3004: Kate’s Law

Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6]

The bill would increase penalties for undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies who return to the United States after deportation


H.R. 3003: No Sanctuary for Criminals Act

Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6]

The bill would withhold certain federal grants from jurisdictions that have adopted "sanctuary city" (or state) policies

Tort Reform

H.R. 1215 Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017

Rep. Steve King [R, IA-4]

The bill would set a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in a medical liability lawsuit

International Affairs

H.Res. 397 Solemnly reaffirming the commitment of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's principle of collective defense as enumerated in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1]


H.Res. 351: Condemning the violence and persecution in Chechnya

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27]


Veterans' Skills Certification

H.R. 2547: Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act

Rep. Rob Woodall [R, GA-7]

The bill would allow advanced practice nurses, chiropractors, physician assistants, and other qualified medical professionals at the VA to certify that veterans meet the physical standards required to operate commercial motor vehicles. 

H.R. 2258: ADVANCE Act

Rep. Pete Aguilar [D, CA-31]

The bill would exempt active-duty members or reservists of the armed forces from certain testing requirements to obtain a state commercial driver’s license if they have qualifying military experience.



H.R. 1684: Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-10]

The bill  requires the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide recommendations on how common areas of condominiums and housing cooperatives may be eligible for disaster assistance. Specifically, FEMA must provide technical assistance to Common Interest Communities to ensure they are eligible to apply for public assistance.  In addition, FEMA must provide legislative proposals to Congress in order to make condos and co-ops eligible for disaster assistance in the future.

H.R. 1967: Bureau of Reclamation Pumped Storage Hydropower Development Act

Rep. Doug Lamborn [R, CO-5]

Under current law, nonfederal entities that propose to develop facilities for pumped storage hydropower at reservoirs administered by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) must enter into a lease contract with the bureau; at some reservoirs those entities need to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). (Pumped storage hydropower is a type of storage for hydroelectric energy used by electric power systems for load balancing.) H.R. 1967 would make the BOR the sole regulatory authority for pumped storage developers that are currently subject to regulation by both BOR and FERC.



H.R. 1726: Coast Guard Improvement and Reform Act

Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-50]

H.R. 1726 would reorganize, but not substantively alter, provisions of law that govern the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard. The bill would clarify the duties and defense-related responsibilities of that agency and establish a uniform administrative framework for its advisory committees. 

H.R. 497: Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange Act 

Rep. Paul Cook [R, CA-8]



H.R. 220: To authorize the expansion of an existing hydroelectric project

Rep. Don Young [R, AK-0]



H.R. 1073: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish a structure for visitor services on the Arlington Ridge tract

Rep. Don Beyer [D, VA-8]

H.R. 1135: To reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation program

Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC-6]

H.R. 1500: Robert Emmet Park Act

Rep. Joseph Crowley [D, NY-14]


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.