Author Archives: Team POPVOX

Weekly Update

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Oct. 2-6, 2017)

 

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on Saturday. Congress will act this week to reauthorize the program that provides health care for 9 million children.
 

This week: Congress will start work on the FY2018 Budget resolution, setting up the process for tax reform via reconciliation.


 

This Week Ahead in Congress


In the Senate

The Senate will vote Monday on the confirmation of FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee will mark up a bill (S. 1827) to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expired September 30.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee will mark up the FY18 Budget resolution
 


 


In the House:

The House will vote Tuesday on a bill to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks:

 

  • H.R. 36 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-8] 
    Makes it a crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, up to five years in prison, or both. The bill contains exceptions to save the life of the mother or in the case of rape or incest. 


The House will also vote on a budget resolution for FY19, including language setting up the process for tax reform via reconciliation.

H.Con.Res. 71 – Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027
Sponsor: Rep. Diane Black [R, TN-6]

Also in the House:

H.R. 2316: Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017 
Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson [R, PA-5]

H.R. 1547: Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Martha McSally[R, AZ-2]

H.R. 2582: Confirming State Land Grants for Education Act
Sponsor: Rep. Mia Love [R, UT-4]

H.R. 965: Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park Redesignation Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Ann Kuster [D, NH-2]

H.R. 2937: Community Reclamation Partnerships Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Darin LaHood [R, IL-18]

H.R. 289: GO Act
Sponsor: Rep. Doug LaMalfa [R, CA-1]

S. 652: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act 
Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman [R, OH]

H.R. 2408: Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Chabot [R, OH-1]

H.R. 1918: Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA) of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27]

H.R. 1624: Municipal Finance Support Act of 2017, as amended 
Sponsor: Rep. Luke Messer [R, IN-6]

 


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.

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 27, 2017)


Senate is in at 10 AM.

House is in at 3 for legislative business with first and last votes between 4:30 – 5:30 PM. Votes on:
 

  • S. 327: Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller [R, NV]
    Directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish and implement a "safe harbor" for reports on ETF funds
  • H.R. 3229: To protect the safety of judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports
    Sponsor: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D, NY-8]
  • H.Res. 311: Recognizing that for 50 years the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has worked toward stability, prosperity, and peace in Southeast Asia
    Sponsor:  Rep. Joaquin Castro [D, TX-20]
  • H.R. 3823: Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017
    The bill combines temporary tax relief to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria with a six-month extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization and taxes.

 


ICYMI

 

  • The heat index in Puerto Rico reached 109 degrees, 3.4 million Americans are without power and running out of food and water

  • Graham-Cassidy got its last rites (Sen. Graham [R, SC] says it’s coming back with better process “after taxes

  • Kind words from both sides of the aisle for Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN], who announced he would not seek reelection

  • Sen. Luther Strange [R, AL], appointed by AL governor to replace AG Sessions, lost the special election primary to Judge Roy Moore

  • Mitch McConnell could probably use a hug

  • As Rep. Walz’s [D, MN] watch will attest, it was a crazy Tuesday

  • Rep. Massie with a colorful assessment of the “Alabama tide”

  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving

  • Trump administration denied waiver of the Jones Act for foreign vessels bringing aid to Puerto Rico, though Members of Congress, like Sen, McCain [R, AZ] continue to push

  • Sen. Marco Rubio [R, FL] is sounding the alarm that more federal resources are needed to avoid a “Katrina-style” disaster

  • OK, we fell for it, the Senate was NOT debating the NDAA yesterday… here’s what was up

  • Acting DEA administrator stepping down Oct 1

  • Starting October 18, USCIS will keep records on immigrants’ (including green card holders) social media accounts and search results

  • Lawmakers seeking information on Russian entities running anti-fracking campaigns on Facebook, Google, and Twitter

  • Russian-purchased Facebook ads in 2016 included support for Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump

  • Never a good idea: “If it wasn’t sexist I would say…”

  • Not just Price and Mnuchin: EPA Administrator Pruitt also a member of the administration's pricey flight club

  • Tax Reform framework released at House GOP meeting

  • Sen McCain [R, AZ] says he will hold to same “regular order” standard that cost his health care vote

  • North Korea looking for a Trump explainer

  • Lobbyists beat Members of Congress 49-41 in last night’s Congressional Basketball game

  • New Rep. Norman [R, SC] made his Congressional basketball debut

  • The Press triumphed over the politicians in the annual Press Club Spelling Bee, with Rep. Ted Deutch [D, FL] the last Member standing

  • No joke: grand prize was a Nickelback album signed by Sen. Ben Sasse [R, NE] (backstory, and backstory)

  • First climate-controlled “farm” in Antarctica starts up in October

  • U.S. now the world’s second-most “competitive” economy

  • Tindr users, you probably don’t even want to know how much data they have on you

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 26, 2017)


House is in at 10 AM for morning hour, noon for legislative business. First votes between 1:15 – 2:15 PM, last votes between 4 – 5 PM. Vote on Smith bill to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV).

Senate is in at 10 AM to resume work on the FY18 NDAA (S. 1516).

 


ICYMI

 

  • Graham-Cassidy health bill got a partial CBO score yesterday along with its third Republican “no” (Sen. Collins [R, ME] joined Sens. McCain [R, AZ] and Paul [R, KY])

  • At Senate Finance hearing, protesters were lined up around the building

  • In a notably amicable and substantive debate, Sens. Graham [R, SC], Cassidy [R, LA], Klobuchar [D, MN], and Sanders [I, VT] debated healthcare on CNN

  • What’s next for health care? Back to a reconciliation strategy for FY19 budget?

  • President Trump will travel Tuesday to Puerto Rico, which has experienced “apocalyptic” damage

  • Americans there are running out of food and water, left in a communications and power blackout

  • Every sitting president who visited Puerto Rico is honored with a statue in “Paseo de los Presidentes” (H/T)

  • Some Congressional staffers are cleaning up in the stock market, trading on companies impacted by their work

  • Russian operatives used Facebook ads to turn Americans against each other

  • Senate Judiciary holds hearing today on legislation to protect special counsels

  • Bombastic political advisor Roger Stone, who meets in closed session with House Intel today, released his 47-page statement

  • North Korean official says Trump’s “won’t be around much longer”  tweet amounts to a declaration of war, giving it the right to shoot down American planes

  • White House spokesperson Sanders says that’s absurd

  • At least it doesn’t violate Twitter’s terms of Service

  • It’s Tax Reform Day, with details coming out on the “Big Six” GOP framework:

    • Collapse brackets from seven to three

    • Reduce top bracket from 39.6% to 35%, raise lowest tax bracket from 20% 50 12%

    • Double the standard deduction

  • Planned elimination of state and local deduction disproportionately impacts some Congressional districts

  • Equifax CEO, Richard Smith, “retired” but will still testify on the data breach that impacted millions of Americans

  • Sec. Zinke pursuing “huge” reorganization of Interior Department, saying 30% of its employees are “not loyal to the flag”

  • And: “Fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us”

  • House Oversight chairman Gowdy [R, SC] and Cummings [D, MD] called for White House to release names of officials using private email for government work by October 9

  • Email prankster quickly capitalized on the Kushner private email revelation

  • First woman just graduated from Marine Infantry Officer Course

  • You might have heard, there’s a Republican Senate primary in Alabama today

  • The front-runner pulled out a pistol at a rally yesterday, told a reporter that communities in Illinois are “under Sharia law”

  • President Trump still really not happy with AG Sessions, also said his NFL comments have “really taken off”

  • Marie Tillman, wife of former NFL player and soldier killed in Iraq shared a statement on the president’s comments on the #TakeaKnee movement

  • On the House Floor today, two members have kneeled (Reps. Pocan [D, WI] and Lee [D, TX])

  • Suit filed over the president's’ remarks under statute prohibiting gov employee to influence employment practices of a private entity “solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation”

  • USCIS released new details about the 800,000 DACA recipients

  • Sen Angus King [I, ME] weighed in on the great lobster vs. crab emoji debate

  • 25 towns are for the National Geographic Vote Your Main Street contest for a chance to win $2 million in historic preservation funding

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 25, 2017)


House in at noon for morning hour and 2 PM for legislative business. Votes at 6:30 PM on suspension bills:

  • H.R. ____: Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 (DRAFT TEXT)
    The bill combines temporary tax relief to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria with a six-month extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization and taxes.
  • H.Res. 311: Recognizing that for 50 years the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has worked toward stability, prosperity, and peace in Southeast Asia
    Sponsor:  Rep. Joaquin Castro [D, TX-20]
  • S. 1141: Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
    Requires the President to develop a strategy to promote the participation of women abroad in conflict prevention, management, resolution, and recovery. 
  • H.R. 2519: The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1]
  • H.R. 1235: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Richard Neal [D, MA-1]
  • S. 810: To facilitate construction of a bridge on certain property in Christian County, Missouri
    Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]
  • H.R. __ – Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2017 

Senate is in at 4 PM with a 5:30 vote on the nomination of William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).


ICYMI

 

  • Sponsors circulated a new version of Graham-Cassidy on Sunday in an attempt to reach 50 votes, with some extra love for Alaska, Maine, Arizona and Kentucky [TEXT | STATE-BY-STATE IMPACT]

  • By now you know that the president went to war with NFL on Friday, saying that if a player kneels during that National Anthem, team owners “should fire the son of a b–”

  • That was not the only unscripted line of the speech

  • #TakeaKnee started in 2016 when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit (and, later, to kneel) during the National Anthem, explaining: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”

  • In solidarity, more NFL players “took a knee,” joined by coaches, owners, and colleagues locking arms; some teams remained in locker room during National Anthem

  • NFL aired “Inside These Lines” video and commissioner Roger Goodell said he was proud of the league’s response

  • Singer Stevie Wonder took both knees at the Global Citizen Festival “to pray for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe."

  • It’s the 60th anniversary of the “Little Rock Nine,” when Eisenhower sent in Army paratroopers to escort nine African-American students through an angry mob to desegregate Central High School

  • 1954 Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision held that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional, calling for an end to segregation “with all deliberate speed”

  • Sybil Johnson, one of the nine, tells her amazing story about playing (and winning ) the “long game”

  • New NASA computational facility named for "Human Computer" Katherine Johnson, featured in the movie, Hidden Figures

  • Today: US Supreme Court holds annual long conference to decide which cases will be heard in the new term (law prof explains via tweetstorm)

  • Yesterday the Trump administration extended and expanded the travel ban, adding Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to the list of countries

  • US International Trade Commission held that low-cost solar imports hurt domestic companies, now falls to Trump administration for possible action

  • Sens. Klobuchar [D, MN] and Warner [D, VA] working on new transparency requirements for online political ads

  • Sen. McCain [R, AZ] shared thoughts on his life, his illness and his legacy on 60 Minutes  

  • Details of “Big Six” tax reform plans include reducing top rate from 39.6 to 35 and corporate rate from 35 to 20%

  • Tax Reform framework expected to be released today

  • 21 states’ election systems were targeted by Russian hackers

  • Former President Obama personally appealed to Mark Zuckerberg after the election to do more to stop Russian disinformation on Facebook

  • Jared Kushner uses private email account for official business

  • Former FBI DIrector, James Comey “not our homie” got shouted over at Howard University appearance

  • HHS Secretary Price will halt travel on private jets pending an IG review, after reports that his travel costs have topped $400,000

  • Think Congress is crazy, imagine what’s going on in city councils

  • Congrats to Rep. Moulten [D, MA] who got hitched on Friday!

  • Pretty impressive: Barron Trump made the DC United Youth Academy team

  • FEMA tweets really wrong number

  • Just like us: Members of Congress and their pets

Weekly Update

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (September 24-28, 2017)

The House was out this week.

All eyes were on inter-GOP negotiations in the Senate on the Graham-Cassidy amendment to the House health bill. With statements of opposition from two key GOP senators, the amendment appears on shaky ground; losing one more Republican vote would doom it.

This week: the Senate will take its last shot on health care before reconciliation authority (allowing a vote without the 60-vote filibuster) expires September 30. 

House will vote on bills to reauthorize the FAA, tax preferences for those in hurricane recovery zones, and reauthorize information and human rights program targeting North Korea.


Weekly Recap

 

Graham-Cassidy sputters; reconciliation window closes September 30


photo credit: The Atlantic


Last week, Republican leaders went all-in on the Graham-Cassidy amendment.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to bring the bill up for a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday. Republicans dropped the bipartisan effort to shore up insurance markets that had been progressing in the Senate HELP Committee. Speaker Paul Ryan said publicly that if Graham-Cassidy passed the Senate, it would get a vote in the House.

A Thursday announcement from Sen McCain [R, AZ], however, following Sen. Paul [R, KY]'s opposition, made the road ahead unsure for the proposal. Several other senators, including Collins [R, ME] and Murkowski [R, AK], who voted against the earlier "skinny repeal" also appear to be "leaning no."

 

TELL CONGRESS WHAT YOU THINK
Graham-Cassidy amendment to the American Health Care Act

 

The amendment still does not have a score from the  Congressional Budget Office, but the independent group Avalere Health estimates that it would reduce federal health funding to states by $215 billion (with wide state-by-state variations in impact) and lead to a "Fiscal cliff" in 2026, when all funding would expire.

 

 

 

 

This Week Ahead in Congress


In the Senate:


On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy amendment to the house health care bill at 2 PM ET (watch on CSPAN). A vote on the amendment could come on Wednesday. Reconciliation authority (to hold the vote without the 60-vote filibuster) expires on September 30.

The Senate may also vote on a bill (S. 1827) to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires September 30.

The Senate may also take up the Disaster tax relief bill and FAA reauthorization, if passed by the House. FAA authorization expires September 30.


In the House:

 

The House will vote on a bill to provide tax breaks for people recovering from recent hurricanes and reauthorize the FAA. It will also consider a bill to reauthorize human rights efforts and strategic information dissemination in North Korea, and a bill to expand the definition of "fugitive felons."

 

  • H.R. ____: Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 (DRAFT TEXT)
    The bill combines temporary tax relief to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria with a six-month extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization and taxes.
  • S. 327: Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller [R, NV]
    Directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish and implement a "safe harbor" for reports on ETF funds
  • H.R. 3229: To protect the safety of judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports
    Sponsor: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D, NY-8]
  • H.R. 2792: Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Rep. Kristi Noem [R, SD-0]
    Expands the number of people who are considered “fugitive felons” and would therefore be ineligible for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
  • H.R. 2061: North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27]
    Reauthorizes the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004
  • S. 1141: Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017
    Sponsor: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
    Requires the President to develop a strategy to promote the participation of women abroad in conflict prevention, management, resolution, and recovery. 
  • H.R. 2824: Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Adrian Smith [R, NE-3]
    Reauthorizes the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV).
  • H.R. 2519: The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1]
  • H.R. 1235: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Richard Neal [D, MA-1]
  • S. 810: To facilitate construction of a bridge on certain property in Christian County, Missouri
    Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]
  • H.Res. 311: Recognizing that for 50 years the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has worked toward stability, prosperity, and peace in Southeast Asia
    Sponsor:  Rep. Joaquin Castro [D, TX-20]

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.

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 20, 2017)


House and Senate are out today.


ICYMI

 

  • Not really breaking news: Graham-Cassidy health care bill is close (but not there yet); Sen. Graham [R, SC] says they have 50 Republican votes

  • Majority Leader McConnell [R, KY] not yet committed to a floor vote; Majority Whip Cornyn [R, TX] says still seeking consensus

  • Though CBO still scoring, report from independent group Avalere Health estimates the bill would cut funding from 35 states, pull $215 bilion out of the health system, and lead to a 2027 “fiscal cliff”

  • Jimmy Kimmel weighed in; Sen. Cassidy responded (sort of)

  • The Graham-Cassidy push officially killed the bipartisan HELP Committee effort yesterday after Speaker Ryan and the White House went all-in

  • HELP Chairman Alexander [R, TN] announced that committee reached “no consensus” though Democrats say they had made significant concessions and were willing to keep working

  • Swing vote Sen Collins [R, ME] teamed up with Sen. Nelson [D, FL] to introduce a new bipartisan bill to stabilize insurance markets

  • Senate Intel Committee to Trump lawyer Cohen: Release statement after we agreed to closed meeting? Fine, we’re going open hearing

  • Also on the list for public testimony in the Senate Russia investigation: Facebook

  • Is Facebook eroding free will?

  • Investigators looking into whether Jared Kushner-led digital operation gave Russian hackers voter targeting information

  • Senate Judiciary may vote on resolution to provide more protection for the Special Counsel’s investigation

  • President Trump’s speech to the UN, annotated

  • HHS Secretary flying charter where “commercial aircraft cannot reasonably accommodate travel requirements”… ya know, like Philly

  • New experience for Former President Obama: pitching development plan for the Presidential Center to Chicago’s South Side residents

  • Trump administration quashed HHS report showing that refugees brought in $63 billion more in gov revenues than they cost

  • Some movement on Tax Reform yesterday, with agreement on outlines of a budget reconciliation strategy

  • Sen. Corker [R, TN] says Senate Budget Committee could act next week

  • White House and GOP negotiators open to keeping top income bracket rate, giving up on estate tax repeal push

  • Aruba airport experimenting with face scans replacing passports

  • Warm winter has destroyed 85% of Georgia peach crop πŸ™

  • Sec. Zinke unveils “Big Buck Hunter” video game in Interior Department cafeteria

  • The drama and intrigue of a novel in an internet recipe comment

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 19, 2017)


House is out for district work period.

Senate is in at 10, with a vote at 11 on nomination of Noel J. Francisco to be Solicitor General of the United States.

Senators hold weekly caucus meetings at 2:15 PM.


ICYMI

 

  • President Trump will address the United Nations, expected to issue harsh warnings to Iran, North Korea; tweets that “some tricky things happening”

  • VP Pence is returning from UN festivities early so he can join the Senate GOP caucus meeting today to talk Graham-Cassidy

  • Reconciliation authority turns into a pumpkin countdown clock: 12 Days

  • Bare-bones” CBO assessment coming next week, full report will not be available before September 30 deadline

  • Democrats now mounting full court press against the bill, but the “Medicare for All” press conference on same day G-C release was probably not the best strategy

  • Even if G-C makes it through the Senate, House passage is not 100% assured

  • Meanwhile, the bipartisan HELP committee effort to shore up insurance markets seems to be progressing

  • Sean Spicer’s travel disguise “may have included facial hair” (gotta rush back from Emmys for gig at Charlie Palmer’s

  • Office of Gov Ethics will not change policy to allow anonymous gifts to legal defense funds after all (as previously reported)

  • “Mind boggling” damage in Dominica from Hurricane Maria as UVI and Puerto Rico prepare for possible hit tonight

  • FCC commissioners unanimously agreed to reopen comment period on political disclosures for internet ads, will hold hearing if substantive comments received

  • With $450 million on Facebook and $350 million on Google in 2016 election alone, stakes are high for internet companies

  • Senators and tech cos also at odds over sex trafficking prevention bill, topic of Senate Commerce hearing today @ 10:30 AM

  • New report says US lost $510 in M&A deals due to US tax code

  • Renegotiation of NAFTA getting complicated and if not sent to Congress by July 2018, would require new Trade Promotion Authority

  • Bombshell in Russia investigation: Former Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort was wiretapped by FBI before and after election

  • Location scout for Netflix’s “Narcos” found murdered in Mexico

  • DoJ and SEC investigating Equifax stock sales by insiders before disclosure of massive breach

  • Slow clap for this tweet: “Two Parrotts served in the House and they were both ‘landlubbers.’” – @USHouseHistory

  • “They grow up so fast?” NOT today’s teens

  • One-fifth of college students (regardless of party) say it’s OK to use physical violence to shut down speaker making “offensive and hurtful statements”

  • 62 % Democrats, 39% of Republicans of students say it’s acceptable to “shout down” a speaker with whom they disagree

  • Minority Leader Pelosi [D, CA] was shouted down at DREAMers rally in San Francisco

  • Former President Obama has hit the Wall Street speech circuit, bringing in six-figure fees

  • Sen. Grassley’s greatest (Twitter) hits re: the History Channel

  • One man prevented nuclear war with a quick “gut” decision

  •  

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 18, 2017)


House is out for district work period.

 

Senate is in at 3 PM, with first votes at 5:30 PM on the McCain-Reed substitute amendment #1003 to the NDAA, cloture, and passage.
 


 ICYMI

 

 

  • In the spotlight this week: Graham-Cassidy health bill, last attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare before FY2017 reconciliation process expires September 30

  • The bill reduces and redistributes federal health care money to the states

  • Majority Leader McConnell said he will bring it to the floor for a vote if it has support of 50 Republicans

  • Senate Democrats issued a “red alert” over the weekend

  • Senate HELP committee attempt to pass fix to stabilize insurance markets running into classic Senate roadblock: jurisdiction battles

  • Also up this week: the one bill that always finds a way to become a law

  • Budget hawks facing headwinds going into tax reform discussions

  • Overheard in DC: Of course NYTimes reporter was at the next table while Trump lawyers had revealing conversation about internal rifts, legal strategy

  • Must-read on RT, Sputnik and "Russia’s New Theory of War"

  • At least one lawmaker doesn’t buy that Russia attempted to intervene in the 2016 election, calling it “total bull–”

  • Under search warrant, Special Counsel Mueller received information about payments and copies of the 2016 election ads purchased on Facebook by Russians attempting to influence the election

  • Is it time to apply election laws to digital campaign ads?

  • Facebook reportedly removing posts from people documenting violence against the Rohingya people in Myanmar

  • Some former Trump campaign officials tapping their kids’ college funds to cover legal fees

  • One former Trump official, “Spicey,” made his Emmy’s debut, to mixed reviews

  • Office of Gov Ethics changes policy to allow anonymous gifts from lobbyists to legal defense funds

  • How Trump’s campaign promises are holding up

  • What the last Americans to negotiate with North Korea say about the recent escalation

  • Why Trump is suddenly working with Democrats: math

  • Democrats could face tough choices in the negotiations over DACA details

  • According to report, Interior Sec. Zinke recommends modification of ten national parks and reducing the size of fsix

  • Living next to a Russian spy house can be weird (and really messes with cell reception)

  • President Trump received extensive “American Power 101” briefing in “The Tank”

  • Former VP Biden not a fan of the Uniform Basic Income 

  • Health insurers may contribute to the opioid crisis by making non-opioid options difficult, more expensive to access

  • Industry lobbying to keep some Obama-era environmental rules

  • Florida utility laws prohibit homes without power after from using their own solar panels off the grid

  • Meet the three House members of the “Triplet Caucus

  • Not just logging into your iPhone with your face… soon artificial intelligence will be able to detect your politics

  • Amazing view of the U.S. Capitol that happens only twice a year​

Weekly Update

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (September 18-22, 2017)


It was another week of "dealing" between President Trump and Congressional Democrats, as they reached agreement on the outlines of a DACA deal.

The House passed its spending bills, notably before the end of the fiscal year. Senate wrapped up its work on the Defense policy bill (NDAA), with vote coming next week.

With the House out this week, all focus will be on the Senate and its multiple tracks on health care, including a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare (Graham-Cassidy), a bipartisan attempt to shore up insurance markets before plans are announced for 2018. Senate Democrats introduced a "Medicare for All" bill.


Weekly Recap

 

DACA Deal   β—†   Approps   β—†   NDAA  β—†   Graham-Cassidy β—†   Senate HELP bill  β—†   Medicare for All


photo credit: ABC News

President reached DACA agreement with Democrats

Catching both parties off-guard late Wednesday night, Congressional Democrats announced that they reached agreement with President Trump that would allow DREAMers to stay in the country in exchange for tougher border enforcement provisions but not including funding for the border wall.

Of course, any agreement must be put into legislative language and brought to a vote by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate. "Many rank-and-file Republicans indicated that they are open to whatever the president supports, particularly if it includes stronger border controls and interior enforcement," though some were "fuming."

In multiple play-by-play reports of how the agreement came together, personal chemistry and a desire to “put some runs on the board” appear to factor into the president's new bipartisan kick. "Bewildered" and "perplexed," Washington is still not sure what to make of the turn to bipartisanship, though a new poll found that 66% of voters feel it is good for the country.

 

  • Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440 / S. 1615)
  • Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act (H.R. 496 / S. 128)
  • Recognizing America's Children (RAC) Act (H.R. 1468)

 



 


House passed spending bills before end of Fiscal Year


For the first time since 2009, the House passed its twelve spending bills – $1.2 trillion in discretionary  – before the beginning of the fiscal year, though none of the bills are expected to be considered by the Senate because they would not survive the filibuster. Current spending authority has been extended until December 8, by which Congress will likely wrap modified versions of the bills into one large "Omnibus" package.
 

 
HOW YOUR REP VOTED

 

 



 

photo credit: Army Times

Senate wrapping up NDAA
 

On Thursday the Senate voted 84-9, to invoke cloture and end debate on the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), setting up a Monday vote. The Senate has voted on many amendments as a part of the NDAA debate.  

Related bill:

  • H.R. 2810: The National Defense Authorization Act

 


 


photo credit: Greg Nash via The Hill
 

Senate HELP Committee getting close on bipartisan bill

 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is working on a bipartisan bill to stabilize insurance markets before a September 27 deadline for health insurers to submit their plans for 2018. Chairman Alexander [R, TN] said three themes emerged from four recent hearings:

  1. Funding cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers to lower out-of-pocket costs. 
  2. Making “copper plans” available with lower premiums and higher deductibles.
  3. Granting states more flexibility to approve health insurance plans and prices in their state.

The last point is a sticking point for Democrats, who want to make sure "essential benefit" requirements stay in place and want to see a federal reinsurance fund. Bill language is expected on Monday or Tuesday.

 


 

photo credit: Politico

 

Last attempt to repeal Obamacare before reconciliation window closes September 30

A separate Republican health care effort is being led by Sens. Cassidy [R, LA] and Graham [R, SC] with the last chance for some form of an Obamacare "repeal and replace" plan before the current reconciliation process ends on September 30.

Cassidy says he has secured "48-49" Republican votes, though fifty will be needed to pass the bill (with VP Pence casting a tie-breaking vote). Sens. Murkowski [R, AK] and Collins [R, ME], who opposed the "skinny repeal" bill in July are likely nays on Graham-Cassidy, allowing for no further Republican defectors. That likely leaves the fate of the bill in the hands of Sens. Paul [R, KY] and McCain [R, AZ].

The Congressional Budget Office is still scoring the bill to determine what its impacts would be on costs and the number of people uninsured. The Cassidy-Graham bill (text) is written as an amendment, to H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which passed the House in May.

 


photo credit: Sipa USA via AP

 

Senate Democrats Introduce "Medicare for All" bill

This past week, Sen. Sanders [I, ME] and fifteen Democrats introduced a "Medicare for All" bill (S. 1804). While the bill has no chance of passing in the Republican-led 115th Congress, it will no doubt attract discussion


 

 

 

 

This Week Ahead in Congress


In the Senate:

On Monday afternoon, the Senate will vote on cloture (to end debate) and take a final vote on the H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (#NDAA18).

For the rest of the week, the Senate will consider several nominations and may take up health care bills, including:

  • A bipartisan agreement to stabilize insurance markets being drafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Bill text expected Monday or Tuesday. 
  • Graham Cassidy proposal to repeal many provisions of Obamacare

  • In the House:

The House is out for a district work period.
 


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.

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 15, 2017)


Today in Congress

 

House and Senate are out.


 ICYMI

 

  • Play-by-play on yesterday’s DACA deal-or-no-deal between President Trump and Democrats, and reactions from Hill Republicans and conservative media

  • Path to citizenship” (included in DREAM Act) is most controversial

  • Personal chemistry and desire to “put some runs on the board” factors in Trump’s “bipartisan kick

  • Hill Democrats mostly ok with “Schulosi”-Trump dynamic, for now

  • Sens. Alexander [R, TN] and Kaine [D, VA] take their bipartisan duet on the road this weekend, performing on the TN-VA line

  • Graham-Cassidy health bill got a boost with Majority Leader McConnell asking CBO to prioritize scoring

  • Sen. Cassidy [R, LA] says he has 48-49 Republican votes locked in

  • What the bill does

  • President's tweets on morning attack in London “not helpful

  • Nor were his fresh “both sides” comments on Charlottesville following one-on-one with Sen. Tim Scott [R, SC]

  • A tax reform math review for us all… and why American workers pay twice as much tax than investors

  • 11-year old Frank Giaccio was all business this morning mowing the White House lawn

  • Sens. Warren [D, MA] and Schatz [D, HI] introduced bill requiring free credit freezing after a data breach

  • Harvard’s Kennedy School withdrew fellowship invitation for Chelsea Manning

  • Facebook allowed ad purchases to target anti-Semitic terms

  • Why Steve Bannon wears so many shirts

  • The amazing images Cassani brought us throughout its twenty-year journey across our solar system before plunging into Jupiter’s atmosphere

  • “Cassini showed us the beauty of Saturn. It revealed the best in us. Now it's up to us to keep exploring.”

  •