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   ◆   Approps   ◆   NDAA  ◆   Graham-Cassidy ◆   Senate HELP bill  ◆   Medicare for All

photo credit: ABC News

President reached DACA agreement with Democrats

Catching both parties off-guard late Wednesday night,

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 15, 2017)

Today in Congress


House and Senate are out.



  • 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 “

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 14, 2017)

Today in Congress


House in at 9 AM for morning hour and noon for legislative business. First votes expected 10:30 – 11:30 PM, Last votes at 5 – 6 PM. Votes continue on nine amendments to the "minibus" multi-agency spending bill (H.R. 3284). House wilk also vote on the rule for Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697).

Senate in at 10 AM with continued consideration of FY18NDAA. Cloture does not "ripen" until Friday, but the Senate can agree to proceed to the NDAA today (if no senator ojects).






  • "Chuck and Nancy" reached agreement on DACA framework with the President (just don’t call it a deal!)

  • Details  on the non-deal: DACA fix (Dems say it must be DREAM Act) with enforcement measures, but not tied specifically to a border wall

  • Obligatory reminder that Mitch and Paul still “

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 13, 2017)

Today in Congress


House in at 10 AM  for morning hour and noon for legislative business. First votes expected 1:30 -2:30 PM, Last votes at 5 – 6 PM. Votes continue on 224 amendments to the "minibus" multi-agency spending bill.

Senate in at 10 AM with continued consideration of the motion to proceed to the FY18NDAA. Vote expected today on a motion to table the Paul amendment to sunset the current AUMF.






  • It’s health care day on the Hill with the introduction of the Graham-Cassidy bipartisan plan (release|text|SxS) and Sanders’ “Medicare for All” (Summary|SxS)

  • More Dem senators signed onto the Sanders plan (& leadership kept distance)

  • Senate Finance leaders Hatch [R, UT] and Wyden [D, OR] announce 5-year CHIP deal (State Children's’ Health Insurance Program)

  • Sen.

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 12, 2017)

Today in Congress


House in at 10 AM  for morning hour and noon for legislative business. Votes at 6:30 PM on a series of suspension bills. 

Senate in at 10 AM to resume consideration of the FY18 NDAA. Weekly caucus meetings from 12:30 – 2:15 PM.






  • Yesterday the U.S. national debt hit $20 trillion for first time ever – made possible by debt ceiling deal reached last week

  • Majority Leader McConnell points out that “extraordinary measures” mean next debt ceiling coming well into 2018 (giving Democrats less December leverage than some predicted)

  • “One of the advantages of being the majority leader is you control the paper” [the bill text] – McConnell

  • Last night Sen. Paul [R, KY] held up Senate’s motion to proceed to NDAA as protest calling for vote to end current authorization for use of military force AUMF

  • In deal reached with McConnell,

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 11, 2017)

Today in Congress


Given absences due to Hurricane Irma, the House cancelled votes for today.

Senate in at 3 PM to resume consideration of the FY18 NDAA. Cloture vote at 5:30 PM.





  • New memorial dedicated today will honor lives lost on 9/11 and of responders who died from 9/11-related illnesses

  • Ground broken yesterday on 93-foot tall Tower of Voices memorial in Shanksville, PA

  • House votes cancelled today due to Hurricane Irma

  • After pounding the Caribbean and Florida over the weekend, Irma downgraded to tropical storm, headed to Georgia

  • “Social fabric is starting to fray” in parts of the Caribbean hit hardest by Irma and Jose

  • Rep. Ross [R, FL] joined a NOAA crew to fly into Hurricane Irma

  • Puerto Ricans launch volunteer civilian sealift to assist Caribbean neighbors

  • Tesla pushed a temporary update to give the cars a bit more battery life for those evacuating in Florida

  • Good time to read up on federal flood insurance,

Weekly Update

WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (September 11-15, 2017)

This week, President Trump took control of the policy agenda in a series of moves that surprised both parties on Capitol Hill.

A deal reached with Congressional Democrats avoided a government shutdown, temporarily raised the debt ceiling, and provided funding for the federal response to Hurricane Harvey. The administration announced a six-month end to DACA – the Obama-era program for "DREAMers" brought to the U.S. as children with no path to legal citizenship within six months – putting pressure on Congress to act. The president made clear that he expects the focus of the next three months to turn to tax reform, though the Senate appears to be close on an agreement for a modest and bipartisan health care fix.

Though the threats of default and shutdown are now postponed until December, large challenges still loom – including North Korea's nuclear saber-rattling, epic wildfires raging on the west coast, large areas of Texas and Louisiana still under water, and Hurricane Irma on a path to Florida, with Hurricane Jose in her wake.

Weekly Recap

DACA CR/Debt Ceiling/Harvey Deal Health Care Hearings Russia Investigation

photo credit: Quartz

Six-month sunset for DACA

On Tuesday Attorney General Sessions announced that the administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting “DREAMers”

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 8, 2017)

Today in Congress


House in at 9 AM for legislative business, with first vote between 10 – 11 AM on the Senate-passed READ Act (H.R. 601), which includes the Hurricane Supplemental, Debt Limit, Continuing Appropriations, and Flood Insurance package. House continues debate on the 224 amendments to the multi-agency spending bill (H.R. 3354).

Senate is out.



  • House passed continuing resolution / debt ceiling / Hurricane Harvey deal in 319-90 vote, sending it to President’s desk

  • Axios on the Oval Office scene: "You say I can't make deals anymore? Hold my Diet Coke”

  • It’s a NY love-fest at the moment

  • All 90 “no” votes came from Republicans; last minute pitch by Secretary Mnuchin not well received (like, really bad)

  • Senate HELP effort and Graham-Cassidy supporters getting close to health care compromise

  • Reminder that the opportunity to vote on a health bill through the reconciliation process 

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 7, 2017)


Today in Congress


House is in at 10 AM for morning hour and 12 PM legislative business, with first votes between 1:30 -2:30 PM, last votes between 10:30 -11:30 PM. Votes continue on the 224 amendments to the multi-agency spending bill (H.R. 3354).

Senate is in at 10 AM to work on the Hurricane Harvey relief bill (H.R. 601), which will be amended to include a spending bill and debt ceiling raise through December 8, 2017.




  • As you may heave heard, President Trump endorsed a deal with Dem leadership for a 3-month spending bill, debt ceiling raise, and emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey

  • In the “fascinating and mysterious” move, he rejected the path preferred by Republicans to stave off the debt ceiling for another 12 or 18 months

  • “Mitch and Paul” explained in separate statements that the deal stemmed from Trump’s desire to have a bipartisan response to Harvey

  • Republican Study Committee 

Whats Up Washington

What’s Up Washington (Sept. 6, 2017)

Today in Congress

Senate in at 12:30 PM for weekly caucus meetings. 

House is in at 10 AM for legislative business, with first votes between 12 -1 PM, last votes between 10 -11 PM.

House votes on:

  • Harvey Disaster relief (H.R. 3672), and
  • Latta bill (H.R. 3388) providing for federal regulation of self-driving cars.

Both the House and Senate will have national security briefings from cabinet members on North Korea and Afghanistan.

The House will begin work on 118 amendments to the Omnibus spending bill (H.R. 3354).


  • Yesterday’s DACA announcement put even more crazy into September that was there already; current DACA strategy on the Hill: Not a clue (yet)

  • Battle lines are starting to take shape – from quick fix, to more comprehensive immigration bill, to something in between

  • President seems to have embraced… all approaches? Including willingness to “revisit