Congressional Climate April 6, 2017

Video of the Day
President Trump and King Abdullah II Hold a Joint Press Conference


Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate will return from recess at 10 a.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Senate will take a cloture vote on the nomination at 11 a.m. Further votes are expected.
Nominations: Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Committee Hearings
9:30 a.m.: Southern and Northern Commands
9:50 a.m.: Lighthizer Nomination
10:00 a.m.: IRS Operations/2017 Tax Filing Season
10:00 a.m.: FDA User Fee Agreements (Part II)
10:00 a.m.: FAA Reauthorization
10:30 a.m.: Condemning Syrian Chemical Weapons Use
2:00 p.m.: Intelligence Matters
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 9 a.m. for legislative business. The chamber is expected to consider a bill (HR 1219) that would increase the number of accredited investors who can form a qualifying venture capital fund to invest in small businesses.
HR 1219 – Supporting America’s Innovators Act
Committee Hearings
8:00 a.m.: Pending Legislation
9:00 a.m.: Defense Contract Auditing Process
9:15 a.m.: Federal Financial Regulatory System Reform
10:00 a.m.: IRS Protecting Small Business Information
10:00 a.m.: Federal Government Best and Worst Places to Work
12:00 p.m.: Returning U.S. Abducted Children

Nunes Recuses Himself From House Intelligence Russia Inquiry
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he is recusing himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election because of ethics complaints about his handling of classified material.

The California Republican has been criticized over his handling of classified material shown to him by White House staff that allegedly indicated Obama administration officials “unmasked” the identities of people close to President Donald Trump who were mentioned in legal surveillance of foreign individuals.

Nunes said Thursday that he would “temporarily” hand over the inquiry to Republican Representative Mike Conaway of Texas while the House Ethics Committee looks into complaints filed against him. Nunes said he would continue to serve as the committee chairman and lead it in other matters.

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It’s zero hour: Senate to go ‘nuclear’
Senate Republicans are expected to trigger the “nuclear option” on Thursday, eliminating the minority party’s power to filibuster Supreme Court nominees.

The historic vote will ensure the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick for the high court, preserving a conservative majority that had been in doubt after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death early last year.
If all goes as expected, Gorsuch will receive a final confirmation vote Friday.

It will also be another step in weakening the filibuster, raising questions about whether other instances requiring a 60-vote supermajority will survive for long.
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In the House, Leaders of Russia Inquiry are Split on Whether It’s Needed
President Trump said he was considering “accelerating” the introduction of his $1 trillion infrastructure bill – but he pointedly refused to say whether he planned to include two major New York City transportation projects that his budget for next year would defund.

Mr. Trump, speaking in a wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office on Wednesday, described the infrastructure package as a high-value legislative sweetener that he could attach to a revived Affordable Care Act repeal bill or tax code overhaul to attract bipartisan support that thus far he had neither sought nor received.

“Infrastructure is so popular that I might want to use it for another bill,” said Mr. Trump, who is in need of a legislative win after the humbling defeat of his health care bill last month. “Infrastructure is so popular with the Democrats and pretty popular with the Republicans. A lot of Republicans want infrastructure, too.”
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Until tomorrow,

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