Congressional Climate February 27, 2017

Video of the Day
The Governor’s Ball

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at noon and is expected to resume consideration of the nomination
of Wilbur L. Ross Jr. to be Commerce secretary. At 3 p.m., Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.,
is expected to deliver George Washington’s farewell address. Votes are expected
at 7 p.m. on the Ross nomination and on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination
of Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to be Interior secretary.
Committee Hearings
None
House Floor Schedule
House reconvenes at 2 pm for legislative business and is expected to consider measures
under suspension of the rules. Roll call votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
HR 88 – Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment
and Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Designation Act
HR 228 – Indian Employment, Training and Related Services
Consolidation Act
HR 699 – Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification
Act
HR 863 – A bill to facilitate the addition of park administration
at the Coltsville National Historical Park, and for other purposes.
S 442 – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Transition Authorization Act
HR 1033 – Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
Committee Hearings
3:30 p.m.: VA’s Risk for Drug Diversion
5:00 p.m.: Pending Business
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Navy secretary nominee withdraws
Philip Bilden, President Trump’s pick to lead the Navy, is withdrawing from consideration,
according to a Sunday night letter. In his letter, he said he “fully support[s] the president’s agenda” but noted that he “will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without
undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial
interests.”

The investor’s vast financial holdings, many of which he earned in Hong Kong, would
make it tough for him to survive the scrutiny of the Office of Government Ethics,
USNI News reported.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis confirmed the news in a statement, saying Bilden’s
decision was a “personal decision driven by privacy concerns and significant challenges
he faced in separating himself from his business interests.”

Read More
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Trillions of Dollars Are at Stake When Trump Speaks to Congress
Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday is taking on the importance of a State
of the Union speech when it comes to U.S. financial markets.

For investors relying on more than a year of campaign promises of a pro-growth agenda
to push U.S. stocks to record highs, the dollar surging and bond yields climbing,
the prime-time speech to House and Senate lawmakers couldn’t come any sooner.

“We need to see some details within all the policy talk,” said Sean Simko, who manages
$8 billion in fixed-income assets at SEI Investments Co. in Oaks, Pennsylvania.
“More specifics in terms of numbers or even a more defined timeline. If there aren’t
specifics there, the risk trade might be ending.”
Read more
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Trump to Ask for Sharp Increase in Military Spending, Officials Say
President Trump will instruct federal agencies on Monday to assemble a budget for
the coming fiscal year that includes sharp increases in Defense Department spending
and drastic enough cuts to domestic agencies that he can keep his promise to leave
Social Security and Medicare alone, according to four senior administration officials.

The budget outline will be the first move in a campaign this week to reset the narrative
of Mr. Trump’s turmoil-tossed White House. A day before delivering a high-stakes
address on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump will demand a budget
with tens of billions of dollars in reductions to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department, according to four senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the plan. Social safety net programs, aside from the big entitlement programs for retirees, would also be hit hard.

Preliminary budget outlines are usually little-noticed administrative exercises,
the first step in negotiations between the White House and federal agencies that
usually shave the sharpest edges off the initial request.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com

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