Congressional Climate July 13th, 2017

Video of the Day
President Trump Participates in an Meeting with the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 12:30 p.m. and will resume post-cloture consideration of nomination of William Francis Hagerty IV to be U.S. ambassador to Japan. The Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination at 1:45 p.m.
Committee Hearings
09:00am: Commercial/Government Space Exploration Partnerships
09:30am: Global/Local Markets-Specialty Crops-Organics
09:30am: Pending Nominations
09:30am: Pending Nominations
09:30am: Montenegro Coup Attempt/Malign Russian Influence in Europe
09:30am: Monetary Policy Report
09:30am: Trafficking in Persons Report
10:30am: Military Construction-VA Appropriations
02:00pm: Intelligence Matters
02:00pm: Transportation Budget
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at noon for legislative business. The chamber is expected to continue consideration of a bill (HR 2810) that would would authorize defense programs for FY 2018.
Committee Hearings
09:00am: Intelligence Authorization Act
09:30am: Gulf War Illness Claims
10:00am: The Future of Farming
10:00am: State Early Childhood Programs
10:00am: Bad Patents
10:00am: Current Trust Land Acquisition Practices
10:00am: Al Qaeda Threat
10:00am: Tax Reform and Small Businesses Growth
10:00am: Labor Department Fiduciary Rule
10:00am: Small Business Contracting in Puerto Rico
10:00am: Commerce-Justice-Science/Financial Services Appropriations
10:00am: Drinking Water System Improvement
01:00pm: Middle East/North Africa Budget
02:00pm: VA Productivity and Effiency
02:00pm: Post ISIS Terrorist Diaspora
02:00pm: Pending Legislation
03:00pm: State-Foreign Operations Appropriations
04:30pm: Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations
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Supreme Court case may shake up elections
The Supreme Court is set to take a serious look at partisan gerrymandering with a case that could jeopardize voter maps across the country and help Democrats regain control of Congress.

The case, which will be heard next term, will be closely followed by lawmakers, since the outcome could define how far state legislatures can go in drawing up district lines for partisan gain.

The case, known as Gill v. Whitford, centers on the Wisconsin map the state’s Republican-controlled legislature enacted in 2011. A three-judge panel on the federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled 2-1 in November that the map was an unconstitutional political gerrymander.

“If state or legislative districts are dismantled, that throws the composition potentially of state legislatures and Congress into incredible flux,” said Caleb Burns, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based Wiley Rein LLP who focuses on election law and government ethics.
Read More
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Fresh Freedom Caucus demands stall GOP budget
Republican plans to advance a budget bill have again stalled in the face of fresh demands from the House Freedom Caucus.

The conservative lawmakers are now saying they will not back a budget until they know exactly what the House GOP’s plan is on tax reform.

“If a budget is put forward today at $200 billion on mandatory spending, and without decisions on tax reform, there would not be enough votes to pass it in the House because of the conservative concerns,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Wednesday.

Meadows made the remarks at a press conference demanding that the House follow the Senate’s lead in delaying its August recess.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) echoed Meadows.

“For us to say we’d like to see the tax bill first, and we’d like to have real savings over time so we’re not further bankrupting the country, how is that a radical position?” he said.
Read more
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DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team
The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

Later, a series of events between an intermediary for the attorney and the Trump campaign ultimately led to the controversy surrounding Donald Trump Jr.
Read more
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