Congressional Climate March 20, 2017

Video of the Day
3/20/17: Weekly Address

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate meets in a pro forma session.
Committee Hearings
11:00 a.m.: Gorsuch nomination
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 2 p.m. 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 1029 — A bill to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to improve pesticide registration and other activities under the Act, to extend and modify fee authorities, and for other purposes.
HR 382 — 100 Years of Women in Congress Act
HR 1309 — TSA Administrator Modernization Act
HR 1353 — Transparency in Technological Acquisitions Act
HR 1294 — Reducing DHS Acquisition Cost Growth Act
HR 1297 — Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Corrections Act
HR 1249 — DHS Multiyear Acquisition Strategy Act
HR 1252 — DHS Acquisition Authorities Act
HR 1365 — Department of Homeland Security Acquisition Innovation Act
HR 1238 — Securing our Agriculture and Food Act
HR 1302 — Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act
Committee Hearings
10:00 a.m.: Russian Election Tampering
5:00 p.m.: Health Insurance Reform Legislation
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Trump Denies Russia Collusion Ahead of Comey’s Testimony
Hours before FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before Congress, President Donald Trump said that claims that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election were no more than a political ploy by disenchanted Democrats.

“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning, using an acronym for President of the United States and referring to the former director of national intelligence. “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”

Comey is scheduled to testify Monday about the continuing U.S. investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election, as well as Trump’s unsupported claim that his predecessor had Trump Tower “wiretapped.”
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On Health Law, G.O.P. Faces a Formidable Policy Foe: House Republicans
Halfway through Congress’s 2013 summer recess, a letter landed on the desks of House Republican leaders demanding a new strategy to fight “one of the largest grievances in our time.” Give Congress the option to defund the Affordable Care Act, it said, or risk shutting down the government.

Republican leaders condemned the idea, and the 80 House Republicans who signed the letter acquired a nickname, courtesy of the conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer — the “suicide caucus.” But it wasn’t long before a bitter disagreement over the health care law snarled budget negotiations and resulted in a disruptive government shutdown that lasted 16 days.

Republicans took the blame.Three and a half years later, the letter’s recipients — John A. Boehner, then the House speaker, and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader at the time — are gone, casualties of the take-no-prisoners conservatism it espoused.

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Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker
Vulnerable red-state Democrats are facing a mountain of pressure as confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, start on Monday. Both sides are honing in on a group of roughly 10 Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in states carried by Trump and who could make or break his nomination.

Democratic leadership signaled within hours of Trump naming Gorusch to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia that they would fight his nomination and require him to get 60 votes to clear the upper chamber. That means Republicans will need to break off at least eight Democrats.

The pressure from outside groups is putting the Democrats up for reelection between a rock and a hard place: Any move to support Gorsuch will inflame the party’s progressive base, but opposing him will be fodder for Republicans and outside group ahead of 2018.

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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com

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