Congressional Climate March 23, 2017

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Video of the Day
President Trump Meets with the Congressional Black Caucus Executive Committee

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. and is expected to resume consideration of a disapproval resolution (S J Res 34) that would nullify a Federal Communications Commission rule that requires internet service providers to obtain customer approval in order to share their information.
S J Res 34 – A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”.
Committee Hearings
9:30 a.m.: U.S. European Command
9:30 a.m.: Clayton Nomination
9:30 a.m.: Gorsuch Nomination
10:00 a.m.: Improving Airport Infrastructure/Aviation Manufacturing
10:00 a.m.: Perdue Nomination
2:00 p.m.: Intelligence Matters
2:30 p.m.: DOD Civilian Personnel Reform
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 9 a.m. for legislative business. The chamber is expected to consider a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Committee Hearings
9:00 a.m.: Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act
9:00 a.m.: Fostering Government Transparency
10:00 a.m.: Future of Small Family Farms
10:00 a.m.: Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction Strategy
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Trump Floats Health Bill Changes to Win Over Conservatives
The White House is talking with House conservatives about last-minute changes to the embattled GOP health-care bill aimed at wooing enough holdouts to secure House passage. Lawmakers and Trump administration officials are discussing revisions to what are called essential benefits requirements in Obamacare, according to members of Congress and a White House official familiar with the discussions.

The negotiations dragged late into Wednesday night, and Republicans postponed until Thursday a key procedural step before the bill gets to the floor. Holdouts in the House Freedom Caucus also pushed for changes in Obamacare’s requirements that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, but the White House gave them a hard no, according to a White House official.
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Nunes Puts Credibility of House Panel He Leads in Doubt
Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican who is chairman of a House panel investigating Russian interference in the presidential election, may have dealt his own inquiry a fatal blow on Wednesday. Armed with intelligence that some Republicans said bolstered President Trump’s widely disputed claim of being wiretapped by the Obama administration, Mr. Nunes bypassed Democrats and went directly to the White House.

The new information, Mr. Nunes said, showed that American intelligence agencies monitoring foreign officials may have “incidentally” picked up communications of Trump transition team members. The move angered Democrats who said that Mr. Nunes’s attempt to buttress Mr. Trump’s accusation raised questions about his ability to conduct an impartial bipartisan investigation.

The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Representative Adam Schiff of California, issued a challenge, saying that Mr. Nunes had to decide whether he was chairman of an independent investigation or “is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both.”
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Tillerson to embassies: ID groups for tougher screening
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered U.S. embassies to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny,” according to diplomatic cables seen by Reuters. People in those groups singled out would ultimately face a tougher visa screening process, Reuters reported Thursday.

Tillerson has also reportedly demanded a “mandatory social media check” for all applicants who have ever been to areas controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Two former U.S. officials told Reuters the social media checks would be part of a broad, labor-intensive expansion of such vetting methods.

Social media examinations are now done rarely by consular officials, according to one of the news service’s two sources. Reuters reported that Tillerson’s instructions came in four cables he sent during the last two weeks. Those memos provided details about implementing President Trump’s revised executive order from earlier this month temporarily barring visitors from six Muslim-majority nations. The controversial March 6 directive also paused general refugee admissions and mandated enhanced visa screenings.
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com
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