Congressional Climate May 22nd, 2017

Video of the Day
President Trump Remarks at Arrival Ceremony

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 3 p.m. and will resume post-cloture consideration of the nomination of Terry Branstad to be ambassador to China. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on the nomination.
Nominations: Terry Branstad, of Iowa, to be ambassador to China.
Committee Hearings
None
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 1862 – A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to expand the scope of certain definitions pertaining to unlawful sexual conduct, and for other purposes.
HR 1842 – A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to include State crimes of violence as grounds for an enhanced penalty when sex offenders fail to register or report certain information as required by Federal law, to include prior military offenses for purposes of recidivist sentencing provisions, and for other purposes.
HR 1188 – A bill to reauthorize certain programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and for other purposes.
HR 883 – Targeting Child Predators Act
HR 695 – Child Protection Improvements Act
HR 1625 – Targeted Rewards for the Global Eradication of Human Trafficking (TARGET) Act
Committee Hearings
05:00pm: Pesticide Use Regulatory Burdens
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Five things to watch for in the Trump budget
All eyes will be on President Trump’s budget on Tuesday when it is set for release.

Trump already made waves with the release of his “skinny budget” in March, which outlined massive cuts in discretionary spending in favor of defense.

The full budget is in many ways a political document, and Congress may do away with much of it as it works to fund the government.

Yet the document also lays out Trump’s agenda, at a time when he is facing myriad controversies.

Here are five things to watch for.
How deep are the cuts and do they touch entitlements?

The “skinny budget” laid out $54 billion in cuts from non-defense discretionary spending, slashing huge amounts the State Department and EPA, and eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Read More
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Trump strikes moderate tone on Islam
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Against the backdrop of an ornate, Mar-a-Lago style ballroom with members of the Saudi royal family sitting nearby, President Donald Trump on Sunday delivered a moderate speech on Islam designed to reset his relationship with the Muslim world.

Trump emphasized a war against terrorism around the globe, and not between religions, saying that the fight “means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists, and Islamic terror of all kinds.” He notably steered clear of the loaded term “radical Islamic terrorism,” which he has used in the past.

“We are not here to lecture – we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship,” Trump said in a 33-minute speech free of unprompted asides, which also did not depart from traditional American Middle East foreign policy.

“Instead,” he said in his first major foreign policy address since taking office, “we are here to offer partnership – based on shared interests and values.”
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Ivan Trump Swayed the President on Family Leave. Congress is a Tougher Sell
Ivanka Trump has largely cast herself as a behind-the-scenes force for moderation in the West Wing, but this week she will take her first real political risk when her signature parental leave plan is presented to a conservative House majority hostile to any new government mandates.

Her proposal for a $25 billion federal paid leave program, part of the budget plan that President Trump will release Tuesday, is a reflection of Ms. Trump’s influence in her father’s inner circle. The plan has been her primary area of interest since the 2016 campaign, when she pushed her father to introduce a version of it on the stump.

While she has become a popular figure with some Republicans on Capitol Hill, she will discover how far her sway extends. As she tries to leave her first tangible imprint on the government with a plan that cuts against Republican orthodoxy, a buzz saw will surely await. The question is just how big it will be.

“If it is going to be a buzz saw, I hope it’s going to be an intelligent buzz saw,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York. “I think we have to realize that the ground has shifted. I don’t mean the political ground, I mean the family ground.”
Read more
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