Congressional Climate March 29, 2017
Video of the Day
President Trump Hosts a Reception for Senators and Their Spouses
Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m and is expected to proceed to a disapproval resolution (H J Res 67) that would nullify a Labor Department rule that exempts certain local government-administered retirement plans for non-government workers from select federal restrictions and requirements for pension plans.
H J Res 67 – A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees.
10:00 a.m.: Cold War Legacy Sites Clean Up
10:00 a.m.: Worker’s Skills Gap/U.S. Competitiveness
10:00 a.m.: Russian Influence/Unconventional Warfare in Ukraine
10:15 a.m.: U.S.-Mexico Relationship
10:30 a.m.: Defense Health Program/Military Medicine Funding
12:00 p.m.: Intelligence Matters
2:00 p.m.: Arlington National Cemetery
2:15 p.m.: Defense Warfighter Readiness
2:15 p.m.: U.S. Leadership in Asia-Pacific
2:30 p.m.: Borrowing and Federal Spending
2:30 p.m.: Alzheimer’s Prevention/Care
2:30 p.m.: Native Youth Diabetes Prevention
2:30 p.m.: Civil Society Prospectives on Russia
2:30 p.m.: Rosen Nomination
2:30 p.m.: Pending Business
3:00 p.m.: Small Business Regulation
3:30 p.m.: Air Force Modernization
TBA Perdue Nomination
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 9 a.m. for legislative business. The chamber is consider a bill (HR 1431) that would modify the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.
HR 1431 – EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act
8:00 a.m.: Pending Legislation
9:30 a.m.: Federally Funded Cancer Research
10:00 a.m.: Farm Credit System Review
10:00 a.m.: U.S. European Command
10:00 a.m.: HHS Budget
10:00 a.m.: Public Witnesses
10:00 a.m.: Greater Middle East Security Challenges
10:00 a.m.: Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act
10:00 a.m.: Nationwide Next-Generation 911
10:00 a.m.: Climate Science
10:00 a.m.: Volcker Rule Economic Impacts
10:00 a.m.: Terrorism in North Africa
10:00 a.m.: Pending Legislation
10:00 a.m.: Pending Business
10:15 a.m.: Federal Energy Related Tax Policy
10:45 a.m.: Pending Business
11:00 a.m.: Paperwork Reduction Act
2:00 p.m.: Military Pilot Shortage
2:00 p.m.: DC Metro Rail Safetrack
2:00 p.m.: Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program
Trump’s FDA Nominee Wants to Lower Drug Costs With More Generics
President Donald Trump’s pick to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is among the most vigorous advocates of lowering drug costs by approving cheap generics faster, an initiative aimed directly at the profit centers of major companies. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA deputy commissioner, would make streamlining approvals his top priority, according to a person familiar with the administration’s thinking.
He’s particularly focused on complex medications that combine old drugs with newer delivery devices, as well as those with unusually complicated formulations. The administration could make the changes without Congress passing a law.
That would allow the administration a badly needed win in the wake of its scuttled attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a centerpiece of the Trump’s campaign and the Republican agenda. But it also risks angering companies that have considerable legal firepower to defend their money-makers.
Congress Is Headed to Another Government Funding Showdown
Ten legislative days before funding would run out, Congress is heading toward another government shutdown showdown. Democrats and many Republicans are likely to refuse to go along with President Trump’s request for money for a border wall financed in part by outsize cuts to medical research. And the specter of another fight over Planned Parenthood funding is also in the offing.
Fresh off the humiliating implosion of the House health care bill last week, Mr. Trump appears to be courting another disaster. To help pay for his proposed border wall with Mexico, Mr. Trump has asked for $18 billion in cuts to domestic programs, including many with broad bipartisan support, and an additional $1.5 billion in funding as part of the spending bill to keep the government open for the rest of the year.
Among the cuts, the administration proposes a $1.2 billion reduction to the National Institutes of Health – which Congress enriched last year in a bill to fight cancer and other diseases – and a $2.8 billion reduction to the State Department and other international operations as well as major cuts in grants for transportation, infrastructure and housing.
Senate braces for fallout over Supreme Court fight
Senators in both parties are gearing up for a showdown over Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confidently predicted on Tuesday that the Senate would confirm Gorsuch on April 7, before lawmakers leave town for a two-week recess.
But as Democratic opposition grows, leaders are signaling they’re prepared to push the chamber to the edge as President Trump’s pick comes up for a vote – even if it means using the “nuclear option” to change the Senate’s rules. “We’re going to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed,” McConnell told reporters during a weekly press conference.
“It’ll be an opportunity for the Democrats to invoke cloture. We’ll see where that ends.” Pressed on if he would have the votes within his conference should Democrats initially block Gorsuch’s nomination, McConnell said he was “confident” the judge will join the Supreme Court.
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