The House and Senate both wrapped their work early last week as Hurricane Florence approached the east coast, but not before sending the President the first FY19 appropriations measures in a minibus package that included the Energy-Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bills. With the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, leaders announced their intention to use the Defense and Labor-HHS minibus as a legislative vehicle for a continuing resolution (CR) to extend funding through December 7 for the remaining government programs. The package also extends the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), set to expire on September 30, through December 7.

The House is in recess this week. The Senate returned on Monday and passed a bill on drug pricing before voting 99-1 to adopt a package of bills aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. On Tuesday, it passed the Defense/Labor-HHS/CR appropriations package 93-7 and then adopted the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act, which would guarantee royalties from digital music services to artists for records produced prior to 1972. Instead of taking a one day recess on Wednesday for Yom Kippur as planned, the Senate adjourned for the week on Tuesday evening.

The Week Ahead

On Monday morning, all eyes will be on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Judge Brett Kavanaugh will return for a previously unscheduled hearing to discuss a sexual misconduct allegation. Later that day, the Senate will vote on Jackie Wolcott’s nomination to serve as US Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UN Mission in Vienna before turning to Peter Feldman’s nomination to serve as a Commissioner on the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC).

The House is expected to vote next week to send the Defense/Labor-HHS/CR appropriations package to the President for his signature. Negotiations are also underway to potentially bring an opioids conference report to the floor, as well as the House companion to the Senate-passed Music Modernization Act.

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Other topics covered this week include:

  • Advent of 5G Attracts Increased Attention from Policymakers
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee Examines Evolving Threats
  • FTC Kicks Off Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century
  • Credit Card Companies, Banks Reach Settlement in Decade-Long Swipe Fee Dispute