Republican leadership in the House and Senate will need to refocus their efforts this week on their agenda for the 115th Congress, following the failure of the House leadership’s proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) was forced to cancel a much-anticipated vote on the GOP proposal after it became clear there was not enough Republican support for the measure in the House. The lead up to the cancelled vote highlighted the divisions within the Republican conference. The long-term implications of the failure of the healthcare bill are uncertain, but the failure to advance the bill will no doubt have short-term implications for the agenda, including this week’s Senate floor schedule. The Senate had planned to tackle the House-passed bill this week, but will now move to other matters. Republican leadership and the President will be looking to regroup this week to consider the strategy for moving other legislative priorities in the months ahead. Most pressing will be the need to keep the government funded and operating beyond April 28, when the current funding legislation expires.
In the meantime, legislative business will continue in both chambers for the next two weeks, after which both chambers will enjoy a two-week recess.
On Monday, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to resume consideration of the ratification of the treaty for the accession of Montenegro as the newest member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. In order for Montenegro to join NATO, each of NATO’s 28 members must ratify its accession. The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Monday evening on the motion to invoke cloture on the Montenegro treaty, setting up a roll call vote on final passage. The Senate floor schedule beyond the Montenegro accession measure is unclear, although the Majority Leader may move to consider nominations awaiting consideration. The nomination of Elaine Duke to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is pending, as are a number of military appointments reported by the Armed Services Committee.
The House is also scheduled to return to legislative business on Monday, when members will consider under suspension of the rules three bills related to emergency preparedness and response under the jurisdiction of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
On Tuesday, the House will take up S.J. Res 34, a Senate-passed resolution under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove the Federal Communications Commission’s final rule relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.” The privacy proposal, adopted by the FCC on March 31, 2016, would limit the ability of internet service providers (ISPs) to track the web history of subscribers and restrict their sharing of customer data with third parties. If the disapproval resolution is passed by the House and signed by President Trump, the FCC would not only be barred from implementing this rule, but it would be banned from implementing similar rules in the future. Consideration of S.J. Res. 34 will be subject to a rule.
On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to take up H.R. 1430, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act of 2017. This legislation aims to promote transparency at the Environmental Protection Agency by prohibiting the agency’s Administrator from proposing or finalizing any future regulations unless the underlying scientific data is public and based on the best available science. The bill reaffirms laws that prohibit the disclosure of confidential or proprietary information. Consideration of H.R. 1430 will be subject to a rule.
No votes are expected in the House on Friday.
Despite the light floor schedule in both chambers, congressional committees are heavily scheduled this week.
On Monday, following last week’s hearing on his nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a markup on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Also on the agenda are the nominations of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General and Rachel Brand to be Associate Attorney General. Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) has said he expects the committee will adhere to its traditional one-week hold-over on the nominations, and a final vote in committee is likely to place on April 3. Following the committee vote, Judge Gorsuch’s nomination is expected to see immediate consideration on the Senate floor, where Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has promised a Democratic filibuster. Senate Republicans plan to confirm Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court prior to leaving for their April recess.
The President’s nominee to serve as Secretary of Labor will also be the subject of a committee markup this week. On Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is expected to vote on the nomination of Alexander Acosta to head the Department of Labor. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation also plans to consider the nomination of Jeffrey Rosen to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation.
Following the release of President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal, members of the President’s Cabinet continue to make appearances on Capitol Hill to discuss the requests for their specific departments in greater detail with members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees. The schedule this week includes a Wednesday appearance by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price to provide testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.
Related to the budget, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are scheduled to receive a closed briefing Tuesday afternoon on the Department of Defense worldwide policy and strategy and the FY 2017 Defense Supplemental Budget Request. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford will provide the briefing to the committee.
Matters of international affairs dominate the hearing schedule this week, and Russian activities in particular are a focus. The House Armed Services Committee will hear from U.S. Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, on Tuesday for a “Military Assessment of Russian Activities and Security Challenges in Europe.” The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is scheduled to meet Thursday for a hearing on Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign. A morning panel will examine the “history and characteristics” of information campaigns by Russia. The afternoon panel will examine the “role and capabilities of cyber operations.” A scheduled open hearing of the House Select Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the U.S. election set for Tuesday morning was postponed.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a Tuesday hearing on U.S. foreign assistance in the national budget and the role it plays in diplomacy and development. Experts and academics are scheduled to provide testimony to the committee on ways to more strategically deploy foreign assistance programs at a time when budget resources are limited.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on U.S. policy towards Iran on Tuesday. Members of the committee will meet again on Thursday to discuss U.S. foreign policy interests with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. This event follows an appearance by the pair before the House Armed Services Committee last week.
On Wednesday the House Armed Services Committee will hear a “Military Assessment of the Security Challenges in the Greater Middle East” from U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Information Technology are scheduled to meet jointly on Tuesday to review Federal IT acquisition challenges and reform.
Two events related to cybersecurity are scheduled this week. The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies is scheduled to meet on Tuesday morning to examine efforts by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure federal networks. Members will hear from government witnesses regarding DHS’ programs that administer operational cyber capabilities across the federal government and assist federal agencies and departments in protecting their unclassified networks. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon to examine cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats. The subcommittee will also receive testimony on S. 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.
The House Agriculture Committee continues to prepare for the development of the 2018 Farm Bill with hearings this week. Its subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management will hold the first in a series of hearings on commodity policy on Tuesday morning. The Subcommittee on Nutrition meets that afternoon to discuss the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The full committee meets Wednesday morning regarding the Farm Credit System.
Infrastructure updates and modernization issues are also a continuing effort of congressional committees. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will meet on Tuesday regarding the Brownfields Program. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the potential for infrastructure improvements through energy and mineral production in Alaska.
The full details for these events and other hearings scheduled throughout the week are included below:
Monday, March 27, 2017
Supreme Court and DOJ Nominations Senate Judiciary Full Committee Markup 12 p.m., SD-226
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Smithsonian Institution’s Priorities House Administration Full Committee Hearing 11:30 a.m.
The Next Farm Bill: Commodity Policy Part I House Agriculture – Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Budget Hearing – Corporation for Public Broadcasting House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
U.S. Central Command House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense Subcommittee Hearing CLOSED 10:45 a.m.
Military Assessment of Russian Activities and Security Challenges in Europe House Armed Services Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Examining the Corporation for National and Community Service and Its Failed Oversight of Taxpayer Dollars House Education and the Workforce – Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Self-Driving Cars: Levels of Automation House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Examining FDAs Medical Device User Fee Program House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Health Subcommittee Hearing 10:15 a.m.
The Arbitrary and Inconsistent Non-Bank SIFI Designation Process House Financial Services – Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing March 28, 10 a.m.
The Budget Diplomacy and Development House Foreign Affairs Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
The Current State of DHS Efforts to Secure Federal Networks House Homeland Security – Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Restoring Enforcement of our Nation’s Immigration Laws House Judiciary – Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Oversight Hearing on ESA Consultation Impediments to Economic and Infrastructure Development House Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m., 1324 LHOB
Pending Business House Oversight and Government Reform Full Committee Markup 10 a.m.
Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Revitalizing American Communities through the Brownfields Program House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
The Next Farm Bill: The Future of SNAP Policy House Agriculture – Subcommittee on Nutrition Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
Naval Strike Fighters: Issues and Concerns House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Hearing 3:30 p.m.
The State of Bank Lending in America House Financial Services – Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
Human Rights in Venezuela House Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
East Africa’s Quiet Famine House Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
The State of Forensic Science in the U.S. House Judiciary – Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing 3 p.m.
Reviewing Challenges in Federal IT Acquisition House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Government Operations; House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Information Technology Subcommittees Joint Hearing 2 p.m.
Fostering Economic Growth: The Role of Financial Companies Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Full Committee Hearing 9:30 a.m.
Foreign Sources of Minerals Dependence Senate Energy and Natural Resources Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Protecting Young Athletes From Sexual Abuse Senate Judiciary Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
The View from Congress: U.S. Policy on Iran Senate Foreign Relations Full Committee Hearing 10:30 a.m.
Cybersecurity Threats to the U.S. Electric Grid Senate Energy and Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Energy Subcommittee Hearing 2:15 p.m.
Department of Defense Worldwide Policy and Strategy and the FY2017 Defense Supplemental Budget Request Senate Armed Services Full Committee Briefing 2:30 p.m.
Pending Legislation Senate Environment and Public Works – Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Review of the Farm Credit System House Agriculture Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
US European Command Hearing House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense Subcommittee Hearing CLOSED 10 a.m.
Budget Hearing – Department of Health and Human Services House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Public Witnesses Hearing House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Greater Middle East Security Challenges House Armed Services Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
H.R. 986, “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017” House Education and the Workforce – Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Realizing Nationwide Next-Generation 911 House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Federal Energy Related Tax Policy and its Effects on Markets Prices and Consumers House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Energy and Power Subcommittee Hearing 10:15 a.m.
Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on the Markets, Businesses, Investors, and Job Creators House Financial Services – Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Pending Business House Foreign Affairs Full Committee Markup 10:30 a.m.
Terrorism in North Africa House Homeland Security – Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Federally Funded Cancer Research: Coordination and Innovation House Oversight and Government Reform Full Committee Hearing 9:30 a.m.
Climate Science: Assumptions Policy Implications and the Scientific Method House Science, Space and Technology Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced? House Small Business Full Committee Hearing 11 a.m.
Pending Legislation House Veterans’ Affairs – Subcommittee on Health Subcommittee Hearing 8 a.m.
Military Pilot Shortage House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Military Personnel Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
Testing the Limits: Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program Sanctions and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps House Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) After Safetrack House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Government Operations Subcommittee Hearing 2 p.m.
Review of the Defense Health Program and Military Medicine Funding Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense Subcommittee Hearing 10:30 a.m.
Closing the Skills Gap and Boosting United States Competitiveness Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Cold War Legacy Sites Clean Up Senate Environment and Public Works Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
The U.S.-Mexico Relationship: Advancing Security and Prosperity on Both Sides of the Border Senate Foreign Relations – Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues Subcommittee Hearing 10:15 a.m.
Arlington National Cemetery: Current Operations and Future Plans to Honor the Fallen Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee Field Hearing 2 p.m.
Civil Society Perspectives on Russia Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Health of the Department of Defense Industrial Base and its Role in Providing Readiness to the Warfighter Senate Armed Services – Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee Hearing 2:15 p.m.
Air Force Modernization Senate Armed Services – Subcommittee on Airland Subcommittee Hearing 3:30 p.m.
Deputy Transportation Secretary Nomination Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Full Committee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
American Leadership in the Asia-Pacific, Part 1: Security Issues Senate Foreign Relations – Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee Hearing 2:15 p.m.
The Effect of Borrowing on Federal Spending Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Native Youth: Promoting Diabetes Prevention Through Healthy Living Senate Indian Affairs Full Committee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Examining How Small Businesses Confront and Shape Regulations Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Full Committee Hearing 3 p.m.
The Arch of Alzheimer’s: From Preventing Cognitive Decline in Americans to Assuring Quality Care for those Living with the Disease Senate Special Aging Full Committee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Threats to Space Assets and Implications for Homeland Security House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces; House Homeland Security – Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittees Joint Hearing 2 p.m.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
The Current State of U.S. Transportation Command House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Readiness Subcommittee Hearing 9 a.m.
H.R. 1689 The Private Property Rights Protection Act House Judiciary – Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Hearing 9 a.m.
SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs: Resources to Assist Small Businesses House Small Business – Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Hearing 10 a.m.
Secretary of Labor Nomination Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Full Committee Markup TBA
The Road Ahead: U.S. Interests, Values, and the American People Senate Foreign Relations Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns Senate Select Intelligence Full Committee Hearing 10 a.m.
Potential Infrastructure Improvements Through Energy and Mineral Production in Alaska Senate Energy and Natural Resources Full Committee Hearing 2:30 p.m.
Consequences and Context for Russia’s Violations of the INF Treaty House Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade; House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Committees Joint Hearing 10:30 a.m.