Weekly Washington Outlook – April 28, 2014

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

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The House:

The House returns from a two-week recess on Monday afternoon to consider the following nine bills under suspension of the rules:

1) S. 994 – The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (Sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)/ Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

2) H.R. 4192 – To amend the Act entitled “An Act to regulate the height of buildings in the District of Columbia” to clarify the rules of the District of Columbia regarding human occupancy of penthouses above the top story of the building upon which the penthouse is placed, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

3) H.R. 4194 – The Government Reports Elimination Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)/ Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

4) H.R. 298 – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield located in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, Kentucky, and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System (Sponsored by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)/ Natural Resources Committee)

5) H.R. 4032 – North Texas Invasive Species Barrier Act of 201, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas)/ Natural Resources Committee)

6) H.R. 3110 – Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)/ Natural Resources Committee)

7) H.R. 930 – To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the archeological site and surrounding land of the New Philadelphia town site in the State of Illinois (Sponsored by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)/ Natural Resources Committee)

8) H.R. 4120 – To amend the National Law Enforcement Museum Act to extend the termination date (Sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) / Natural Resources Committee)

9) H.R. 1501 – Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument Preservation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)/ Natural Resources Committee)

On Tuesday, the House will consider H.R. 4414 – Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) / Ways & Means Committee) as well as three more bills under suspension of the rules:

1) H.R. 627 – National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, as amended  (Sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) / Financial Services Committee)

2) H.R. 4167 – Restoring Proven Financing for American Employers Act (Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) / Financial Services Committee)

3) H.R. ___ – Gold Medal Technical Corrections Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)/ Financial Services Committee)

On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will take up two appropriations bills, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and the Legislative Branch.  No votes are expected Friday.

The Senate:

The Senate also returns Monday afternoon from a two-week recess to confirm three nominations, including David Weil to be the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.  Later in the week, the Senate will take a procedural vote to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and will then proceed to legislation sponsored by Senator Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Senator Portman (R-Ohio) on energy efficiency.

White House:

On Monday, the President is in the Philippines as part of his Asian trip and will return to Washington tomorrow.  The White House has not yet released a schedule for the balance of the week.

Also this week and beyond:

Immigration Reform – Immigration reform was once again conspicuously absent from Majority Leader Cantor’s Friday memo to House members outlining the May legislative agenda.

Healthcare – The House this week will vote again on a modified version of the Expatriate Healthcare Coverage Clarification Act. The bill failed under suspension of the rules before the recess after labor and immigrant advocacy groups raised concerns that the definition of expatriate under the bill was unnecessarily broad and could erode coverage for legal permanent residents and certain visa-holders. Since its defeat on the floor, the definition of qualified foreign expatriate has subsequently been amended to include a condition that a person be either authorized to work in the US or lawfully admitted into the US for purposes of lawful permanent residence. This expansion raises additional concerns about immigrant healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act.

Housing Finance Reform – The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a mark-up of the Johnson-Crapo housing finance overhaul bill for April 29.

Minimum Wage – The Senate will finally take a procedural vote to raise the minimum wage on Wednesday of this week.  The vote is expected to fall short of the sixty required to advance the measure.

Education – Education Secretary Arne Duncan will testify on Tuesday before the House Education and Workforce Committee.  Later in the month, Majority Leader Cantor has indicated he plans to bring the Kline-Miller bill reauthorizing federal charter programs to the floor.

Poverty – The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on a report by the panel’s chairman Paul Ryan on President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  The report concludes that federal anti-poverty programs are ineffective and inefficient.

Tax Reform – The House Ways and Means Committee will mark-up six bills this week to make certain business tax extenders permanent law.  In contrast the Senate is expected to vote in the coming weeks on a two-year extension of nearly all expired tax credits.

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