Weekly Washington Outlook – June 23, 2014

STOCK PHOTO capitol building

What to Watch This Week:


The House:

On Monday, the House will resume consideration of the Consumer Protection and End User Relief Act (H.R. 4413) to reauthorize the Commodities Future Trading Commission.  In addition, members will vote on a series of bills under suspension of the rules:

1) S. 2086 – Reliable Home Heating Act (Sponsored by Sen. John Thune / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

2) H.R. 4092 – Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright / Energy and Commerce Committee)

3) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 316 – Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act (Sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Esty / Energy and Commerce Committee)

4) H.R. 4801 – To require the Secretary of Energy to prepare a report on the impact of thermal insulation on both energy and water use for potable hot water (Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger / Energy and Commerce Committee)

5) S. 1044 – World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Rep. Rob Portman / Natural Resources Committee)

6) H.R. 4002– To revoke the charter of incorporation of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma at the request of that tribe (Sponsored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin / Natural Resources Committee)

7) H.R. 412 – Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (Sponsored by Rep. Niki Tsongas / Natural Resources Committee)

On Tuesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider six bills under suspension of the rules.  These include a Senate-passed Intelligence reauthorization bill:

1) S. 1681 – Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Permanent Select Intelligence Committee)

2) H.R. 1098– Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2013, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell / Energy and Commerce Committee)

3) H.R. 1281– Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard / Energy and Commerce Committee)

4) H.R. 3548 – Improving Trauma Care Act of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson / Energy and Commerce Committee)

5) H.R. 4080 – Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess / Energy and Commerce Committee)

6) H.R. 4631 -The Autism CARES Act of 2014, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Energy and Commerce Committee)

In this period, votes will also occur on three energy-related bills:

H.R. 3301 – North American Energy Infrastructure Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule)
(Sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton / Energy and Commerce Committee / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee / Natural Resources Committee)

H.R. 6 – Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule)  (Sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner / Energy and Commerce Committee)

H.R. 4899 – Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Doc Hastings / Natural Resources Committee / Judiciary Committee)

Last votes are expected Thursday afternoon.

The Senate:

The Senate this week will continue its work confirming a series of judicial nominations.  Later in the week, the chamber is expected to bring up a bicameral, bipartisan compromise reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act.

White House:

On Monday, the president will participate in the Summit on Working Families to focus on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans at the Omni Hotel in Washington, DC. The vice president, the First Lady and Dr. Biden will also participate.  On Tuesday, the president will host the 2013 Presidents Cup Teams at the White House.  On Wednesday, the president will have lunch with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the White House.  Afterward, the president will welcome Jimmie Johnson to the White House to honor him for his 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. In the evening, the president will deliver remarks at the League of Conservation Voters Capital Dinner.  On Thursday, the President will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  On Friday, the president and First Lady will attend the Marine Barracks Evening Parade in Washington, DC.

Also this week and beyond:

Unaccompanied Minors – Last week, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Guatelama to address Central American leaders and discuss the crisis with unaccompanied minors.  In addition to unveiling measures to promote economic development and reduce violence in the region, the Administration also announced additional steps to enhance enforcement and removal proceedings.  They also made clear that unaccompanied minors crossing the border will not be eligible for DACA.  The announcement came at the same time as House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter to the President, calling on him to, among other things, send the National Guard to the area to help relieve Customs and Border Patrol officials. This week on the Hill, at least three committees have planned hearings on the matter.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify on Tuesday before the House Homeland Security Committee, along with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy Chief of Customs and Border Protection Ronad Vitiello.  The House Judiciary Committee postponed last week’s planned hearing until Wednesday and will examine allegations that failed immigration policies are contributing to the rise in unaccompanied minors.  The full hearing notice is available here: http://judiciary.house.gov/index.cfm/press-releases?id=BC947DDF-1F26-48F0-B0F7-D150AD630DCA.  Finally, the House Foreign Affairs’ Western Hemisphere Subcommittee will hear also on Wednesday from Mark Lopes, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at USAID.  Elsewhere, Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) are introducing the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act on Monday afternoon to help children access legal representation.

Immigrant Integration – On Tuesday, Congressman Cardenas (D-Calif.) and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) will introduce the New American Success Act.  This bill expands on the integration component of the Senate comprehensive immigration bill.  In addition to establishing a National Office of New Americans, the bill creates two grant programs to address civic, linguistic, and economic integration.  Related, several “special order” speeches are planned for this week to talk about integration and tell immigrant stories, as part of Immigrant Heritage month.

Appropriations – In the midst of last week’s GOP Leadership elections, the Agriculture-FDA spending bill was pulled off of the floor due to concerns about final passage; its future remains somewhat uncertain.  In the Senate, a “minibus” spending bill packaging together Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development stalled over disagreements with the amendment process.  The difficulties in both chambers passing individual spending bills, and current ambiguity over the House’s process moving forward, has prompted renewed speculation of an omnibus spending bill at the end of this fiscal year.

Workforce/Education – The White House on Monday is hosting its first-ever Working Families Summit.  Panels will focus on improving workplace conditions, addressing economic and emotional stress.  Other will look at young women leaders, STEM education, non-traditional jobs, among others.  The summit coincides with the release of a report from the Council of Economic Advisors “Nine Facts About American Families and Work,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nine_facts_about_family_and_work_real_final.pdf.

WIA – The Senate is expected to vote this week on a compromise Workforce Investment Act reauthorization.  As part of this consideration, Senators will vote on amendments from Senator Flake (R-Ariz.) and Senator Lee (R-Utah).  The House will likely pass the measure after the July recess.

Tax – The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to act this week on something related to the Child Tax Credit and possibly other refundable credits.  While details remain unclear, the Committee in recent weeks has voted on a series of bills to make permanent certain expired tax credits to change the baseline of their discussion draft for a comprehensive reform.

Nominations – The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will vote on Julian Castro’s nomination to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday.  He is expected to be approved by the full Senate sometime in early July.  Elsewhere, the Senate Budget Committee will vote on confirming current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday.  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will also vote on his nomination on Wednesday.