Weekly Washington Outlook — November 10, 2014

 

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons
Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

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House of Representatives:

The House will return to session on Wednesday afternoon and will consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules, including:

1) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 4194 – Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif. / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

2) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1233 – Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)/ Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

3) H.R. 5266 – Reauthorizing the National Estuary Programs, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Frank LoBiondo / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

4) S. 1934 – Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

5) S. 898 – Albuquerque, New Mexico, Federal Land Conveyance Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)/ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

6) H.R. 5167 – To direct the Administrator of General Services, on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, to convey certain federal property located in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to the Olgoonik Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) / Natural Resources Committee)

7) H.R. 3326 – Trinity County Land Exchange Act of 2014, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) / Natural Resources Committee)

8) H.R. 4846 – Arapaho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)/ Natural Resources Committee)

9) H.R. 4867 – Economic Development Through Tribal Land Exchange Act (Sponsored by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.)/ Natural Resources Committee)

10) H.R. 5448 – John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act of 2014 (Sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.)/ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

The Senate:

The Senate also returns to session Wednesday afternoon to hold cloture votes on two judicial nominations; their confirmation votes will be held Thursday. After these on Thursday, the Senate will vote on a bicameral and bipartisan compromise to reauthorize the Childcare and Development Block Grant program (S. 1086). The House ratified changes to the Senate-backed bill before the recess and the Senate will approve these this week.

White House:

On Monday, the president will arrive in Beijing. On his first day in Beijing, President Obama will participate in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation) CEO Summit, where he will deliver remarks. He will have bilateral meetings with President Widodo of Indonesia and Prime Minister Abbott of Australia, and he will also participate in a TPP leaders meeting. In the evening, the president will attend an APEC welcome banquet.

On Tuesday, the president will attend official APEC summit events including a welcoming ceremony, an official APEC family photo and a tree planting ceremony. President Obama will also participate in two APEC plenary sessions and a working lunch with leaders. In the evening, the president will begin his bilateral program with President Xi of China.

On Wednesday, President Obama will participate in a State Arrival Welcome Ceremony.  Afterward, he will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Xi and then deliver remarks to press. In the afternoon, the president will attend a State Banquet with President Xi. Afterward, President Obma will depart Beijing en route to Naypyitaw, Burma. After arrival, the president will attend an East Asia Summit (EAS) Gala Dinner.

On Thursday, President Obama will attend an EAS plenary session followed by a U.S.- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) session and hold a bilateral meeting with President Truong Tan Sang of Vietman. In the evening the president will have a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein.

On Friday, President Obama will depart Naypyitaw en route to Rangoon, Burma. While in Rangoon, the President will meet with Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence. He will also participate in a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall. In the evening, the president will depart Rangoon en route to Brisbane, Australia.

On Saturday, President Obama will arrive in Brisbane, Australia. While in Brisbane, the President will participate in official G-20 events including a leaders retreat, a plenary session, a working dinner and a cultural presentation. The president will also deliver remarks at the University of Queensland.

On Sunday, President Obama will participate in two G-20 plenary sessions and a working lunch. Afterward, the president will participate in a press conference before departing Brisbane en route to Washington.

Also this Week:

Leadership Elections – House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats will hold their party leadership elections on Thursday. House Democrats will hold their election next Thursday, November 18. Current leaders are expected to remain in their positions.

New Member Orientation – Newly elected members of Congress in both the House and the Senate will be in Washington this week learning how to cast a vote, how not to get arrested, and other useful information before they are sworn in on January 5. These freshman members will also participate in the week’s leadership elections. Committee assignments, however, are not expected to be finalized until the start of the next Congress.

Nominations – Over the weekend, the president announced the nomination of Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as the Attorney General. It is unclear whether her confirmation can be fast-tracked before the end of the year. Senate Democrats are likely to aim to process as many pending executive and judicial appointments as possible before Republicans take control in January; it is not yet known whether they plan to change the Senate rules back to require sixty votes for cloture.

ACA – Open enrollment begins on Saturday! The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is predicting that 13 million people will sign up for plans this year, roughly 6 million more than in 2014. Despite confusion from a pending Supreme Court decision on the legality of premium assistance for those in the federal exchange, and threats to repeal portions of the law, CBO nonetheless believes that the looming increase in the penalty for not having insurance will drive more people into the marketplace.

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