Weekly Washington Outlook — January 26, 2015

White House at Night
What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

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On Monday, the House will meet at meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes on legislation under suspension of the rules will be postponed until 6:30 p.m:

1) H.R. 514 – Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 515 – International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 357 – Human Trafficking Prevention Act (Sponsored by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney / Foreign Affairs Committee)

4) H.R. 468 – Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims for Youth Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck / Education and Workforce Committee)

5) H.R. 469 – Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass / Education and Workforce Committee)

6) H.R. 246 – To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking (Sponsored by Rep. Joyce Beatty / Education and Workforce Committee)

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business and will consider legislation under suspension of the rules:

1) H.R. 398 – Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Renee Ellmers / Energy and Commerce Committee)

2) H.R. 460 – Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Walker / Homeland Security Committee)

3) H.R. 350 – Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem / Judiciary Committee)

4) H.R. 159 – Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen / Judiciary Committee)

5) H.R. 181 – Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe / Judiciary Committee)

6) H.R. 285 – Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner / Judiciary Committee)

The House will also vote on H.R. 351 – LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson / Energy and Commerce Committee)

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m. The House will consider H.R. 399 – Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Homeland Security Committee)

House Democrats travel to Philadelphia on Wednesday for the start of their 2 1/2-day, closed-door party legislative retreat. Obama plans to join them on Thursday.

On Thursday and Friday, the House may meet in pro forma session. No votes are expected.

Senate:

The Senate this week will resume consideration of a bill to require the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline (S.1). At 5:30 p.m. the Senate plans a roll-call vote on invoking cloture on the manager’s substitute to S. 1, authorizing construction of the $8 billion pipeline to transport crude from Canada to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast. The White House veto threat cites the need for the State Department to finish its review of the project.

White House:

On Monday, the president is in New Delhi, India.

On Tuesday, President Obama travels to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and other officials to pay respects after the death of King Abdullah.

On Wednesday, the president is slated to participate in the ceremonial send-off for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

On Thursday, President Obama is expected to speak at the House Democrats’ policy retreat in Philadelphia.

Also this Week:

Appropriations – In the next few weeks, the Senate next may turn to another bill under a veto threat: H.R. 240, a House-passed appropriations measure that would bar Obama from implementing his executive order delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants. The underlying bill would fund the Homeland Security Department through Sept. 30. McConnell said he’ll try to clear the House bill despite the president’s veto threat. The legislation is unlikely to garner the required 60 votes needed to end debate and put the bill up for a vote.

Attorney General – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings Wednesday and Thursday on Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general. Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley (R-Iowa) said Lynch’s confirmation may be a platform for members to press the Administration on immigration. Lynch is widely expected to be confirmed by the committee and the full Senate as early as February.

Budget – The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this afternoon will release its yearly outlook of the national budget and economy as well as budget projections from now through 2025 starting at 2 p.m. CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf will give a press briefing at 3 p.m.

Education – The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on teacher and school leader support under No Child Left Behind. On Wednesday, the committee will markup the “Strengthening Education Through Research Act.”

Health – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday called “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Patients and Local Communities.” The committee will review a series of bills related to domestic public health. On Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on employer wellness programs.

Housing – The House Financial Services Committee plans a hearing Tuesday on sustainable financing of housing. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt is scheduled to testify.

Immigration – The House will consider a border security bill on Wednesday.  The legislation sponsored by Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish “operational control” of the entire Southern border by blocking all unlawful entries in five years. The bill passed in the Committee strictly along partisan lines.  The legislation faces opposition from Democrats who would prefer more realistic border security measures and from some conservatives because it does not address the president’s actions on immigration.

Labor – House Democrats will reintroduce the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act at a 1 p.m. press conference Monday. The legislation would provide up to six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.

Tax – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested they were open to one part of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union tax pitch: tripling the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for those with kids under 5. Boehner: “We’ll take a look at this when he sends his budget up, something that could be looked at in the overall context of simplifying our tax code and bringing rates down for everyone.”