Weekly Washington Outlook — October 12, 2015


What to Watch This Week:



The House is in recess, returning Tuesday, October 20.


The Senate is in recess, returning Monday October 19.

White House:

On Tuesday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

On Wednesday, President Obama and the first lady will host the PBS In Performance at the White House Concert for the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

On Thursday, the president will deliver remarks and attend a reception for Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th Anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

On Friday, President Obama will welcome President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea to the White House. The president and President Park will exchange views on a broad range of security, economic, and global issues, including the U.S.-ROK alliance and the critical role it plays in assuring regional stability and security. President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference with President Park.

Also this Week:

Sanctuary Cities – When the Senate returns, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has teed up a cloture vote to proceed to S. 2146 (originally S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act”) next Tuesday. This piece of legislation would withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities,” municipalities with community trust policies. The bill would also boost criminal penalties for undocumented immigrants who re-enter the U.S. after they are deported. S. 1814 was the cause of intraparty discord, as some Republican Senators supported an amendment including a mandatory minimum prison sentence for illegal re-entry, while others opposed such language. The new bill appears to have mandatory minimum sentencing language included.

House Leadership – Following Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calkf.) surprising decision to withdraw from the race to succeed John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House Speaker, no fewer than ten Representatives have floated the idea of running to fill the post. The frontrunner is Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), though he has shown no intention of actually seeking the nomination thus far. The only two Representatives formally running at this point are Government Oversight & Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who has the backing of the House Freedom Caucus. Boehner has postponed all House leadership elections indefinitely.

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