Weekly Washington Outlook — January 11, 2016
What to Watch This Week:
On Monday, the House will vote on the following legislation under suspension of the rules:
- 142 – Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- R. 757 – North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce / Foreign Affairs Committee)
- R. 1777 – Presidential Allowance Modernization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- R. 1069 – Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Duncan / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- 1629 – District of Columbia Courts, Public Defender Service, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- 1115 – Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act (Sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- R. 598 – Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- R. 653 – FOIA Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
- R. 3231 – Federal Intern Protection Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
On Tuesday, the House will consider H.R. 1644 – STREAM Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Alex Mooney / Natural Resources Committee) before recessing in the evening for a Joint Session of Congress to receive the President’s State of the Union Address.
On Wednesday and Thursday the House will vote on the following:
- R. 3662 – Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Russell / Foreign Affairs Committee)
- J. Res. 22 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
The Senate returns from its winter break on Monday and plans to consider the nomination of Luis Restrepo to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. Later in the week, the Senate plans to take a procedural vote on S.2232, legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.
On Monday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.
On Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address at 9:00 PM EST. The vice president, the first lady, and Dr. Biden will attend.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the president will travel to Omaha, Neb. and then to Baton Rouge, La. to highlight the progress made in each state since he took office and what more can be done in the next year to move the country forward.
On Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.
On Monday, the Court will hear oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The case seeks to overturn a 1977 ruling that allows public-sector unions to charge “fair share fees” to non-members benefitting from collective bargaining. More information available.
On Friday, the Court could decide whether or not to hear arguments in the Fifth Circuit litigation on DAPA and expanded DACA.
Also this Week:
Criminal Justice – The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a mark-up on Tuesday of the first pieces of a criminal justice reform package. H.R. 3406 would reauthorize adult and juvenile offer re-entry programs and H.R. 1854 would authorize programs related to the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system. Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) has indicated a willingness to address criminal justice and sentencing reform issues through a piecemeal approach, focusing on elements that have broad bipartisan support. In contrast, the Senate could vote in the coming weeks on bipartisan sentencing and prison reform legislation.
Puerto Rico – At the end of last year, Republican leadership in the House pledged to take action on Puerto Rico by the end of March. The House Judiciary Committee originally planned to hold a hearing in early January, but this has not yet been scheduled. However, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will convene a hearing a Tuesday on energy and electricity issues on the island. House Speaker Paul Ryan has set a March 31st deadline for the House to act on Puerto Rico’s financial crisis.
Budget – The Congressional Budget Office will release next Tuesday, January 19th its annual budget and economic outlook. The release will come in two parts: a broad overview and the report itself.
Republican Retreat – House and Senate Republican members will hold a joint retreat in Baltimore this week to map out a 2016 agenda. While Speaker Ryan has recently spoken on the need to provide a positive vision for the party, it is widely expected members will push for additional votes to repeal the ACA and other conservative priorities headed into the election.
State of the Union – The President is expected to use his last State of the Union to draw a contrast with some Presidential campaign rhetoric to make the case that America is on the right track. He is likely to have an aspirational message and it has been reported he will spend little time focusing on legislative priorities or accomplishments. More details. Guests of the first lady will include a Dreamer, a Syrian refugee, and activists and law enforcement officials working on criminal justice reform, among others.