Weekly Washington Update — February 1, 2016

U.S. Capitol

What to Watch This Week:



On Monday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 2187– Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act (Sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert / Financial Services Committee)
  • R. 2209– To require the appropriate Federal banking agencies to treat certain municipal obligations as level 2A liquid assets, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Luke Messer / Financial Services Committee
  • R. 3784– SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Carney / Financial Services Committee)
  • R. 4168– Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin / Financial Services Committee)
  • Concur in the Senate Amendment to R. 515– International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • R. 400– Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • 2152– Electrify Africa Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • Concur in the Senate Amendment to R. 4188– Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

On Tuesday, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 3700– Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Financial Services Committee)
  • R. 3662– Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Russell / Foreign Affairs Committee)

The House will also consider the veto message on H.R. 3762, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

On Wednesday, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 1675– Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Randy Hultgren / Financial Services Committee)

The balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 766– Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Financial Services Committee)


On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act.

White House:

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

On Tuesday, President Obama will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss legislative priorities for the coming months. Building on the bipartisan budget agreement the President signed into law last year, they will discuss areas of cooperation for the year ahead, and opportunities for Congress to work together to deliver for the American people.

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

On Thursday, President Obama will deliver remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. In the afternoon, the president will welcome the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to the White House to honor the team on winning their Championship title. Later in the afternoon, President Obama will welcome President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia to the White House for an official working visit. The leaders will hold a bilateral meeting and a commemoration of 15 years of bipartisan cooperation through Plan Colombia, the joint effort to create a safer, more prosperous future for Colombians.

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

Also this Week:

Retirement – The House Education and the Workforce Committee is planning a markup Tuesday on H.R. 4293 and H.R. 4294, bills that would block the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule. The so-called “conflict of interest rule” requires financial representatives to act in the best interest of their clients when making retirement investment decisions.

Puerto Rico – On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee will hold a hearing on establishing a financial authority for Puerto Rico. Some Congressional Republicans have argued that an economic oversight board is necessary to prevent future crisis in Puerto Rico.  While additional oversight was part of the Administration’s plan for Puerto Rico, Congressional Democrats and Puerto Rican officials are instead focused on extending bankruptcy provisions to the island. To this end, Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) has offered an amendment to an energy bill in the Senate that would establish a short-term stay on creditor litigation until March 31.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has committed to moving legislation by this time to help Puerto Rico.

Immigration – The Senate Judiciary Committee plans a hearing Tuesday on the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The EB-5 program enables certain immigrants to obtain green cards, provided they meet standards for commercial investment within the United States. Elsewhere, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing previously postponed on Wednesday on Canada’s fast-track refugee plan and security implications for the U.S.

Budget – The House Budget Committee plans a hearing Wednesday to allow Members of Congress to speak to their spending priorities. In the Senate, Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he plans to bring a budget resolution to the Senate floor in mid-March as a prelude to the appropriations process.  These budget-related actions are largely symbolic, as last year’s bipartisan budget remains in effect for this year.

Healthcare – The House has scheduled a vote to override the President’s veto of budget reconciliation legislation. The legislation would have defunded Planned Parenthood and undermined key portions of the Affordable Care Act.  Given a 2/3 majority is required to override a veto, this vote is expected to fail.