Weekly Washington Outlook — May 16, 2016

Washingyon DC
Photo: Pedro Szekely

What to Watch This Week:



On Monday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules, including H.R. 3832 – Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Renacci / Ways and Means Committee). 

On Tuesday and the balance of the week, the House will vote on H.R. 897 – Zika Vector Control Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs / Agriculture Committee) under suspension of the rules. The House will also consider the following:

  • Democrat Motion to Instruct Conferees on 524Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016
  • R. 4909 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry / Armed Services Committee)
  • R. 4974Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Charlie Dent / Appropriations Committee)
  • R. ____ – Zika Response Appropriations Act, 2016 (Subject to a Rule)


The Senate will vote on Monday evening on a judicial nomination. On Tuesday, the Senate resume consideration of a joint Transportation-Housing and Urban Development and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (THUD/Milcon-VA) spending bill. The Chamber is scheduled to vote on three Zika-related funding proposals.

White House:

On Monday, the president will host a Medal of Valor ceremony at the White House. The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm.

On Tuesday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Wednesday, the president will participate in a DNC roundtable.

On Thursday, President Obama will award National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation to 17 scientists, engineers, mathematicians and innovators. The Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science, engineering and mathematics. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce.

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

On Saturday, President Obama will depart Washington en route Hanoi, Vietnam. This trip will highlight the President’s ongoing commitment to the U.S. Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific, designed to increase U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security engagement with the countries and peoples of the region.

Also This Week:

Puerto Rico – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) missed a self-imposed deadline last week to release a new draft of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). A mark-up had been tentatively scheduled for this Wednesday, but it is likely this will have to be postponed again. Speaker Ryan in an interview late last week emphasized that a bill would be introduced “in the coming days,” and made clear it is not a bailout for Puerto Rico as some conservatives have suggested. Treasury Secretary Lew also commented that negotiations are ongoing, but added that there are actors involved “who don’t want to have their debt be part of the conservation.” If Congress fails to act, the island is certain to further default on a $2 billion debt payment due July 1.

Appropriations – The Senate will resume consideration of its THUD/Milcon-VA spending bill this week. As part of this consideration, Senator McConnell has scheduled votes on three Zika amendments: the first would fully fund the President’s $1.9 billion emergency request with no offset; the second would provide $1.1 billion offset by a fund in the Affordable Care Act; the third is a bipartisan compromise from Senator Murray (D-Wash.) and Senator Blunt (R-Mo.) that would provide $1.1 billion with no offset.  In the House, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) has said it is possible that a Zika spending bill could come to the floor this week, however the House version is likely to divert unused Ebola funds.

Labor – The White House may release the final version of its proposed overtime rule this week. The rule would increase the salary threshold to qualify for “time and a half” for work over 40 hours per week.

Education – The Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, “ESSA Implementation: Perspectives from Education Stakeholders.” NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguia, is scheduled to appear to share a civil rights view.

Financial Services – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will consider legislation, H.R. 24, that would require that Government Accountability Office to fully audit the Federal Reserve. Elsewhere, the House Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday on the Federal Reserve, while the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will hold a hearing on capital formation.

Immigration – The House is scheduled to consider its annual defense reauthorization this week.  It is possible that amendments related to undocumented immigrants serving in the military or the use of military bases for refugee resettlement could receive votes.

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