for the week ending May 19, 2017
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This week stands out as one in which there is little or no legislation involving partisan politics such as the American Healthcare Act and the budget which explains the increase from a typical five or six bills of less dramatic consequences and the major bills as noted above. Congress, then, is getting some regular legislative business taken care of.
Of course there are such politically charged bills looming; the Senate is in no rush to create a healthcare bill likely to be a contrast to the House-passed American Healthcare Act and tax reform. Often such bills are developed and pushed for a vote on passage before the six-week August break but there is no guarantee of that and such bills would be more likely to come up for debate prior to October, the beginning of the fiscal year. While tax reform would likely be taken up before the fiscal year 2018 budget as necessary to establish a budget baseline of revenues and outlays on which to base 2018 spending, healthcare could be kicked into 2018 during the run-up to the 2018 mid-term congressional elections.
About those investigations –
Many breathed a sigh of relief with the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the possibility of collusion between Russia and the Trump Administration during and after the campaign.
There is no shortage of investigations into the potential relationship between Russia and the Trump campaign staff due to Trump’s penchant for actions and statements fueling the suspicion that such a relationship exists. It is likely that those investigations will remain open but, perhaps, with less pressure to seek witnesses and produce results. Mueller has wide range in this investigation and could ask the Intell committees to drop their efforts. At this time the Senate committee has prepared subpoenas and the House Oversight Committee also is prepared to subpoena Comey’s notes about his meetings with Trump.
Then there’s that…
As readers of TheWeekinCongress.com know our mission is to report on US legislation and other matters if they relate to Congress, such as the investigations mentioned above. However, the president’s comments, tweets and actions are compelling information the outcome of which begs to be explored. Those matters will now be commented on in the Publisher’s Letter on our editorial page.
Jeffrey A. Rosen to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Yeas and nays ordered. The nomination was confirmed by a vote of 56-42.
Robert Lighthizer, of Florida, to be the United States Trade Representative. The nomination was confirmed by a vote of 82–14.
Scott Gottlieb to be the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The nomination was confirmed by a vote of 57–42.
Heather Wilson to be Secretary of the Air Force. The nomination was confirmed by a vote of 76-22.
H.R. 534 (U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act). Committee-reported amendment agreed to by Unanimous Consent. The bill, as amended, is agreed to by Unanimous Consent.
Motion to proceed H.J. Res. 36 (Methane CRA). Yeas and Nays ordered. The motion was not agreed to by a vote of 49–51.
The big ticket in the House this week is HR 1677 calling for sanctions on some 45 Syrians accused of crimes against humanity towards Syrian civilians. The bill directs the president to impose the sanctions unless he can give a good reason to Congress for waiving them.
In other actions the House passed over a dozen bills this week ranging from specifying more strict requirements for the hiring of border control officers and looks for a report on the effectiveness of the Border Security Task Force. Several bills aiming at improved cyber security were passed this week. The House also voted to allow parole officers the authority to arrest without a warrant if a parolee is a threat to the officer or other parole personnel and a bill that gives specific details that would warrant the death penalty for killing a police officer.
Several Native American Tribes gained protective status and several temporary bankruptcy courts gained permanent status.
Russia – 2, ISIS – 1, US – 0
Turkish security forces attack protestors of Turkey President Erdogan in D.C. // The Israeli spy inside Russian // and Trump’s decision to arm Syrian Kurds.
Magic Mondays (Video)
Political Education (Video)
The Senate and House are adjourning and will return to work on Monday May 22nd. The next issue of TheWeekinCongress.com will be published Thursday evening May 25th. TheWeekinCongress.com is published by Legislation News & Report LLC, a Virginia company. All Rights Reserved.