Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of April 1, 2019  
Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider 7 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Coordinating and Leveraging Activities for School Security (CLASS) Act of 2019 (H.R. 1593), which would create a new council within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance school security against terrorism. The House will vote on a non-binding resolution (H. Res. 271) " Condemning the Trump Administration's Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans' Health Care," which expresses the sense of the House that the Administration's actions in court to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act "are an unacceptable assault on the health care of the American people" and that the Justice Department should reverse its position in Texas v. United States. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585), which reauthorizes and expands the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 through FY 2024 at more than $1 billion annually for federal grant programs to prevent and respond to victims of sexual and domestic violence; and a Senate-passed joint resolution (S.J. Res. 7) " To direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress."
The Senate will resume consideration of the disaster relief bill, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 268), which would provide about $13.4 billion in aid for communities and federal agencies affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. The Senate will also vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to a resolution (S. Res. 50), which would enact a proposed rules change to cut to two hours from 30 the maximum debate for lower court nominees and other executive branch nominees; Supreme Court and Cabinet nominees would be exempt from the proposed change. On Wednesday morning, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will address a Joint Meeting of Congress in the House chamber in a reaffirmation of congressional support for the alliance on its 70th anniversary, even as President Trump questions its usefulness and relevance.
A packed committee schedule highlights another busy week for FY 2020 budget and appropriations. The budget hearings for the House and Senate Appropriations Committees include: the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Commerce, and Health and Human Services; Environmental Protection Agency; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Federal Communications Commission; and National Parks Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. Additionally, House Democrats will decide this week whether they will mark up a FY 2020 budget resolution, the non-binding fiscal blueprint that serves as a guide for appropriators as they write the 12 annual spending bills. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said late last week that it's unlikely his panel will produce a resolution this year given divisions within the caucus over spending priorities. Yarmuth said he is working on numbers right now that would call for increasing non-defense spending at a higher rate than defense spending. He acknowledged those figures would amount to an opening bid in what are likely to be arduous negotiations with the Senate over final spending.
On Monday, President Trump will participate in the White House's 2019 Prison Reform Summit and FIRST STEP Act celebration. On Tuesday, Trump will meet with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and on Wednesday he will meet and have dinner with senior military leaders. On Thursday, Trump will meet with the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, which is tasked with carrying out the Trump Administration's plan to encourage public and private investment in urban and economically distressed areas, including qualified opportunity zones. On Friday, Trump is traveling to Calexico, California for a border visit, in addition to Los Angeles for a fundraiser.
Week in Review