The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider nine bills under suspension of the rules, including the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151), which requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to penalize those responsible for illegal robocalls to mobile phones, hotel or hospital rooms, or emergency lines, and allows the FCC to seek financial penalties against those making calls with misleading caller identification information, a practice known as "spoofing." For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Insider Trading Prohibition Act (H.R. 2534), which codifies and expands a ban on the insider trading of corporate securities; and a non-binding resolution (H. Res. 326), which expresses the sense of the House that only a two-state solution can ensure the survival of Israel as a Jewish democratic state and fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people of a state of their own.
The Senate will vote on the nomination of Dan Brouillette to be the 15th U.S. Secretary of Energy, replacing Rick Perry, who stepped down from the post on December 1. The Senate will also vote on eight judicial nominees to serve in district courts in New York, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Utah, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and one nominee to be a Governor of the U.S. Postal Service.
House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership will continue negotiations on the fiscal year 2020 government spending bills this week, ahead of a December 20 deadline to keep the government running. Republicans and Democrats have agreed on the top-line figures for each of the 12 bills, totaling $1.37 trillion, but still need to resolve several contentious issues, including President Trump's $8.6 billion funding request for border wall construction, family planning grants and gun violence research. It's possible that Congressional leadership finalizes, and the two chambers approve, a handful of the spending bills as part of one or several "minibus packages" ahead of the Dec. 20 deadline, while also passing another continuing resolution covering spending for the remainder of the bills, in order to avoid a partial or full government shutdown beginning Dec. 21.
The House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump enters a new phase this week, with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote Tuesday evening on whether to send a formal report of the panel's findings and recommendations to the House Judiciary Committee, which will hold its first impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday morning to discuss the constitutional basis for impeachment and whether President Trump's actions meet that threshold. In a Dec. 1 letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the White House would not participate in the Committee's Dec. 4 proceedings, rejecting their invitation to participate in what he called a "baseless and highly partisan inquiry."