Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of January 21, 2020  
  
Congressional Outlook

The House is in recess this week. When the chamber returns the week of January 27, it will consider the Comprehensive Credit Reporting Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency (CREDIT) Act of 2020 (H.R. 3621), a package of six bills reported by the House Financial Services Committee in July 2019 to reform the credit reporting system.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in her weekly press conference on January 16 that House Democrats would roll out their long-awaited infrastructure initiative when Congress returns next week. What will be released will be a high-level "principles" document, not actual legislative text; the text of some of these bills, particularly those from the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, are still weeks or months away. An overall infrastructure package could contain any or all of the following: the s urface transportation reauthorization bill; t he Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020; other priorities of T&I chairman Pete DeFazio (D-OR), which could include legislation taking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund off-budget, and might also include an increase in the federal limit on airport Passenger Facility Charges; the $123 billion Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow's (LIFT) America Act unveiled in May 2019 by House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats; legislation creating an infrastructure bank or other infrastructure financing authority; and some type of climate change-related legislation. It is still not clear if these various bills will move to the House floor as one package, or separately, or if they could be voted on separately and then packaged together.
 
Senators will vote today on adoption of the rules for the impeachment trial of President Trump laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on January 20. The resolution outlining the rules would give House managers and Trump's defense team 24 hours of floor time each to make their arguments, but limit them to three days each (i.e., 8 hours/day). The rules would also allow the President's team to seek a quick dismissal of the charges, though many Republican senators have said they should at least hear the case. Neither side would be allowed to call witnesses or seek documents under the proposed rules unless a majority of the Senate votes to allow such motions after the opening phase of the trial, including up to 16 hours of senators' questions. The trial will run every day (excluding Sundays), beginning at 1pm ET, and will last at least through Thursday, January 30. At the conclusion of the trial, the Senate will take final votes on whether to acquit President Trump for each of the two articles of impeachment.
Week in Review