Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of January 22, 2018 
  
Congressional Outlook

The regular workweek began on Monday with many federal government operations on hiatus since the federal government shutdown began at 12:01am EST on Saturday, January 20 over an impasse regarding the legal status of the estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who face deportation from the U.S. beginning March 5, the expiration date for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The motion to consider a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide temporary spending through Thursday, February 8 at enacted FY 2017 levels was approved by the Senate on Monday by a vote of 81-18, and the House is expected to pass this 17-day CR later on Monday afternoon, allowing President Trump to sign the temporary funding bill into law by Monday evening, ending the three-day shutdown. The Senate was already scheduled to be in session this week, and after tonight, the House will be in recess until Jan. 29.
 
After the weekend of stalemate and negotiation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday promised to have bipartisan solutions on immigration, long-term funding, border security, health care and other issues dealt with before Feb. 8, when the new CR will expire, but if not, he vows to take up legislation dealing with those matters. McConnell, in opening floor comments on Monday, said that the debate and amendment process on immigration and other issues would be fair to all. His promise was contingent on Senate Democrats agreeing to pass the 17-day CR on Monday, which 33 Democrats ultimately did. The CR also includes a 17-day extension of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) authorization; a six-year reauthorization and funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and a suspension of three taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act.
 
On Tuesday, President Trump will travel to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum through Friday. Other members of the Presidential Delegation include the Secretaries of the Treasury, State, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, in addition to the U.S. Trade Representative, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. President Trump is also scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress on January 30.
Week in Review

Federal Government Shuts Down for First Time in Five Years
 
For the first time since October 2013, the federal government shut down, beginning at 12:01am EST on Saturday, January 20. While the House last week was able to pass a Continuing Resolution ( CR) funding the government through February 16, by a vote of 230-197, the Senate failed to pass the CR with the 60 votes necessary; five Senate Democrats ultimately voted to move forward on the CR, while four Senate Republicans voted against it. The shutdown is largely the result of an impasse over maintaining the legal status of an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children, who will be subject to deportation beginning March 5 unless Congress takes action. Read more...  
Certain NFIP Authorities Temporarily Expire During Shutdown
 
Certain authorities of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) temporarily expired beginning at 12:01am, Saturday, January 20, and will remain expired for the duration of the government shutdown. The NFIP's authorization was originally set to expire at the end of FY 2017 (i.e., Sept. 30, 2017), but has been temporarily reauthorized three times since that date, in conjunction with the three CRs that have been passed. The NFIP does not contain a single comprehensive expiration, termination, or sunset provision for the whole of the program. Rather, the NFIP has multiple different legal provisions that generally tie to the expiration of key components of the program. The authority to provide new flood insurance contracts temporarily expired (contracts entered into before January 20 would continue until the end of their policy term of one year) and the authority for the NFIP to borrow funds from the Treasury is temporarily reduced from $30.425 billion to $1 billion. Read more...
President Trump Signs FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act Into Law
 
On January 19, President Trump signed the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 ( Public Law 115-118) into law. The bill  extends the National Security Agency's (NSA) controversial electronic surveillance authority under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act through December 31, 2023. Section 702 allows the NSA to conduct electronic surveillance on foreign nationals outside the U.S. The House passed the bill on Jan. 11 by a vote of 256-164, while the Senate passed the bill on Jan. 18 by a vote of 65-34. Read more...
House Passes Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act
 
On January 18, the House passed, by a vote of 243-184, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act ( H.R. 2954), which would limit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) authority to implement and update the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB was charged with enforcing the HMDA, which helps public officials monitor mortgage lending patters, to identify underserved communities and populations, and to combat discriminatory lending by mortgage creditors. Read more... 
House Passes Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
 
On January 19, the House passed, by a vote of 241-183, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act ( H.R. 4712), which would amend the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 to impose a new standard of medical care and reporting requirements upon women's health providers in the event of a live birth resulting from an abortion or attempted abortion. The bill would subject health care providers to criminal penalties for failure to report any lapses or failures to provide uniform care at any particular gestational state and creates a new right of civil action. Read more... 
House Passes World Bank Accountability Act
 
On January 17, the House passed, by a vote of 237-184, the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 3326), which authorizes $3.29 billion for the U.S. contribution to the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) for FYs 2018-2020, however, the bill withholds up to 30% of the funding unless certain requirements are met. Read more...
Trump Sends 10 Nominations to Senate for Consideration
 
During the week of January 15, President Trump formally sent 10 nominations to the Senate for their consideration, including: Kenneth Barbic to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Affairs; James Stewart to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs; and Francis Fannon to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources. Read more here and here.