The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will vote on 10 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Federal Information Resource to Strengthen Ties with (FIRST) State and Local Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 495), which would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide Congress with annual reports on the department's coordination with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies; and the Pathways to Improving Homeland Security at the Local Level Act (H.R. 449), which would require DHS to produce an annual catalog with training opportunities and other services available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. The House will also vote on the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019 (H.R. 790), which would provide an across-the-board 2.6 percent pay raise in 2019 for most executive branch employees and would match a pay raise for military personnel supported by the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and appropriations measure.
The Senate will vote, for the fourth time this month, on the motion to proceed to the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S. 1), which would authorize at least $3.3 billion annually through FY 2028 for security assistance for Israel; reauthorize expedited U.S. defense sales to Jordan and direct the president to impose new sanctions against those doing business with or supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; and allow U.S. state and local governments to adopt and enforce measures against entities or contractors that engage in a boycott, divestment, or sanctions (BDS) activity targeting Israel.
With the 35-day partial federal government shutdown over, negotiations begin in earnest as lawmakers return to work with the clock ticking as the February 15 deadline to keep the government funded quickly approaches. Additionally, the conference committee of lawmakers crafting a plan for the southern U.S. border, which was created on January 25 after a deal was struck to end the shutdown, will formally meet on Wednesday. Both chambers named conferees for negotiations on H. J. Res. 31, the continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that will serve as the vehicle for talks on a FY 2019 DHS spending bill. The conferees include: Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Jon Tester (D-MT), and Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Kay Granger (R-TX), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Tom Graves (R-GA), and Steve Palazzo (R-MS).