Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of June 24, 2019  
  
Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week. Both chambers are aiming to complete consideration of several major pieces of legislation before leaving town for the week-long Fourth of July recess.  
 
The House will consider two bills under suspension of the rules: the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act (H.R. 2109), which authorizes the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to give preference to companies with high concentrations of veteran employees when awarding VA contracts; and H.R. 2196 (untitled bill), which reduces the credit hour requirement for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship Program of the VA. The House will also finish consideration of H.R. 3055, the second FY 2020 minibus appropriations package, consisting of the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-Food and Drug Administration, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bills. For the remainder of the week, the House will consider the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019 (H.R. 3401); the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 3351); and the Securing America's Federal Elections Act (H.R. 2722), which would provide financial support and enhanced security for the infrastructure used to carry out elections. The House may also try to consider the FY 2020 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, time permitting.  
 
The Senate will focus work this week on its FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1790), which would authorize $750 billion in funding for national defense activities, including a 3.1 percent pay raise for troops (the largest increase in a decade) and funds to establish a United States Space Force under the Air Force. Although not yet on the calendar, the Senate may also consider its own Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019 (S. 1900), which was approved in committee last week. It is a tight timeline, but the House and Senate may aim to negotiate and finalize a bill by the end of the week, although there are numerous differences that need to be resolved.  
 
Today, President Trump will sign an executive order aimed at requiring health care providers and insurers to disclose drug price negotiations, medical care costs and other information in order to let consumers know how much their care could cost, and allow them to shop around. The order is getting mixed reviews from doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies, with some saying it will create transparency that could reduce costs and others saying it could decrease competition and potentially lead to higher prices.  
 
The first debates of the presidential campaign are this week as well. The 20 Democrats who made the cut to participate in the debates have been divided into two groups, one of which will debate on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. If you are interested, Politico has created the "most comprehensive guide " on 2020 issues shaping the Democratic presidential race.
Week in Review