Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of March 25, 2019  
Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider 7 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 1839), which would penalize drugmakers that misclassify products to avoid paying higher Medicaid rebates and would also allow states to provide coordinated care through Medicaid for youth with complex medical conditions, among other changes to Medicaid programs and payments. The House will vote on whether to override President Trump's March 15 veto of the joint resolution of termination (H.J. Res. 46), which would terminate his February 15 national emergency declaration relating to the border wall; two-thirds of those present and voting would have to agree for the override to succeed and then be considered by the Senate. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7), which would mandate tougher standards and larger penalties against employers for claims of pay discrimination; and a non-binding resolution (H. Res. 124), which would express the House's opposition to President Trump's ban on transgender members serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Senate will consider the nomination of Bridget Bade to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. The chamber will vote on the motion to proceed to the non-binding resolution "Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal" (S. J. Res. 8). The resolution was introduced by Democrats, but Republicans believe forcing Democrats to vote on the measure could hurt them politically, in particular the presidential nominees that have supported it. The resolution is drawn from a Democratic-authored Green New Deal resolution (S. Res. 59) that outlines a 10-year plan with trillions in estimated government funding to help shift the U.S. to 100 percent renewable and zero-emission energy sources. The Senate will also consider the motion to proceed to a House-passed disaster aid package, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 268). Senators could attach their own disaster measure to the bill, which has been delayed over disagreements about relief to Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.
A packed committee schedule highlights the busy week for budget and appropriations, as Trump Administration representatives travel to Capitol Hill to discuss the President's FY 2020 budget request. The House Appropriations Committee is holding 25 budget hearings, including for the Departments of Energy, Education, the Interior, State, and Veterans Affairs; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; White House Office of Management and Budget; NASA; and the U.S. Forest Service. The Senate Appropriations Committee is holding eight budget hearings, including for the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Education; the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and the Food and Drug Administration.
On Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee will vote on Republicans' draft budget resolution for FY 2020. Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) last week released his opening bid in negotiations over budget caps that will be key in determining whether there is another federal government shutdown on October 1, 2019. Enzi's measure would let automatic cuts to defense and non-defense spending kick in on schedule while maintaining current levels of war funding that are not subject to the budget caps.
Week in Review