Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of November 18, 2019  
  
Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will vote on 15 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019 (H.R. 3702), which permanently authorizes the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program; the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2019 (H.R. 4300), which amends the Family Unification Program (FUP) to provide FUP vouchers "on demand" to foster youth who are at risk of homelessness as they transition to adulthood; and the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (H.R. 925), which authorizes matching grants for wetlands conservation projects at $60 million annually for FYs 2020-2024. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a rule requiring health care and social service employers to implement violence prevention plans; and a continuing resolution (CR) extending government funding at enacted FY 2019 levels from Friday, November 22 through Friday, December 20, 2019, in order to prevent a shutdown; the CR also includes a repeal of the $7.569 billion rescission in federal-aid highway contract authority that was included in the 2015 FAST Act and was scheduled to take place on July 1, 2020. Additionally, over three days this week, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold five public hearings with eight witnesses as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.  
 
The Senate will vote on the nominations of Robert Luck  and Barbara Lagoa to be U.S. Circuit Judges for the Eleventh Circuit; and Adrian Zuckerman to be U.S. Ambassador to Romania. The Senate will also likely consider the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (S. 1838), which requires the State Department to provide an annual report on the autonomy of Hong Kong and whether it still warrants special treatment by the U.S. The Senate will also vote on the four-week CR that the House will pass first, to avoid a government shutdown. Additionally, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Monday will vote on the nomination of Peter Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; on Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on the nominations of Dan Brouillette to be Secretary of Energy, James Danly to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Katharine MacGregor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior.  
 
With the likely enactment of a new CR this week, Congress will have four additional weeks to pass all 12 of its FY 2020 Appropriations bills. Lawmakers are working toward agreement on a set of top-line spending figures for the 12 spending bills this week. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) told reporters last week that she was "cautiously optimistic" that she and other negotiators can reach an agreement on top-line spending allocations by Wednesday, November 20. After passage of the CR, Lowey and other appropriators hope to produce final pieces of spending legislation that both chambers can pass, though there is no concrete plan for how those appropriations bills would be packaged, Lowey said.
 
On Wednesday evening from 9-11pm ET, MSNBC and The Washington Post will co-host a Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Georgia with ten candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and entrepreneurs Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.
Week in Review