Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of November 4, 2019  
  
Congressional Outlook

The Senate is in session this week while the House is in recess until November 12. The Senate will consider five judicial nominations: David Tapp to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims; Danielle Hunsaker to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; William Nardini to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit; Lee Rudofsky to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas; and Jennifer Wilson to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Senate Republicans will meet for a "Save the Senate" retreat sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Thursday and Friday, with President Trump as a featured special guest.
 
Although the House is out with lawmakers on a district work week, those on committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump plan to hear more testimony from Administration officials, if witnesses agree to testify. At least 10 additional witnesses have been scheduled or invited for closed-door questioning in Democrats' impeachment inquiry, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has not yet agreed to testify. Others are scheduled into the second week of November.  
 
The Senate's top appropriator plans to start negotiating a broad, bicameral spending deal in earnest, but the White House, the border wall and impeachment could all undermine those attempts. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said he hopes to meet with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) sometime shortly after returning to Washington this week, working to get bicameral talks moving on allocations for the twelve FY 2020 spending bills. Shelby said he hopes to discuss "some of the procedure and process" with Lowey. He also said they will likely need to talk about a possible Senate impeachment trial, "the big issue of the day" that is "looming" over the appropriations talks. Lawmakers have until Thursday, November 21 to pass a bill extending government funding and averting a shutdown.  
 
On Tuesday, voters in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia will head to the polls to vote in gubernatorial and/or state legislative elections, while hundreds of local governments also hold elections for Mayor, County Commissioner/Supervisor, and City/Town Council. Additionally, voters across 20 states will vote on over 140 ballot measures, including transportation, housing, campaign finance, education, and tax-related issues.
Week in Review