Weekly Legislative Update
 Week of October 29, 2018 
  
Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are both in recess until Tuesday, November 13, one week after Election Day.
 
On Wednesday, President Trump will travel to Fort Myers, Florida for a political rally with Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), who is running for Senate, former Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who is running for Governor, and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL). On Thursday, Trump will attend a political rally in Columbia, Missouri with Senate GOP candidate Josh Hawley and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). On Friday, Trump will attend a political rally in Huntington, West Virginia for Senate GOP candidate Patrick Morrisey and House GOP candidate Carol Miller. On Saturday, Trump will attend a political rally in Pensacola, Florida with Scott, DeSantis, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
Week in Review

Trump Signs America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 Into Law
 
On October 23, President Trump signed the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 ( Public Law 115-270; aka, the Water Resources Development Act [WRDA]) into law. The House previously passed the bill on Sept. 13 by voice vote and the Senate passed it on Oct. 10 by a vote of 99-1. Among other things, the legislation: authorizes several new Corps of Engineers studies, construction and environmental restoration projects as recommended by the Chief of the Corps; reauthorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund at more than $4.4 billion over the next three years; eases the streamlining process for hydropower projects; reauthorizes the popular Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) through FY 2021; and, initiates a study with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the Trump Administration's controversial proposal to move at least parts of the Corps out of the Defense Department. Summaries of the bill are available here. Read more.
Trump Signs SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act Into Law
 
On October 24, President Trump signed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (Public Law 115-271) into law. The House passed the bill on Sept. 28 by a vote of 393-8 and the Senate passed it on Oct. 3 by a vote of 98-1. The bill authorizes an array of grant programs to help curb the opioid addiction epidemic and contains provisions from dozens of proposals and would modify Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicaid coverage for inpatient treatment, Food and Drug Administration import oversight, and authorize a panoply of grant programs to aid local treatment providers and law enforcement. A section-by-section summary of H.R. 6 is available here. Read more.
Trump Signs Presidential Memorandum Regarding Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America's Future
 
On October 25, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum entitled " Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America's Future." The memo  directs the Commerce Department to develop a long-term comprehensive national spectrum strategy to prepare for the introduction of next-generation 5G wireless networks, creates  a White House Spectrum Strategy Task Force, and requires federal agencies to report on government spectrum needs and review how spectrum can be shared with private sector users. The memo requires a series of reports over the next nine months regarding looking at ways and existing efforts on increasing spectrum and sharing existing spectrum. A long-term strategy is due by July 28, 2019. The goal is to ensure there is enough spectrum to handle the growing amount of Internet and wireless traffic and that future faster 5G networks have adequate spectrum. The White House also said Trump is withdrawing presidential memorandums on spectrum signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2010 and 2013Read more.
Supreme Court Blocks Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Deposition on Census Citizenship Question
 
Siding with the Trump Administration, the Supreme Court on October 22 temporarily blocked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from being questioned in lawsuits challenging his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census for the first time since 1950. The lawsuit challenging the addition of the question was filed by New York, other states, localities and advocacy groups. They said that asking the question was a calculated effort by the Trump Administration to discriminate against immigrants. Asking about citizenship would "fatally undermine" the accuracy of the census, they said, because both legal and unauthorized immigrants might refuse to fill out the form. That could reduce Democratic representation when state and congressional districts are drawn in 2021, and affect the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending. The advocacy groups said Secretary Ross's testimony was needed in light of his "shifting and inaccurate explanations" for the change. Read more.
Federal Judge Rules Part of Trump Administration's Order on Sanctuary City Funding is Unconstitutional
 
On October 24, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Judge Richard Jones ruled against the Trump Administration in a lawsuit over funding for "sanctuary cities." Judge Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote  that it "would be unconstitutional" for the Administration to withhold funding from the cities of Seattle and Portland, the two plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit named Attorney General  Jeff Sessions  and Homeland Security Secretary  Kirstjen Nielsen  as defendants. The ruling follows a U.S. appeals court decision in August that also found Trump's 2017 executive order unconstitutional. That decision upheld a lower court ruling in favor of two California counties.  Read more.
Cities, Counties Challenge FCC on 5G Network Deployment
 
On October 24, Los Angeles, Seattle, and 22 other cities and counties are suing the Federal Communications Commission over its move to limit local government fees on 5G network equipment applications. Local officials filed three separate lawsuits (see here, here, and here) asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn an FCC order that would restrict how much cities can charge AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and other carriers to process applications for the build-out of next generation wireless infrastructure. The lawsuits reflect an ongoing battle between cities and the commission over its efforts to reduce barriers and speed up the nationwide deployment of 5G networks for connected devices and other emerging technologies. The FCC's order, adopted Sept. 26 and slated to take effect Jan. 14, 2019, also would require governments to act on applications for deployments on existing structures within 60 days. Governments would have 90 days to approve or deny applications for deployments on new structures. Read more.