Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

House and Senate lawmakers began border security negotiations last week in hopes of striking a border security compromise, yet a bipartisan agreement remains elusive. In addition to the debate over President Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall priority, lawmakers have been hamstrung over the possibility of adding deals on immigration policy and the debt limit to the underlying negotiations. If the negotiators fail to craft a product that can pass both chambers in that time and earn the president's signature, funding is likely to lapse again for the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, State and Interior, as well dozens of agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

 

Financial Services Report (2/4)

Our Take

For those working off their Big Game spiderwebs this morning, please appreciate that this is a relatively slow week.   The apex will likely come on Tuesday when the President delivers the State of the Union.   Beyond that there are a few hearings of note, including two on retirement security.   While infrastructure often is cited as "the" issue where bipartisan support for legislation exits, a similar sentiment is out there to address the looming retirement crisis.  

 

Next Week in Congress: Conference Negotiations Set to Resume As Democrats Unveil Border Proposal

The odds of another partial government shutdown were raised yesterday after Democrats unveiled their initial border security proposal. The plan — which does not include funding for President Trump’s border wall priority — would allocate new funding for: (1) modernizing Border Patrol technology and infrastructure; (2) hiring 1,000 customs officers; and (3) “humanitarian” needs such as food and medical care. It’s a deal that the President is likely to reject, as he has reiterated he is willing to either shut down the government again, or bypass Congress and utilize military construction resources for the wall through a national emergency declaration.

 

Today on the Hill: DHS Conference Committee Begins While Deal Remains Elusive

House and Senate lawmakers began negotiations yesterday in hopes of striking a border security compromise, yet a bipartisan agreement remains elusive. In addition to the debate over President Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall priority, lawmakers have been hamstrung over the possibility of adding deals on immigration policy and the debt limit to the underlying negotiations. If the negotiators fail to craft a product that can pass both chambers in that time and earn the president's signature, funding is likely to lapse again for the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, State and Interior, as well as the IRS, National Science Foundation, FDA and EPA.

 

This Week on the Hill: Congress Returns Looking to Avoid Second Shutdown

Both chambers of Congress are set to resume legislative business today following the contentious 35-day government shutdown. In the House, lawmakers will take up three suspension bills out of the Financial Services Committee: (1) a bill (H.R. 624) that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to carry out a study of Rule 10b5–1 trading plans; (2) a bill (H.R. 502) that would require the Comptroller General of the United States to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with illicit trafficking; and (3) a bill (H.R. 56) that would create an independent Financial Technology Task Force to combat terrorism and illicit financing. For the balance of the week, House lawmakers are set to work on a bill (H.R. 790) that would provide a pay increase for federal workers.

 

Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history finally came to an end after President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) over the weekend. The measure — which does not include additional border wall funding — funds shuttered federal departments and agencies through Feb. 15, providing lawmakers with additional time to hammer out a broader deal.

 

Financial Services Report (1/28)

Our Take

While over, it is clear that the shutdown will be like a proverbial elephant in a room, and  the point of discussion for at least another week as Democrats hope to continue to use it as an example of the President's inability to govern.   This will transpire while all sides continue to negotiate a more permanent solution, so hopefully the politics that paralyzed negotiations have shifted such that a more permanent solution will be found before the short-term patch the President signed on Friday expires.  There is no better personification of the dysfunction of Washington, DC than the failure of Congress and the President to agree to its funding obligations.  Generally speaking, the fact that the public continues to send ideologues to Congress who view politics from a win-lose perspective doesn't bode well for any major improvements in this regard.   Though, as noted below, the moderate New Dems now have over 100 members in the House.  Here's hoping that the Justice Democrats are willing to recognize that they are better off having incremental gains with New Dems in the tent, than primarying them an all but ensuring a return to a Republican majority.  

 

Today on the Hill: Senate Leaders Reach Deal to Vote on Funding Proposals

Senate leadership struck a deal yesterday to bring two government funding proposals to the floor for a vote in hopes of ending the 33-day shutdown. Under the terms of the agreement reached by Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate will first vote on President Trump’s proposal (textsummary), which provides $5.7 billion for his border wall priority in addition to temporary protections for young immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status for refugees. If the President’s proposal fails to clear the upper chamber, Senators will then vote on a three-week continuing resolution (CR) that would fund shuttered departments and agencies through Feb. 8 — ensuring furloughed federal workers receive backpay while providing additional flexibility to reach a broader deal.

 

This Week on the Hill: Senate Set to Vote on Trump’s Latest Shutdown Offer

Congress will resume legislative business today after both chambers canceled their previously scheduled recess due to the ongoing government shutdown. Over the weekend, President Trump disclosed his latest offer to Democrats in hopes of striking a deal that ends the 32-day shutdown while also funding his border wall priority. In exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall, as well as funding for closed parts of the federal government, the president’s deal would provide a three-year extension of protections for young immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and an extension of Temporary Protected Status for refugees currently covered.

 

Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

House Democrats continued their push to reopen the government last week as the partial government shutdown entered its fourth week. The House took up a pair of continuing resolutions (CR) (H.J.Res.27; H.J.Res.28) last week that would temporarily reopen federal agencies without funding President Trump's border wall priority. The lower chamber also cleared a $12 billion supplemental spending bill (H.R. 268) for relief and recovery aid to states impacted by recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires & other natural disasters.