House lawmakers will wrap up their legislative work week today and embark on a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On the floor, the lower chamber is considering four suspension bills out of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Three of the measures are aimed at addressing ocean acidification, including: (1) a bill (H.R. 1237) that would amend the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 to establish an Ocean Acidification Advisory Board; (2) a measure (H.R. 1716) directing the Commerce Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct coastal community vulnerability assessments related to ocean acidification; and (3) an act (H.R. 1921) that would authorize Federal agencies to establish prize competitions for innovation or adaptation management development relating to ocean acidification.
House Democrats will look to take action on addressing the immigration status of millions of young adult immigrants. The lower chamber will begin consideration of the so-called DREAM Act (H.R. 6) that would provide permanent status and a pathway to citizenship for eligible young adult immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as for temporary U.S. residents protected under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs. While the bill is expected to pass the House, a vote on final passage could be delayed until next week as lawmakers leave town early for a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Normandy.
The Week in Review
While most lawmakers were out of town for a Memorial Day district work period, House Republicans continued to block unanimous consent (UC) of a bipartisan $19.1 billion disaster relief bill during last week’s informal “pro forma” sessions. Rep. John Rose (R-TN) joined fellow conservatives Reps. Chip Roy (R-TN) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) in objecting to a voice vote on the measure over concerns about the deficit and the bill’s lack of border security funding. Democratic leadership plans to consider the bill under suspension of the rules, with a final roll call vote expected on later this evening.
Lawmakers will return to Washington this afternoon for a busy June legislative session. In the House, Democratic leadership plans to bring fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills to the floor starting on the week of June 12. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated that the lower chamber will look to clear each one of the spending bills prior to the Independence Day district work period.
While most lawmakers are out of town for a Memorial Day district work period, House Democrats will convene an informal “pro forma” session of Congress later this afternoon where they are expected to make another attempt to pass a multi-billion dollar disaster aid package (text; summary) by unanimous consent (UC). Their first attempt last Friday was blocked by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who objected to UC on the disaster relief bill over concerns about the deficit and the bill’s lack of border security funding. It remains to be seen whether conservatives will keep objecting, as Rep. Roy has been noncommittal on his next steps for today’s pro forma session following backlash from members on both sides of the aisle. If the disaster relief bill cannot be cleared by UC, it will likely be taken up for a roll call vote as soon as lawmakers return on June 3.
The Week in Review
Senators broke a months-long impasse on disaster relief aid by passing (85-8) a $19.1 billion measure prior to leaving Washington. Congressional negotiators clinched a deal on a final package that would provide: (1) $3 billion for farm disaster assistance; (2) $2.4 billion for Community Block Development Grants; and (3) $3.25 billion for Army Corps of Engineers flood control and storm damage mitigation projects. Meanwhile, the bill does not include a deal on President Donald Trump’s border security request and also omits other rumored policy riders such as Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund reform and Violence Against Women Act reauthorization.
Late yesterday, Senators broke a monthslong impasse on disaster relief aid by passing (85-8) a $19.1 billion measure prior to leaving Washington. Congressional negotiators clinched a deal on a final package that would provide: (1) $3 billion for farm disaster assistance; (2) $2.4 billion for Community Block Development Grants; and (3) $3.25 billion for Army Corps of Engineers flood control and storm damage mitigation projects. Meanwhile, the bill does not include a deal on President Donald Trump’s border security request and also omits other rumored policy riders such as Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund reform and Violence Against Women Act reauthorization.
The prospects for a bipartisan disaster aid agreement dwindled late yesterday after negotiators were unable to reach an agreement that would allocate funding to help states recover from recent natural disasters. Despite making progress on disagreements over aid for Puerto Rico and boosting the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, negotiators have yet to strike a deal that would address funding for humanitarian needs at the southern border. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated this morning that the Senate will not leave for the Memorial Day district work period until the chamber votes on a disaster relief bill. However, a final deal between Senate Republicans and House Democrats will likely come after lawmakers return to Washington.
House Democrats are set to make an attempt at rolling back “anti-consumer actions” at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Introduced by Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the measure (H.R. 1500) would seek to reverse policies implemented by former CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney by: (1) requiring that the Bureau’s consumer complaint data be made publicly available; (2) reinstituting a memorandum of understanding between the CFPB and Department of Education that promotes data sharing between the two agencies; (3) re-establishing the Office of Students and Young Consumers; and (4) restoring the enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity. Following consideration of 17 amendments to the underlying bill, the Consumers First Act bill is expected to pass on party lines and is considered dead on arrival in the Senate.