Today on the Hill: House Meets to Consider HEROES Act, Remote Work Resolution

Capitol Hill Update

House lawmakers have convened for legislative business and have begun consideration of a resolution that would facilitate temporary remote voting and virtual hearings. The rule change would allow Members to submit votes for up to ten absent lawmakers by proxy, and would permit committees to convene hearings, markups, and depositions through a chief administrative officer-approved software platform. These changes would only last 45 days before needing to be renewed, and would not extend beyond the 116th Congress. The resolution is expected to pass along party lines early this afternoon.

 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/14)

Capitol Hill Update

The House Rules Committee is set to meet today to develop a rule that will govern the floor debate for tomorrow’s session in the lower chamber. Action on the House floor tomorrow includes a vote on the Democrats’ sweeping $3 trillion Health Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (TRP analysis), as well as a change in the House rules that would facilitate temporary remote work and voting for Members who are unable to travel due to circumstances related to the pandemic. In the upper chamber, Senators will close out their work week with a vote on final passage of a bill that would reauthorize and reform the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA).

 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/13)

Capitol Hill Update

House Democrats introduced their sweeping $3 trillion “CARES 2.0” stimulus legislation (text; section-by-section; one pager; state and local fact sheet) yesterday following weeks of intraparty negotiations and assessments of current COVID-19 response efforts. If enacted, the Health Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act would represent the largest federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date, with provisions that would provide another round of direct payments to individuals and families, additional funding for health care providers and COVID-19 testing, as well as nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments. TRP’s instant, comprehensive analysis of this legislation can be read here.

 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/12)

Capitol Hill Update

House lawmakers are continuing to work on their “CARES 2.0” stimulus proposal, as well as a temporary emergency rule change that would allow for remote voting and committee hearings.The Rules Committee is currently scheduled to meet Thursday morning to develop the rule that will govern debate for these measures — a move that suggests we could see text for these proposals as soon as today with a vote scheduled no earlier than Friday. Members will receive a 72-hours’ notice of any changes to the House schedule. Meanwhile, the Senate will convene today to hold final confirmation votes on Brian Montgomery’s nomination to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Troy Edgar’s nomination to be Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Homeland Security.

 

This Week on the Hill: House Dems Continue Work on ‘CARES 2.0,’ Remote Work Proposals

Capitol Hill Update

House lawmakers are continuing their work on their “CARES 2.0” stimulus proposal, as well as a temporary emergency rule change that would allow for remote voting and committee hearings. As such, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced moments ago that Members “may” convene for legislative business no earlier than this Friday pending the introduction of these measures. Democratic leadership will give a 72-hours notice of any scheduled votes in the near future.

 

Financial Services Report (5/11)

House lawmakers are currently scheduled to return to Washington next week, as House Democrats continue to work on tying loose ends on their forthcoming stimulus proposal. Provisions expected in the section from the Financial Services Committee include: prohibitions on negative credit reporting, debt collection and wage garnishment of stimulus funds, as well as rental market stabilization. Other anticipated provisions will include extending the PPP loan time frame – both for when companies need to use the money, as well as an extension of the loan terms to five years, as well as significant appropriations of federal funds to help states cope with unprecedented revenue shortfalls.

While text may be released next week, one complicating factor is whether the Democrats think they have a willing negotiating partner with Senate Republicans, with a decision in the affirmative likely slowing down introduction so as to provide more runway to negotiate. If not, then a vote on a Democratic “wish list” could happen later this week, or it could be delayed anywhere from next week until early June.

Even if the House is not back voting there is a schedule of virtual “hearings”, including one in a Financial Services Subcommittee with the Bank regulators, and a couple at the Small Business Committee.

The Senate is going to remain in session with votes expected on Deputy HUD Secretary Brian Montgomery along with another Executive Nomination. There are also a few hearings scheduled for next week, including those same regulators at the Banking Committee and a hearing in the Judiciary Committee on the liability issue that has become a red-line for Senate Republicans.
 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/8)

Capitol Hill Update

House lawmakers are currently scheduled to return to Washington next week, yet the lack of a “CARES 2.0” proposal from House Democratic leadership suggests that this date could get pushed to the following week of May 18. House Democrats are still tying up loose ends on their forthcoming stimulus proposal and have cooled on their original timeline of producing legislative text by the end of this week. Intel from senior Democratic leadership sources suggests that the House majority could have a section-by-section outline of the package as soon as this weekend, with legislative text released toward the middle to late part of next week. Meanwhile, the two parties are currently far apart on the next round of relief efforts and will need to navigate deep policy schisms over the size and scope of the next package before a concrete timeline emerges.

 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/7)

Capitol Hill Update

Senators will convene for legislative business this morning while House lawmakers continue to distance themselves from Capitol Hill due to health and safety concerns from the Attending Physician’s office. While House Democratic leadership indicated that members could return as soon as next week, that date could get pushed to the following week of May 18 if a vote on the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation does not get scheduled. The two parties are currently far apart on the next round of relief efforts and will need to navigate deep policy schisms over the size and scope of the next package before a concrete timeline for enactment emerges. Regardless of the level of bipartisan support, House Democrats are expected to push forward with a measure that mirrors Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) counteroffer to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) original CARES Act proposal.

 

Today on the Hill: Special COVID-19 Edition (5/6)

Capitol Hill Update

House Democratic leadership is formulating a strategy to bring another COVID-19 legislative package to the floor. Democrats have reportedly been working off of Speaker Pelosi’s counteroffer to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) original CARES Act as a starting point for developing their forthcoming bill, prioritizing funding for state and local governments, election assistance, workforce protections, and reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), among other things. While Democrats are pressing for a finalized bill by the end of this week — followed by a vote that would likely occur at some point next week — Leader McConnell offered lukewarm support for another round of COVID-19 legislation during a press conference yesterday, saying Congress should “take a pause” to evaluate the implementation of the previous relief efforts before moving onto another stimulus package.