Today on the Hill: Budget Deal Fast-tracked As Senate Eyes Recess

Senators may look to wrap up legislative business for the summer later this afternoon. In addition to a host of presidential nominations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has queued up the bipartisan budget agreement for a vote at some point during today’s session. Final passage of the measure — which would boost spending by $321 billion over the next two years while also suspending the debt ceiling — could be closer than expected, as some GOP Senators have expressed uneasiness with the plan to increase spending. However, leadership expressed confidence that the bill would pass the chamber and be swiftly signed by President Donald Trump.

 

This Week on the Hill: Senate Closes Out Summer Legislative Session

Senators will reconvene this afternoon as they look to wrap up key legislative priorities ahead of the August recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is expected to swiftly call up the House-passed budget deal (textsummary), as the upper chamber will need to hit the ground running in September on the 2020 appropriations process. In addition to a vote on the budget deal, Senators are expected to consider a significant number of presidential nominees prior to adjourning. A full list of nominations up for consideration this week can be accessed here.

 

Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

House lawmakers cleared (284-149) the sweeping budget package (textsummary) last week, addressing key fiscal deadlines prior to leaving for the six-week August recess. Struck by top negotiators early last week, the deal provides for a $321 billion boost in federal spending over the next two years, while also suspending the debt ceiling for two years. The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and be signed by President Donald Trump despite opposition from some Congressional conservatives.

 

Financial Services Report 7/29

In this age of twitter, where everyone can be a pundit, yelling into that that ever-growing social media echo chamber it is important to remember that if politics is passion, then governing is math.  And the math still matters.  So while the media continues its codependent cycle with the President or jumping from hot take to hot take among members of Congress, to really understand Congress, and to maintain the appropriate contextual framework it becomes increasingly important to focus on the individual trees and not the forest.
 
As we turn to the August recess, and the inevitable drumbeat by lazy reporters about impeachment, remember that it isn’t the passion, but the raw numbers that matter. Right now, less than half of the Democratic Caucus (and one independent) support starting impeachment proceedings. Until those numbers get considerable higher, those who dream of impeaching this President will have to keep dreaming.  

 

Next Week on the Hill: Senate Closes Out July With Budget Deal, Nominations

House lawmakers cleared (284-149) the sweeping budget package (textsummary) yesterday, addressing both the federal borrowing limit and budgetary spending caps prior to leaving for the six-week August recess. The Senate is scheduled to follow suit early next week, as the upper chamber will need to hit the ground running in September on the 2020 appropriations process. In addition to a vote on the budget deal, Senators are expected to consider a significant amount of presidential nominees. A full list of nominations up for consideration next week can be accessed here

Today on the Hill: Budget Deal, Drug Pricing Markup Headline Significant Activity on Capitol Hill

Lawmakers are set to strap in for another busy day of legislative business both on and off the floor. In the lower chamber, House lawmakers are expected to pass the compromise budget deal (textsummary) later today, addressing key fiscal deadlines ahead of the six-week August recess. The deal provides for a $321 billion boost in federal spending over the next two years, while also suspending the debt ceiling for two years. The Senate is expected to swiftly take up the bipartisan spending agreement next week prior to the upper chamber’s adjournment.

 

Today on the Hill: Leaders Strike Bipartisan Budget Deal

Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump have struck a compromise budget deal (text; summary) that would address pressing deadlines for the federal debt ceiling and budgetary spending caps. The deal provides for a $321 billion boost in federal spending over the next two years, with $738 billion for defense spending and $632 billion for non-defense in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and $740.5 billion for defense and $634.5 billion for non-defense in FY 2021. By waiving the spending caps for FY 2020 and 2021, the agreement essentially marks the end of the 2011 Budget Control Act which is set to expire at the end of 2021. 

 

This Week on the Hill: Leaders Look to Clinch Budget Deal

White House and Congressional leaders are still working to finalize details of a sweeping budget deal that would address the debt ceiling and budgetary spending caps. Reports suggest that both sides are zeroing in on a deal that would include spending offsets that total less than the administration’s $150 billion demand, as well as a two-year suspension of the debt ceiling. Negotiators are still waiting for President Donald Trump to sign off on this latest proposal. If the president signs off on the deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will look to muscle the package through the lower chamber prior to the six-week August recess.

 

Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced last week that the White House and Congressional leaders have agreed on terms for a sweeping budget deal that would address spending levels for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 and the debt ceiling. According to Mnuchin, Congressional leaders agreed to offset the increased spending limits for FY 2020 and 2021, as well as raise the debt ceiling for two years. As of now, a timeline for a finalized deal is unclear as officials are still negotiating specific numbers, revenue offsets, and “certain structural issues.”

 

Financial Services Report (7/22)

After three insanely busy weeks, this next week looks to be at a more humane pace with only a handful of hearings of relevance to the Financial Services industry.
 
On Tuesday the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on Cannabis in the banking industry, as proponents of cannabis banking continue to advance their cause in Congress.
 
On Wednesday the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing examining the SunTrust / BBT merger, and then on Thursday the House FinTech Task Force will have a hearing to examine alternative underwriting.