Congress has adjourned for the week as negotiations on a sweeping budget deal continue behind the scenes. Despite reaching a general agreement on the framework for the deal, talks are still ongoing over specific numbers, offsets, and structural issues. Late yesterday, the White House gave House Democrats an extended list of $574 billion in offset options — including drug pricing provisions and proposed cuts found in the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget — that was rebuffed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this morning. Talks are expected to resume today and throughout the weekend as negotiators look for a vote on a deal ahead of August recess.
On the floor next week, the House will consider a bill out of the Ways and Means Committee aimed at bolstering struggling union pensions. The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act would establish a new Pension Rehabilitation Administration and a related trust fund within the Treasury Department to make loans to multiemployer plans in critical and declining status. House Democrats have also queued up a border-related measure that would: (1) increase transparency and community engagement within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); (2) provide independent oversight of border security activities; and (3) improve training for agents and officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Meanwhile, the Senate will begin consideration of two key presidential nominees, including Mark Esper to be Secretary of Defense and Stephen Dickson to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).