This Week on the Hill: Lawmakers Jam on Key Legislative Priorities ​

Congress returns to a jam-packed week as lawmakers look to clinch key legislative priorities. In addition to a vote on the House Democrats’ drug pricing package, the lower chamber is set to consider the conference report for the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after defense negotiators struck an agreement over the weekend. Additionally, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) indicated that the House could begin taking up government funding bills as soon as this week if an agreement is reached.

Meanwhile, government funding negotiations for fiscal year (FY) 2020 continued into this past weekend with fewer than two weeks left to iron out a compromise. While appropriations “Cardinals” expressed cautious optimism about the current state of government funding talks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated last week that lawmakers will need to pass another stopgap funding measure that will fund the government “just after Christmas” if an agreement isn’t reached within the next few days. Key issues that remain unresolved include Title X family planning grants, homelessness assistance grants, gun violence research, and border wall funding.

On the floor for today, the House will consider 16 bills under suspension of the rules. This includes bills out of the Homeland Security Committee that would: (1) require that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to update its synthetic opioid detection capability; (2) mandate an inland waters threat analysis by DHS; and (3) provide that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) establish a task force to conduct an analysis of emerging and potential future threats to transportation security. In the upper chamber, Senators will resume consideration of Patrick Bumatay’s nomination to be a Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court.