Congress will reconvene this week to continue work on several key funding priorities. As the Sept. 30 government funding deadline approaches, House Democrats are expected to queue up a continuing resolution (CR) for consideration as negotiators jostle to avoid another lapse in funding. The upper chamber is expected to take up the CR shortly thereafter, yet it remains to be seen whether the two sides can avoid disagreements over certain funding extensions, as well as how long the stopgap measure will fund the government.
When the House returns Tuesday, lawmakers are slated to take up a bill out of the Judiciary Committee that seeks to reform the Federal Arbitration Act. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act would: (1) prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements that force arbitration of future disputes; and (2) prohibit agreements and practices that interfere with the right of individuals, workers, and small businesses to participate in a joint, class, or collective action related to an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute. While forced arbitration reform has been eyed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the FAIR Act is not expected to be taken up the GOP-controlled Senate; Republicans argue that the bill would put significant burden on the judicial system and could end up harming plaintiffs in future cases.
In the upper chamber, the Senate Appropriations Committee will meet this week to mark up another batch of fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills. The measures under consideration this week include Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD), and Agriculture. On the floor, Senators will resume consideration of pending presidential nominees.