This Week on the Hill: House Breaks Early for Graham Honor; Senate to Push Through Judicial, OMB Nominees

February 26, 2018

Both chambers will be back in session today after a week off for the Presidents’ Day holiday. The Mar. 23 deadline for an omnibus funding bill remains the biggest item on Congress’s to-do list, but those negotiations are only expected to continue behind the scenes this week. The House aims to pass a pair of financial services bills and a measure to combat sex trafficking before ending their voting schedule on Tuesday night. Today’s docket features seven suspension bills, including one aiming to give more access to dental care for low-income individuals (H.R. 2422) and another that would reauthorize federal efforts designed to combat congenital heart disease (H.R. 1222).  

The early break in the House is to allow for recently deceased evangelical preacher and presidential adviser Billy Graham to lie in repose in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) chose to bestow Graham the high honor, traditionally reserved for former speakers and presidents, given his influence in American politics across twelve presidential administrations of both parties.

The Senate will start its legislative week today with the ceremonial reading of George Washington’s farewell address. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) will read the speech this year as part of a Senate tradition dating back to 1862. In terms of its voting schedule, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks to start work with a cloture vote today on the nomination of Elizabeth Branch to join the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Leader McConnell has filed cloture on five additional nominees to be considered later this week, including Russell Voight to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).