This Week on the Hill: With Senate in Recess, House Works on Budget Negotiations, FTC Bill

March 21, 2016

The Easter recess has begun for the Senate, and House lawmakers are planning for a short week before beginning their own spring break. In the lower chamber, the first round of the appropriations fight is expected to take place as House leaders scramble to generate support for a budget resolution at the spending levels agreed to under a deal struck by Congressional leaders and the White House last year. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) is planning to move forward with all twelve traditional appropriations bills, even though ongoing efforts to adopt a budget resolution means the panel hasn’t yet finalized top-line allocations. The House Freedom Caucus – a group of hardline conservative lawmakers in the House – has strongly opposed the spending levels set under the 2015 deal, and Republican leaders are set to meet with the caucus this week to see if a compromise budget resolution is possible.  

On the floor, Members are set to consider a bill (H.R. 2745) that would eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) use of administrative proceedings to challenge business mergers. The legislation would hold the FTC to the same standard that the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division must meet to obtain a legal injunction to stop a merger. Under suspension of the rules today, the chamber is also expected to vote on a bill (H.R. 4721) that would prevent the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) operational authority from lapsing when its current authorization expires on March 31.
Other bills to be considered under suspension of the rules today include:

  • H.R. 1670 – The National POW/MIA Remembrance Act of 2015 would make decoration changes in the U.S. Capitol to recognize the National League of POW/MIA Families.
  • House Amendment to S. 192 – An amendment to the Older Americans Act of 2015 that would change definitions of various terms related to the care of the elderly and make changes to the Administration on Aging.
  • H.R. 4314 – The Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016 would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department to submit additional plans for international partner engagement to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters.
  • S. 2393 – The Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015 would extend through 2017 the one-year period after service that a member of the military may delay any pending foreclosures on personal property.
  • S. 1180 – The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015 would direct DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to modernize the integrated U.S. public alert and warning system.

‘This Week on the Hill’ includes updates provided by the House and Senate majority leaders, as well information derived from publications including Bloomberg Government, The Hill, Politico, Roll Call, and National Journal.