Legislative / Policy Update
House Floor. As lawmakers look to adjourn for the year by Friday, the House has a full plate of legislation on its agenda, including:
Senate Floor. The Senate this week plans to give final approval to the National Defense Authorization (Act), which passed the House 377-48 on Dec. 12, and the two FY 2020 appropriations packages that the House hopes to pass tomorrow. The Senate will also continue to consider nominations.
Committee Action of Note:
Upcoming Democratic Debate. Former Vice President Biden; Senators Warren, Sanders, and Klobuchar; Mayor Buttigieg; and entrepreneurs Yang and Steyer will participate in the final Democratic presidential debate of 2019 on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. According to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Monday morning, Biden leads the field with 24% support, followed by Sanders at 22%. Warren is at 17%; Buttigieg, 13%; Yang, 5%; and Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Cory Booker, 4%. Three-quarters of Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents say they could change their minds about the contender they favor. The same survey tested impeachment and found opinions have not changed over the past month with 48% of Americans opposing impeachment, while 47% support it.
Next Round of Democratic Debates. The Democratic National Committee announced last week that it will hold four debates in the first two months of 2020. The debates will take place in each of the four early voting states: Iowa (Jan. 14), New Hampshire (Feb. 7), Nevada (Feb. 19), and South Carolina (Feb. 25). Qualification conditions for the debates were not announced, but the first debate could be upended by possible Senate impeachment hearings. Currently, five Democratic Senators are running for president.
Rep. Van Drew To Switch Teams. Congressman Jeff Van Drew, a first-term Democrat from New Jersey who opposes impeachment, is expected to become a Republican later this week after numerous polls showed him lagging with Democratic voters of the New Jersey district that elected him one year ago. Rep. Van Drew met with President Trump on Friday and will run in the Republican primary.
Federal agencies are working to get money to individuals and businesses as soon as possible to provide assistance in coping with the coronavirus crisis. Lawmakers won’t return to Washington until at least April 20, but discussions are already underway on provisions that should be included in the next coronavirus bill.Read More
The House is hoping to make technical corrections to the coronavirus bill it just passed; the Senate is waiting to get the corrected bill; and everyone agrees that still another legislative package is needed in order to provide assistance to hard-hit industries.Read More