NATaT Weekly Legislative Report
Week of February 24, 2020
The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider 13 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act (H.R. 3749), which requires the VA to issue grants to legal aid organizations and other entities to provide services to homeless or at-risk veterans; and the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 35), which classifies lynching as a federal hate crime. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 (H.R. 2339), which bans the sale of some flavored tobacco vaping products and bars the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products online.
The Senate will consider the nomination of Katharine MacGregor to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior, in addition to three judicial nominations. The Senate will also vote on the motion to proceed to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 3275) and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311), which would ban abortions after 20 weeks (with exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or if a pregnant woman's life is in danger) and penalize doctors who fail to "exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion," respectively. Both bills require 60 votes to overcome the initial procedural hurdle. The 47 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus will also attend a legislative retreat in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday.
Numerous officials from the Trump Administration are set to testify on Capitol Hill this week before various authorizing and appropriations committees to defend the President's FY 2021 budget proposal. These include the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Energy, and Defense, the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency and Small Business Administration, the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and the Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner. House Appropriators plan to begin subcommittee markups for FY 2021 Appropriations bills on April 21 and conclude all markups by May 19, clearing the way for House Democratic leaders to achieve their goal of passing all 12 bills on the floor before the start of July.
Other Congressional hearings of note this week include a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday morning on "Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Public Transportation Stakeholders' Perspectives"; a House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Members' Day hearing Thursday morning on "Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020"; a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing Thursday morning on "Strengthening Communications Networks to Help Americans in Crisis"; and a House Science Subcommittee on Environment hearing Thursday afternoon on "An Examination of Federal Flood Maps in a Changing Climate".
On Tuesday at 8pm ET, the tenth Democratic Party 2020 presidential primary debate will take place at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, with seven of the remaining eight candidates facing off ahead of the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.
NATaT Weekly Legislative Report