Monday, September 21, 2015

Capitol Hill This Week - What to Watch For

There are only a handful of Congressional workdays left between now and the end of the month, when federal government authority to spend money lapses. And with a papal visit in between, chances are growing that a House Republican conservative effort to defund Planned Parenthood in a government spending bill will falter, and Congress will pass a "clean" Continuing Resolution (or CR) to allow the government to function beyond September 30 for some limited number of weeks, likely stretching into December.  However, the details and the length of that “clean” CR are still being negotiated behind closed doors.

On Thursday, Pope Francis will make history as the first Pope to ever address a joint meeting of Congress. A link will be posted on this House Speaker web page to watch the papal address - a talk that among other things will stress the need for action on climate change.

The House is effectively in recess through Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, that chamber will attend to several bills, including H.R.348 - the "RAPID Act" (‘‘Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015’’). The bill would establish procedures to streamline the regulatory review, environmental decision making, and permitting process for major federal actions that are construction activities undertaken, reviewed, or funded by federal agencies.

Between the attention being paid to the CR and the pope's visit, there are only a limited number of Senate committee activities scheduled for the week - only one that relates to Mississippi River Basin natural resources (regarding agency use of guidance rather than publicly-vetted regulations).  That hearing information is posted below.  Many Congressional proceedings are webcast live, and this should be, as well (follow the hearing link). Times are Eastern. This information will be updated as warranted. 

  • Senate Homeland Security and Government Oversight Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing to examine the use of agency regulatory guidance without publication in the Federal Register or notice and comment.; 11:00 AM, room 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • Pope Francis address to a joint meeting of Congress; 10:00 AM

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