This Week in Congress

The big news this week will take place off the floor as the GOP unveils the details of its tax reform plan and Donald Trump is expected to name his nominee for Federal Reserve board chair. Last week, the House passed the budget setting up the use of reconciliation for tax reform and increasing the national debt by $5.5 trillion. Twenty Republicans voted no. Tim Carney provides a good breakdown of the various reasons members opposed the budget here.

This week the Senate will be voting on judicial nominees. The House will consider H.R. 849, which terminates the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Created by Obamacare, IPAB has the power to make automatic cuts in Medicare when spending exceeds a certain amount. Some concerns have been raised that IPAB will lead to rationing care for seniors.

The House will also consider H.R. 2936, legislation making changes in the management of federal lands in order to prevent forest fires.

The House will also consider legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and increasing means testing in Medicare.

The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension including:

  1. H.R. 2521– Adds South Carolina to the Virginia/Carolina “peanut producing region so South Carolina can play a role in nominating members to the Peanut Standards Board which helps establish quality and handling standards for peanuts." Good thing too cause we could not trust the market to do this. Oh wait we could.

  1. H.R. 1595– Amends the definition of “accredited investor” so more Americans can participate in private stock offerings without running afoul of the SEC’s paternalistic regulations.

  1. H.R. 425– Revokes passport of anyone who is a member of a terrorist group or provides material support to a terrorist group. While this bill seems like common sense, some Americans have been prosecuted for providing material support to terrorists organizations when they legitimately thought they where aiding a charity and some charities have been mislabeled as terrorist organizations.

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