What’s New in Washington

October 2019

Partners G. Hunter Bates, Brian A. Pomper and Hal S. Shapiro at Akin Gump in Washington, D.C.

Congress returns after a two week recess to focus on the remaining eight weeks of session on the legislative calendar (although it may last longer) with a laundry list of high priority initiatives and deadline-driven items. Whether Congress can reach agreement on all of these items will depend in part on the unfolding impeachment process in the House, which officially began with an impeachment inquiry announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on September 24.

Before adjourning for the recess, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide stopgap funding for the federal government through November 21. The CR also provided Medicaid funding for the US territories and Puerto Rico, continued the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) funding and extended the charter of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM). We expect Congress to pass another short-term CR by November 21 that would last until mid-December. The House has passed 10 of its 12 appropriations bills while the Senate has moved the same number of bills out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Senate is expected to continue its focus on nominations this month, with a goal of turning to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as soon as the conference report is finalized. In the House, possible floor items this work period include the NDAA conference report, a number of House Financial Services Committee bills on corporate disclosure and anti-money laundering, an election security bill and public lands-related legislation from the House Natural Resources Committee.

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