This Week’s GOP Agenda: February 6

by | Feb 7, 2017 | News, Weekly Report

Protests, angry tweets, executive orders, and uncertainty have been the hallmarks of the first two weeks of the Trump Administration. Americans took to the airports and the streets last week to oppose a sweeping executive order limiting immigration, and continue to flood congressional phone lines to voice disapproval of Trump’s Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees. Democrats in Congress also fought back, boycotting committee votes on Tom Price for Health & Human Services and Steve Mnuchin for the Treasury Department. On Friday, a federal judge issued a restraining order on the immigration ban and the American system of checks and balances won –at least temporarily.

What’s Ahead?

Cabinet

  • On Monday, the full Senate will vote on nominee Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Two Republican Senators — Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — have announced they will vote against her nomination. If one more Republican votes “NO,” DeVos will not be confirmed. If the current 50-50 tally stands, Vice President Mike Pence will cast the deciding affirmative vote.
  • Later this week, the Senate will move to vote on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.
  • Republicans hope to push Price and Mnuchin through full Senate confirmations this week as well, since Democrats boycotted last week’s committee votes.

Legislation

  • The Senate will vote on resolutions the House pushed through under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and VOID two Obama-era rules, one that restricts Social Security recipients with mental health issues from buying guns, and another that compels federal contractors to disclose labor law violations.
  • House Republicans will continue to use the CRA to roll back rules finalized since mid-June of last year. On the docket for this week are rules on: teacher preparedness, state education accountability, the reporting of work-related injuries, drug testing requirements, and issues of public land usage.
  • Democrats and the Senate Armed Forces Committee Chair John McCain (R-AZ) have called for an investigation by a special committee into Russia’s hacking of the election. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Armed Forces Committee, and Foreign Relations Committee will meet this week to discuss their individual investigations.
  • The House of Representatives has a number of hearings scheduled this week, including: “Making EPA Great Again,” “Reimagining the Healthcare Marketplace for America’s Small Businesses,” “Countering the North Korean Threat,” and “Ending the Crisis: America’s Borders and the Path to Security.”

Presidential Actions

  • The Executive Order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations has consistently come under fire. A Seattle federal judge issued a temporary stay on the order, the terms of which essentially reinstate immigration policy to what it was prior to January 26th, before the order was signed. The White House announced that they  will act soon to fight the ruling. Similar cases are expected to be heard in many courts early this week.

 

Justine Hendricks is a freelance writer, editor, and fitness guru. A bookworm and history nerd, she holds an American Studies degree from Washington College (Md.) and believes in liberty and justice for all.