U.S. House of Representatives: Oct. 19 – Oct. 23

United States Capitol_ U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate

It’s another chaotic week in the U.S. House of Representatives as there are three major developments to follow:

  1. After months of anticipation, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi that is investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on Thursday.
  2. The Republican caucus continues to struggle to fill the vacancy being left by Rep. John Boehner for the next Speaker of the House. Many Republicans hope Rep. Paul Ryan — the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee — will step up and seek the gavel, but thus far he has not expressed interest in the position.
  3. The contentious debt ceiling debate continues as only 10 working days remain for lawmakers to come up with a plan to raise the limit by November 3 or risk America’s first-ever default, which could have catastrophic, global consequences.

The House returns to session Tuesday and will consider several bills under suspension of the rules. A full list of bills can be found here.

The remainder of the week the House will consider:

H.R. 692, the Default Prevention Act. The bill allows protects the full faith and credit of the United States by guaranteeing that the Treasury department will continue paying off debt in the event the debt ceiling is reached.

H.R. 10, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act. The bill is a legacy piece of legislation for outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). It reauthorizes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship (voucher) Program for an additional five years, through FY 2021, under which federal funding is provided to eligible students in Washington, D.C., to allow them to attend private schools. It also updates the program to provide for greater student participation and to mandate greater accountability by the private schools that participate in the program.

H.R. 1937, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. The bill classifies domestic mining operations for strategic and critical minerals on federal lands as “infrastructure projects” in order to take advantage of a 2012 presidential order to federal agencies that eases the permitting process for infrastructure projects.

H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. The bill is a consolidated bill from provisions reported by three different House committees that repeals several elements of Obamacare including the individual mandate, the employer mandates, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the medical device tax, and the “Cadillac” tax. The bill also blocks federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. Because the legislation was developed under reconciliation instructions included in the FY 2016 budget resolution, it will be protected from filibuster in the Senate and can be passed there by a simple majority.


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