This week in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate: Mar. 21 – Mar. 25, 2016

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

On Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives is in session and will consider several bills under Suspension of the Rules.  A full list of bills can be found here.

Also up for consideration this week:

H.R. 2745: the Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules (SMARTER) Act. This bill seeks to harmonize the standards that the FTC and the Justice Department must meet before seeking a preliminary injunction against a proposed transaction.  It also requires the FTC to resolve such cases through the federal courts rather than through administrative action.

  • Alabama cosponsor(s): None
  • Background: The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), share responsibility for government enforcement of federal antitrust laws. The Clayton Act prohibits mergers and acquisitions that would “substantially lessen competition” or “tend to create a monopoly.”  Each of the antitrust enforcement agencies is notified in advance of a proposed transaction, such as a merger and acquisition, and given a period of time to review the effects of the transaction. Only one agency takes responsibility for the review of a proposed transaction, which is determined by historical precedent.  However, both agencies apply different standards when invoking injunctions and the processes used to block a proposed transaction.

On Thursday and Friday, the House is not in session.

Highlights of what is happening in House Committees this week:

  • Budget Season: Budget season continues with the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and House Armed Services Committee holding related hearings. The House Appropriations committee also continues its FY17 hearing slate, a full list of those hearings can be found here.
  • International Finance:  On Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “The State of the International Financial System” featuring testimony from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.  More information here.
  • Heroin/Opioid Abuse:  On Tuesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled “America’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic.”  More information here.
  • Judiciary Markup:  On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of H.R.4771, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2016 and H.R.4676, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2016. More information here.
  • Women Fighting for Peace:  On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Women Fighting for Peace: Lessons for Today’s Conflicts.” More information here.
  • Homeland Security Markup: On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a markup of H.R.4482, the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016, H.R.4509, the State and High-Risk Urban Area Working Group Act, H.R.4549, the Treating Small Airports with Fairness Act of 2016, H.R.4698, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports Through Enhanced Security Act of 2016, H.R.4780, the Department of Homeland Security Strategy for International Programs Act, the “DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act”, and the “Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act of 2016.” More information here.
  • GITMO: On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Administration’s Plan to Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility: At What Foreign Policy and National Security Cost?” More information here.
  • Small Business Markup:  On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a markup of H.R.4783, the Commercializing on Small Business Innovation Act of 2016, and H.R.207, the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2015. More information here.

Senate Schedule

The Senate is in recess and will reconvene on Monday April 4.