The Senate this week will continue to move forward on the consideration of the New and 45th president’s cabinet picks while committees on both sides of the Capitol begin to conduct their formal organizational proceedings for the 115th Congress.
On Monday members will take up 11 legislative measures under suspension of the rules, all within the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which had reported them in the last Congress.
On Tuesday, the House will consider three additional bills under suspension of the rules before considering H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017. Identical to a bill passed by the House early in the 114th Congress, the legislation would broaden the existing language of the Hyde Amendment and ban the use of any federal funds to pay for abortions. Consideration of H.R. 7 will be subject to a rule.
The Senate will resume legislative business on Monday when members will debate and vote on the nomination of Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Senate floor schedule for the remainder of the week is unclear, but look for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule votes on other cabinet nominees as they are reported by their respective Senate committees. Several committees have scheduled votes throughout the week. On Monday afternoon, the Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the nomination of Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State. On Tuesday, the Banking Committee will meet to consider the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. That same morning the Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to serve as attorney general. A meeting of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider the nomination of Betsy DeVos scheduled for this week has been postponed.
Other Senate committees will continue to review the qualifications of President Trump’s cabinet appointees. The Finance Committee is scheduled to resume its consideration of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Much of the first day of the Price hearing was given over to questions about the nominee’s stock trading. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., whom the president has tapped to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, is scheduled to appear before two Senate committees on Tuesday; in the morning, he will provide testimony to the Budget Committee before an afternoon appearance before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Rep. Mulvaney is dogged by questions over his failure to pay requisite taxes for a household employee from before he was elected to Congress, and some Democrats have called for his nomination to be withdrawn. The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hear testimony from Linda McMahon of Connecticut on her nomination to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Also on the schedule this week, and in keeping with the Republican initiative currently underway to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the House Budget Committee is set to host a Tuesday hearing regarding the “Failures of Obamacare.” The hearing will be the first under its new chairman, Diane Black, R-Tenn., who was named to succeed Rep. Price following his nomination to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
On both sides of the Capitol, a number of committees are meeting for the first time this week to organize for the 115th Congress and adopt the rules for official proceedings. The full schedule of events for the week ahead is detailed below.