Lawmakers were able to avert a shutdown on Friday by passing a one-week stopgap funding bill to keep the government operational.  This week they are looking to finalize a broader spending package for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, through September 30.  Leaders in both parties and chambers appear to be working through a number of outstanding issues, including some controversial policy riders, that members are aiming to attach to the omnibus spending bill, but appear optimistic that the bill final text will be wrapped up early this week and passed by both chambers before the end of this week.  Once the spending bill is resolved, members can begin the process anew for FY 2018.

While leadership wraps up the FY 2017 appropriations measure, the House and Senate will tackle other legislative business on the agenda.

The Senate returns on Monday, with a scheduled cloture vote on the nomination of Jay Clayton as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, setting up a final confirmation vote on the nominee later in the week. The Senate floor schedule beyond this vote is unclear, although action can be expected on the government funding bill once an agreement is reached and the bill passes the House.  In the meantime the Majority Leader may move to consider other nominations awaiting consideration on the Executive Calendar.  The current pending nominations include Robert Lighthizer to be United States Trade Representative, Scott Gottlieb to be Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Jeffrey Rosen to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Rachel Brand to be Associate Attorney General, as well as a number of military appointments.

The House will return to legislative business on Monday, when members will consider six bills under suspension of the rules, including H.R. 1644, the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act.  Intended to target the Kim Jung Un regime in North Korea and its recent provocations, the bill would require the President to expand existing sanctions and impose new sanctions against North Korea, blocking trade activities and imposing sanctions against those who employ North Korean slave labor.

On Tuesday and during the remainder of the week, members will take up an additional three bills under suspension of the rules, all under the jurisdiction of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Members will also consider H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017, subject to a rule.  The legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to allow employers to offer employees the choice of paid time off, usable at the employee’s discretion, in lieu of higher wages for overtime hours worked.  Employees would be eligible to accrue 1.5 hours of compensatory time for every hour of overtime worked, for up to 160 hours per year, and an employer would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year.  Such compensatory time could be provided only in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement or with the express consent of affected private sector employees. The bill also would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress about the extent to which employers provide such compensatory time as well as the number of complaints alleging violations of the provisions and the disposition of those complaints, including any enforcement actions. The changes would be effective for five years after enactment of the bill.  The bill was approved by the Committee on Education and the Workforce on April 26 by a 22-16 party-line vote.

The Majority Leader’s schedule indicates that consideration of additional legislation is possible this week, leaving room for consideration of the legislation to fund the government through FY 2017.  Consideration of a new version of the healthcare “repeal and replace” bill related to the Affordable Care Act is also possible.  House Republican leadership continues to determine whether a new compromise bill negotiated between Rep. Tom McArthur, a leading moderate, and Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, can garner sufficient votes to pass the House.  Press reports confirm what two members of Congress have reported to us privately — that House Republicans remain a few votes short of being able to pass this version of the bill.  Thus, further changes to the current version of the legislation are likely needed in order to garner enough votes to pass the House.

Congressional committees are again focused on U.S. military operations and readiness this week, given the ongoing diplomatic confrontation with North Korea over its continued provocations surrounding its nuclear and missile programs.  The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hear testimony from General Darren W. McDew, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command, on Tuesday morning.  The committee will meet again on Thursday to hear testimony from General Raymond A. Thomas III, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Theresa Whelan, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict.

Also related to foreign affairs and military operations, against the backdrop of increased tensions with Russia, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will hear testimony from General Curtis Scaparrotti, the current Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and Commander of the United States European Command, on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to begin its consideration of the President’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China, former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.  Among the many complex issues expected to be raised at the hearing, committee members will certainly spend time questioning Governor Branstad on the Ambassador’s role to work with the Chinese government on its policy towards its neighbor, North Korea, and assisting with diplomacy in dealing with the regime’s recent provocations and reducing its weapons program.

FBI Director James Comey will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning for the committee’s annual oversight hearing of the agency.  This appearance will be the first for Director Comey before the Judiciary Committee under the Trump Administration and since his testimony earlier this year before the House Intelligence Committee regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro of the GAO is scheduled to testify before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday regarding fiscal mismanagement and mechanisms to improve efficiencies.  His appearance follows the release of the GAO’s seventh annual report to Congress on duplicative federal programs or activities and “Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits.”  The GAO’s recommendations for cost savings are also in line with the recent White House actions to install government-wide reforms and reorganization in order to increase efficiencies and reduce the size of the federal workforce.

Also on Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will meet to review the recent data breach that led the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to disable its Data Retrieval Tool, used to import tax information to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Education Department’s website, a tool utilized by millions of students and their families to apply for federal financial student aid.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen indicated during a Senate Finance Committee hearing last month that the data breach may have compromised the personal data of as many as 100,000 taxpayers.

Following the public outrage over an incident last month in which a United Airlines passenger was dragged off of a plane, two congressional committees this week will review airline booking policies and customer service.  United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is scheduled  to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, alongside the company’s President, Scott Kirby, and representatives from American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Consumers Union.  On Thursday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation will hold a hearing to explore the current state of airline travel and consumer protections.

The full hearing schedule for the week ahead is detailed below:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

House Committees

Examining Improvements to the Regulation of Medical Technologies
House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Health
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m.

Combating Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Medicaid’s Personal Care Services Program
House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Subcommittee Hearing
10:15 a.m., 2322 RHOB

Financial CHOICE Act
House Financial Services
Full Committee Markup
10 a.m.

Consequences of Executive Branch Overreach of the Antiquities Act
House Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Federal Lands
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., 1324 LHOB

Pending Legislation
House Oversight and Government Reform
Full Committee Markup
10:30 a.m., 2154 RHOB

H.R.2105, the “NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act of 2017
House Science, Space and Technology
Full Committee Markup
10 a.m., 2318 RHOB

Oversight of U.S. Airline Customer Service
House Transportation and Infrastructure
Full Committee Hearing
9:30 a.m., 2167 RHOB

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017
House Veterans’ Affairs
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m.

Overview of the Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies
House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Military Personnel
Subcommittee Hearing
3:30 p.m., 2118 RHOB

Winning the Fight Against Human Trafficking: The Frederick Douglass Reauthorization Act
House Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations
Subcommittee Hearing
2 p.m., 2172 RHOB

Examining the Management of Red Snapper Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico
House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on the Interior
Subcommittee Hearing
2 p.m., 2154 RHOB

VA Specialized Services: Lower Extremity Conditions
House Veterans’ Affairs – Subcommittee on Health
Subcommittee Hearing
2 p.m., 334 CHOB

Senate Committees

U.S. Transportation Command
Senate Armed Services
Full Committee Hearing
9:30 a.m., SD-G50

Examining the U.S. – EU Covered Agreements
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-538

Fiscal Certainty for Communities With Tax-Exempt Federal Lands
Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-366

Ambassador to China Nomination
Senate Foreign Relations
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-419

Responses to the Increase in Religious Hate Crimes
Senate Judiciary
Full Committee Hearing
10:30 a.m., SD-226

U.S. European Command
Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies
Subcommittee Hearing
2:30 p.m., SD-124

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

House Committees

Oversight of the 2020 Census
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Subcommittee Hearing
10:30 a.m., H-309

Member’s Day/Outside Witnesses
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., HT-2

2018 Veterans Affairs Oversight
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., 2359 RHOB

Public Witness Day
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies
Subcommittee Hearing
10:30 a.m., 2362-B RHOB

Failures of Fiscal Management: A View from the Comptroller General
House Budget
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., 1334 LHOB

Pending Legislation
House Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., 2123 RHOB

Pending Legislation
House Foreign Affairs
Full Committee Markup
10 a.m.

Reviewing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Data Breach
House Oversight and Government Reform
Full Committee Hearing
9:30 a.m., 2154 RHOB

Oil and Gas Technology Innovation
House Science, Space and Technology
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., 2318 RHOB

Empowering Small Businesses: The Accelerator Model
House Small Business
Full Committee Hearing
11 a.m., 2360 RHOB

Maritime Transportation Regulatory Issues
House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., 2167 RHOB

IRS Oversight Hearing
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
Subcommittee Hearing
1 p.m., 2362-A RHOB

Littoral Combat Ships and the Transition to Frigate Class
House Armed Services – Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
Subcommittee Hearing
3:30 p.m., 2118 RHOB

Denying Terrorists Entry to the United States: Examining Visa Security
House Homeland Security
Full Committee Hearing
2 p.m., HVC-210

The Challenges of Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Opportunities for New Development
House Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans
Subcommittee Hearing
2:30 p.m., 1324 LHOB

Senate Committees

Defense Innovation and Research Funding
Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense
Subcommittee Hearing
10:30 a.m., SD-192

Department of Defense Laboratories and Their Contributions to Military Operations and Readiness
Senate Armed Services – Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., SR-222

Economy and Private Sector Growth
Senate Budget
Full Committee Hearing
10:30 a.m., SD-608

Investing in Broadband Infrastructure
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SR-253

Infrastructure Project Streamlining and Efficiency: Achieving Faster, Better, and Cheaper Results
Senate Environment and Public Works
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-406

Global Philanthropy Remittances and International Development
Senate Foreign Relations – Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions and International Economic, Energy and Environmental Policy
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-419

FBI Oversight
Senate Judiciary
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-226

Building a F.A.S.T. Force: A Flexible Personnel System for a Modern Military
Senate Armed Services – Subcommittee on Personnel
Subcommittee Hearing
2:30 p.m., SR-222

Thursday, May 4, 2017

House Committees

Examining a Church’s Right to Free Speech
House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Government Operations
Subcommittee Hearing
10 a.m., 2154 RHOB

Ongoing Intelligence Activities
House Select Intelligence
Full Committee Hearing (CLOSED)
1 p.m., HVC-304

Improving the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
House Science, Space and Technology – Subcommittee on Research and Technology; House Small Business – Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce
Subcommittees Joint Hearing
9 a.m., 2318 RHOB

Senate Committees

U.S. Special Operations Command
Senate Armed Services
Full Committee Hearing
9:30 a.m., SD-G50

Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Part II
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-538

Electromagnetic Pulse Threats and Policy Options to Protect Energy Infrastructure
Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-366

International Development: Value Added Through Private Sector Engagement
Senate Foreign Relations
Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., SD-419

Pending Business
Senate Judiciary
Full Committee Markup
10 a.m.

Veterans Affairs Telemedicine
Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies
Subcommittee Hearing
10:30 a.m.

Questions, Answers, and Perspectives on the Current State of Airline Travel
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation – Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security
Subcommittee Hearing
10:30 a.m., SR-253

Ballistic Missile Defense Policies and Programs
Senate Armed Services – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Subcommittee Hearing
2:30 p.m., SR 232-A

Intelligence Matters
Senate Select Intelligence
Full Committee Briefing
2 p.m.