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The Congressional Agenda for September

For the first months of united Republican governance in Washington, the new administration and Congress accomplished little: confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice, repeal of some late Obama-era regulations, and reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, despite seven years of promises lingers as … Continue Reading

FY17 Reconciliation Instructions Expire September 30.

Procedural questions over when a budget resolution’s reconciliation instructions become stale have swirled for years.  There were three options: the end of a fiscal year; until the next budget resolution overtakes it (and next budget resolution could certainly affirmatively preserve it); or  the end of a Congress.  The huge news out of the Senate today … Continue Reading

U.S. House Considering Major Change to Trade Association PAC Fundraising Rules

The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations is considering a major change to the way trade associations are allowed to raise money into their political action committees (PACs).  Currently, if a trade association wants to solicit money from its member companies’ employees, it must first get advance approval from the company, and each company can authorize … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Dismisses Major Case Concerning Attorney-Client Privilege in Congressional Investigations

The long saga of the legal challenge by Carl Ferrer, CEO of, to a subpoena issued by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (“PSI”) appears to have reached a conclusion.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week dismissed the case as moot and additionally vacated a series of … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – May 15, 2017

Following their one-week recess, members of the House of Representatives will join their Senate colleagues back in Washington, D.C. this week, where the news of FBI Director James Comey’s sudden dismissal continues to reverberate.  President Trump’s unexpected decision to fire Director Comey dominated the news cycle last week and commanded the attention of the Senate, slowing legislative business … Continue Reading

Congressional Review Act Developments

In response to the unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) by the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration, the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”), a nonprofit dedicated to wildlife conservation, filed a lawsuit in an Alaska federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The CRA is a statute that requires federal agencies … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – February 27, 2017

Both chambers are set to return on Monday after a weeklong recess, kicking off a six-week session of legislative business in Washington, D.C. The issues expected to dominate this work period include the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiations over how to keep the government funded beyond the … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – February 13, 2017

Both houses of Congress return on Monday. The Senate will continue to focus on confirming President Trump’s cabinet appointees and the House will continue to consider legislation disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of the Obama Administration under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The House is scheduled to return to legislative business on … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – February 6, 2017

Congress this week will continue to move forward on approving President Trump’s cabinet nominees and disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of President Obama’s Administration in an effort to overturn them under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). There will be an abbreviated week of legislative business in the House of Representatives, with the … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Executive Order on Ethics Breaks New Ground

President Trump signed an executive order on ethics this weekend that is similar in key respects to the Obama Administration’s executive order governing ethical conduct by presidential appointees. But in one key respect it is significantly broader in scope than the previous Obama executive order. The Trump executive order incorporates the concept of “lobbying activities,” … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – January 30, 2017

Following last week’s session shortened by the congressional Republican retreat to strategize for the 115th Congress, this week leadership in both chambers and congressional committees will begin to pursue some of the major Republican legislative priorities for the year ahead and put in place more of the President’s Cabinet nominees. Congressional activity this week is … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress – January 23, 2017

Following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States last Friday, the Senate this week will continue to move forward on the consideration of the President’s cabinet picks while congressional committees on both sides of the Capitol begin to conduct their formal organization proceedings for the 115th Congress.  Members of both … Continue Reading