The Week Ahead – June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018

This week will feature floor action in the House on the water resources bill and the first “minibus” package of appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019, and will also see the unveiling of the fiscal year 2019 Transportation-Housing appropriations bill in the Senate.

WRDA. The House Rules Committee has already solicited amendments to H.R. 8, the water resources reauthorization bill (the bill text that will be brought before the House is here and the 104 amendments that members have filed so far for possible consideration can be found here). Rules will meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 to whittle those 104 amendments down to a few dozen for consideration on the House floor starting on Wednesday.

The only amendment certain to be included is the Shuster (R-PA) manager’s amendment. An open question is whether or not the DeFazio (D-OR) – Shuster amendment that would exempt Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund appropriations from the Budget Control Act spending caps (up to an annual limit) will be made in order by Rules even though it violates Budget Committee jurisdiction.

H.R. 8 is expected to be on the House floor Wednesday afternoon and finished either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Minbus/Corps of Engineers. Also at the Tuesday afternoon hearing, the Rules Committee will issue a rule making in order general debate only on H.R. 5895, the first three-bill “minibus” package of fiscal 2019 appropriations bills (Energy and Water Development, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction/Veterans – see text of minibus package here).

Rules will meet again at 3 p.m. Wednesday June 6 to begin whittling down the 175 amendments filed by members to the package into a more manageable number. (Of those 175, only about a dozen actually relate to the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works (water resources) program, which is funded in the Energy and Water bill – see here for more information).

The House will consider the appropriations minibus on the floor Thursday and Friday.

THUD Appropriations (Senate).  The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the draft Transportation-HUD appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 in subcommittee at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and then in full committee at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Unlike the House, where chamber rules require committees to post the text of all committee and subcommittee markup agenda items on the Internet 24 hours before the meeting, it is the Senate appropriators’ practice not to release the text of the draft bill or report until after the full committee markup. So the only information given out before Thursday afternoon will be in the vague details given in the subcommittee press release and whatever comes out of the chairman and ranking member’s opening statements at the ever-so-brief, amendment-free, let’s-all-hold-hands-in-a-bipartisan-way subcommittee markup session.

For the possibility of floor action on the THUD appropriations legislation in both chambers, see this article.

Transportation Security Markup. The House Homeland Security Committee will consider ten pieces of legislation at a once-postponed markup session at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning (details here). The agenda includes a bill to delay Coast Guard implementation of TWIC biometric readers, a bill establishing a TSA office to test innovative technologies, and a bill promoting better security of public areas of surface transportation systems.

Arctic Transportation Hearing. The House T&I Committee will hold a hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday on the U.S. role in maritime transportation through the Arctic (background memo and witness list here).

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