The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, posted when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• The House will vote to hold in contempt Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and will also vote on raising the federal minimum wage.

• Senators will vote on four bilateral tax treaties, and continue votes on President Donald Trump’s nominees for judgeships and ambassadorships.

• Big tech faces a potentially tough week on the Hill, with multiple hearings in both chambers.

HOUSE

  • The House is in session today through Thursday. A contempt resolution targets Barr and Ross for failing to comply with Oversight Committee subpoenas regarding the 2020 census. The House agenda also includes legislation to raise the minimum wage, and reauthorization of intelligence activities.
  • The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee will hold a hearing Tuesday on competition in the tech industry, with executives from Google and other tech companies.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing Tuesday on wireless policy and spectrum.
  • The full list of this week’s House committee activity can be found here.

SENATE

  • The Senate plans to take up tax treaties with Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Japan, and also will vote on two judicial nominees and two ambassadorships.
  • The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing Tuesday on “Google and Censorship through Search Engines.”
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper to lead the Pentagon.
  • The current list of Senate committee activity can be found here.

WHITE HOUSE

  • Trump today is participating in his third annual Made in America product showcase.
  • Trump on Tuesday will hold a Cabinet meeting.
  • Later in the week, he will hold a campaign rally in North Carolina, then host Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House.

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.

SENATORS RACE TO FINISH DRUG PRICING BILL AS TRUMP PLANS STALL

With only 15 legislative days before a scheduled monthlong recess, Senate leaders are scrambling this week to seek consensus on ambitious legislation to lower prescription drug prices, particularly after major pharmaceutical industry initiatives by the Trump administration were derailed last week.

Senate Finance Committee leaders Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have been working for months on a package of bills to lower drug prices – and they are hinting a deal is close.

The senators appear to have agreed on the outlines of a plan that would impose inflation caps on prices for drugs in the Medicare Part D program by requiring manufacturers to pay rebates to the government if prices rise faster than inflation. Multiple price transparency provisions are also expected to be included. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.HEADLINES

• The House and Senate return from their weeklong July 4 recess, continuing negotiations to raise budget caps and the debt limit.

• The White House has planned a social media summit to discuss challenges and opportunities in the online environment.

• Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will testify regarding monetary policy before House and Senate committees.

HOUSE

  • The House is in session Tuesday through Friday and will vote on the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
  • The Financial Services Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing on monetary policy with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
  • The Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday will hold a hearing on cybersecurity threats to the power grid.

SENATE

  • The Senate returns today and will continue voting on President Trump’s judicial and administrative nominees.
  • The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will review monetary policy with Powell.
  • The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday will consider a dozen wide-ranging bills, as well as nominations.

WHITE HOUSE

  • Today at the White House, Trump plans to deliver a speech regarding the environment.
  • Tonight he will attend a dinner with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He will meet with Al Thani again tomorrow.
  • Thursday he will speak at the Presidential Social Media Summit.

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, posted when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

•  Both chambers of Congress are planning to take up spending bills to address the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

•  President Donald Trump will sign an order on healthcare costs, then late this week will travel to Japan for the G20 Summit in Osaka.

•  Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination will take part in their first debates Wednesday and Thursday.

HOUSE

  • The House is in session today through Thursday. Lawmakers are continuing to vote on spending bills, including a supplemental package addressing humanitarian needs at the Southern border.
  • The Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled “Mexico’s Labor Reform: Opportunities and Challenges for an Improved NAFTA.”
  • The House Financial Services Committee continues its busy schedule, including hearings on fintech and artificial intelligence.
  • The full list of this week’s House committee activity can be found here.

SENATE

  • The Senate will continue consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, and also will take up a supplemental spending bill addressing the Southern border crisis.
  • The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on reauthorization and oversight of the Export-Import Bank.
  • The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on algorithmic decision-making and machine learning on internet platforms.
  • The current list of Senate committee activity can be found here.

WHITE HOUSE

  • Trump this afternoon will sign an executive order compelling disclosure of prices in healthcare, according to reports.
  • Thursday he will travel to Osaka for the G20 Summit, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping of China for the first time since December.
  • Democrats contending to challenge Trump in 2020 will hold their first debates this week.

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.

McCONNELL WANTS BIPARTISAN DEAL ON DRUG PRICES BY JULY

To schedule time for debate in the Senate on legislation to lower prescription drug prices, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants a bill that’s thoroughly bipartisan and ready to go before the end of July.

Although Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are continuing discussions over a drug pricing bill, Grassley said last week that he’s not overly optimistic on reaching consensus. Grassley said he and Wyden have reached agreement on 85% percent of the bill, but that finding agreement on the remaining 15%, he predicts, would be difficult. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.

GRASSLEY CONFIRMS DELAY ON DRUG BILL WHILE ANOTHER COMMITTEE PLANS VOTES

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, last week confirmed that his planned drug pricing legislation won’t be unveiled until after lawmakers return from a the Fourth of July recess.

But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is pressing ahead with a vote this month on legislation that aims to thwart “anti-competitive use of patents” that prevent generic drug and biosimilar competition. The bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to step in if “patent tickets” are being used to stifle generic competition. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, posted when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• The House will continue working on appropriations bills, while the Senate continues voting on President Donald Trump’s nominees and begins consideration of the annual defense policy legislation.

• Both chambers may address the migrant emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.

• Trump will officially launch his reelection campaign and will host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for meetings as the leaders seek ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.

GRASSLEY DRUG PRICING BILL LIKELY DELAYED UNTIL JULY

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had hoped his panel could vote on legislation this month to tackle prescription drug prices and lower seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for medicine, but committee action on his still-under-development bill is likely to slip to July.

Separately, Grassley told reporters last week that his legislation would require prescription drug manufacturers to pay a greater percentage of seniors’ drug costs under Medicare Part D. He also said his bill would allow generic manufacturers to gain access to drugs protected by the FDA’s risk evaluation and mitigation strategy safety program.

The chairman also spoke favorably of merging his legislation with elements of a proposal backed by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that aims to reduce overall healthcare costs. Alexander’s bill includes narrow drug pricing initiatives; Grassley’s bill is expected to be more sweeping. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• The House plans to vote on a contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn for failing to reply to subpoenas.

• President Donald Trump will visit a renewable energy plant in Iowa and will host the president of Poland in Washington.

• Washington is regrouping after another wild week, as an apparent deal with Mexico over stemming migration flows eased tensions that Trump had ratcheted up with the threat of tariffs, which had been scheduled to take effect today. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• President Trump is headed to Europe, where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II, outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

• The House plans to take up a disaster relief package after Republican members blocked its passage before last week’s recess.

• The Senate will vote on a variety of Trump’s judicial and administrative nominees. Continue Reading

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