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


• Congress and President Donald Trump have until Friday night to end a standoff over his demands for border wall funding before a partial government shutdown, with no resolution in sight.

• The Senate is preparing to consider a criminal justice reform bill, while the House appears to be waiting for a resolution to the funding stalemate.

• Trump will be in Washington this week before planning to depart Friday for 16 days at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.


  • The House schedule remains fluid. Its next votes are currently scheduled for Wednesday evening, though lawmakers have been advised the schedule is subject to change.
  • With Trump dug in on his demands for wall funding, and Democrats unwilling to accept them, there appears to be no current path forward to fund about one-quarter of the government. Lawmakers hope Trump agrees to push back the funding deadline until next month.
  • The House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees will hold a joint hearing Wednesday on implementation of the VA MISSION Act, which allows veterans to seek care outside of VA facilities.
  • A list of scheduled House committee activity can be found here.


  • The Senate expects to be in session all week, and on Monday will begin consideration of a criminal justice bill.
  • The First Step Act, which aims to reduce sentences for nonviolent offenders and improve prisoners’ prospects upon their release, is a priority of Jared Kushner, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Democrat Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
  • The current list of Senate committee activity can be found here.


  • Trump on Monday has lunch scheduled with Vice President Mike Pence. He is scheduled to have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.
  • He hosts a roundtable Tuesday on the Federal Commission on School Safety
  • Trump is planning to depart Washington on Friday for a 16-day visit to Mar-a-Lago.