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


• The 116th Congress convenes for its first full week of session, with no end in sight to a standoff over border wall funding that has shut down about one-quarter of the government since before Christmas.

• House Democrats plan to take up individual appropriations bills in an effort to put pressure on the Senate to act to end the shutdown.

• The Supreme Court is in session for the first time in several weeks after its holiday recess, as justices are deciding whether to take up several high-profile cases including on gerrymandering, job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and deportation of young immigrants brought to the United States as children.


  • The House has votes planned Tuesday through Friday. The agenda begins with noncontroversial legislation including a reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which passed the House but died in the Senate at the end of the 115th Congress.
  • As neither side budges over the government shutdown, House Democrats this weekend announced they will put on the floor individual appropriations bills similar to those passed by the Republican Senate last year, aiming to pressure the Senate to take them up.
  • Although committees have begun announcing their plans for hearings in the weeks ahead, no committee activity has yet been scheduled for this week.
  • If any committees post notice of hearings for this week, that activity will be listed here.


  • The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, beginning its agenda with procedural votes on legislation aiming to improve U.S. security in the Middle East.
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said the Senate will not take up any spending legislation that does not have Trump’s backing.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday will receive a closed briefing on Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.
  • The current list of Senate committee activity can be found here.


  • Trump is in the White House today for lunch with Vice President Pence and an intelligence briefing this afternoon. The rest of his weekly schedule is unclear.
  • The White House announced Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexican border Thursday.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will spend a week in the Middle East beginning tomorrow, including visits to Jordan, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
  • A U.S. delegation led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish is in Beijing for talks aiming to ease trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.