Washington Round-up - For the week ending January 6, 2017

First Week of New 2017 Congress Update

AST Government Relations Team On Capitol Hill As 115th Congress Is Sworn-In & Gaveled To Order
Happy New Year and welcome to the 115thCongress and soon to be Trump Administration Executive Branch.  As you may already be aware, yesterday January 3rd marked the official swearing-in for Members of Congress…both new and veteran Member’s as they prepare to embark on the first session/first year of the 115th Congress.

The Jan. 3rd swearing-in ceremonies were followed by receptions around Washington, DC as well as in the Member’s offices on Capitol Hill.  Our AST Government Relations Team were on Capitol Hill for this first day of the new Congress to congratulate and mingle with many of the Members of Congress and their staff that have been helpful and supportive of our Society's legislative and regulatory priorities.  Additionally, our AST representatives also attended receptions for a variety of the new Members of Congress that have just arrived on Capitol Hill.

President Elect Trump will be inaugurated on January 20th and U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Cabinet level appointees, including HHS Secretary (Congressman Dr. Tom Price, R-GA), will follow thereafter. 


Obamacare ACA Repeal Hits Ground Running 

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi introduced a fiscal 2017 budget resolution, putting in play GOP plans to repeal the 2010 health care law. The pared-down fiscal blueprint filed by the Wyoming Republican contains reconciliation instructions for two committees in the House and two in the Senate to write legislation to repeal the health care law (PL 111-148PL 111-152). Jan. 27 is the deadline for the committees to turn in their portions of the repeal to their respective Budget committees.


January 2017 Congressional Schedule and Likely Agenda

January 2017 Floor Schedule:

Most of January will be dedicated to beginning the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act and to overturning administrative rules finalized by the Obama Administration.

Week of Jan 9 -13:

  • Innovation agenda by McCarthy
  • CFTC reform bill
  • CFPB destruction bill
  • Government Reform suspension bills
  • FY2017 Budget Resolution – January 13 on floor; this will begin the majority’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Week of Jan 16 -20: MLK recess

Week of Jan 23 – 25:

  • Waters of the United States bill (WOTUS)
  • Ozone/climate change bill

Note: we will complete votes by noon Wednesday to accommodate the Republican retreat

Jan 30 – Feb 3:

  • Congressional Review Act (CRA) bills to disapprove (and overturn) of Obama Administration regulations

NOTE: we expect to spend most of February on CRA’s


Speaker of the House Re-Elected

As expected, Republican Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin on Tuesday was formally elected speaker of the House for the 2017-2018 congressional term. He has amassed 218 votes and the roll call is ongoing. 

Republicans are buoyed by unified government on Capitol Hill and at the White House, with Donald Trump awaiting his inauguration on Jan. 20. For the 115th Congress, Ryan will lead a House with 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. Republicans last had control of both chambers and the White House from 2003 to 2007.

Ryan, 46, is now in his 10th term representing Wisconsin's 1st District. As speaker, he is expected to be challenged by hard-line conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus. Ryan was first elected House speaker in October 2015 following the resignation of John A. Boehner of Ohio.


Senate HELP Plans Jan. 18 Hearing on HHS Nominee

A Senate panel that will help vet Rep. Tom Price as a potential secretary of Health and Human Services is considering a Jan. 18 hearing on his nomination. But the Finance Committee, the key panel reviewing the nomination, has not yet settled on a hearing date