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Federal Relations

August 4, 2017

Senate Follows House and Leaves Town

After voting on a number of nominees for Administration positions yesterday, the Senate followed the lead of the House and left town for a shortened August recess. Although the members of the Senate left Washington yesterday, the chamber will hold pro forma sessions every three days to prevent recess appointments, should dramatic things occur in the…


August 2, 2017

Justice Dept. to Take on Affirmative Action in Higher Ed?

According to a document obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday, the Justice Department may be looking to take on colleges and universities that use race-based admission policies that discriminate against white applicants.  Additional information about this potential development is available here and here.


July 31, 2017

House in Recess, Senate Still in Session

The House has now started its traditional August recess, and will not return until after Labor Day.  After the announcement from Majority Leader McConnell earlier in July that the chamber would stay in for at least a part of August, the Senate is still in session this week. After failing to pass a healthcare bill…


July 28, 2017

House Passes “Minibus” Package

While the Senate was busy with healthcare yesterday, on the other side of the Capitol, the House took up a “minibus” spending package for FY2018, consisting of four bills:  Defense, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction.  The House Republicans combined these four bills as a defense-oriented package, after an initial conversation to pull together…


Healthcare Pulled from Senate Floor as “Skinny Repeal” Fails

In a dramatic vote late last night/early this morning, the Senate defeated by a vote of 49-51 the “skinny” repeal bill. In the end, Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were joined by John McCain in siding with the Democrats to bring down the bill.  It was McCain who cast the deciding vote. It was…


July 27, 2017

Straight Repeal Fails, More Votes Expected During a Long Day

After defeating a repeal-and-replace measure during the first day of debate, the Senate turned down yesterday a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 45- 54. A myriad of alternatives and amendments are expected to be voted on as the Senate continues its consideration, including a “skinny” repeal, the details of which are…


July 26, 2017

House Begins to Move Four-Bill Spending Package

On Wednesday, the House approved rules that will govern the floor debate for a four-bill spending package for FY2018.  The House leadership earlier this week decided to combine four of the appropriations bills for next year– the Legislative Branch, Military Construction, Energy and Water, and Defense– into a single legislative package and move them together through…


Senate Starts Debate on Healthcare Legislation

After agreeing to start debate on healthcare yesterday by a vote of 51-50, a vote on which Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, the Senate turned back the first option it considered by a vote of 43-57, with nine Republicans joining all 48 Democrats to oppose the measure. According to the rules governing this…


July 25, 2017

Senate to Vote on “Motion to Proceed” as McCain Returns to Washington

The Senate Republican leadership has decided to schedule a vote on a “motion to proceed” on the healthcare legislation for later this afternoon.  Many observers view the decision by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to return to Washington to vote as a positive sign for those pushing to start debate on a healthcare bill.  However, the…


July 24, 2017

Senate Attempts to Move Forward on Healthcare

Later this week, including as soon as tomorrow, the Senate Republican leadership will attempt to move forward on its attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as they try to gather enough votes among Republicans to start floor debate on the issue.  Complicating matters is the fact that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is still in…


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