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Federal Relations

On the Hill


February 28, 2017

Trump to Address Congress Tonight, Senate Approves Ross, and Zinke Up

Last night, the Senate confirmed another Cabinet nominee for Trump as it voted 72-27 to confirm billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary. Ross is a 79-year-old businessman who made his fortune by turning around companies in distressed industries like textiles and steel and is expected to play a leading role in trade policy. The Senate now…


February 16, 2017

Gorsuch’s Confirmation Process Starts March 20

Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch have been scheduled to begin March 20. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is expected to last three to four days. Questioning of the Judge Gorsuch will begin on March 21. Senators will hear testimony from outside experts as well as the nominee.


February 13, 2017

More Cabinet Positions, House Works on Reg Repeal

Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, will get a vote around 7 p.m. tonight in what’s become a drawn-out process in the Senate. Following the final vote on Mnunchin  there will a procedural vote on on David Shulkin to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Mnunchin is expected to pass and once he does the Treasury Secretary…


February 8, 2017

Another Tough Night in the Senate, Confirmations Roll On

During the second long night of debate (Democrats having debated the DeVos vote all night long), the Senate, which is normally very collegial and staid, voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Tuesday evening during her her speech on Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’s nomination for Attorney General. Senator Warren was reading a letter from Mrs….


February 7, 2017

DeVos Confirmed

Today, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The vote was 51-50 — a tie that forced Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. The Vice President has never had to cast the deciding ballot in a confirmation vote before. DeVos becomes the nation’s 11th Secretary of Education after long and contentious…


February 6, 2017

2:1 Regulatory Executive Order Outlined

Last week, President Trump signed issued an Executive Order requiring agencies to repeal at least two regs for every new reg and also capping the total compliance costs of any regulation issued in a given year. The Administration has also issued interim guidance on the issue. The guidance clarifies that the two-for-one rule applies only to “significant”…


More Cabinet Posts, FY 2018 Budget Update

It will continue to be a busy week for the House and Senate. Today, the Senate will continue to work on confirmations as four Cabinet positions – Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of HHS, and Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of Treasury  – are up for full Senate consideration this…


January 25, 2017

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Leadership for 115th

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee finalized its subcommittee rosters and leadership. Senator Patty Murray will serve as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in addition to serving on the Subcommittees for Defense; Energy and Water Development; Homeland Security; Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs; and Transportation, Housing and…


January 23, 2017

Trump Issues Memos on TPP, Federal Hiring Freeze, and US Foreign Aid

President Donald Trump signed three presidential memos on Monday freezing federal hiring, withdrawing the US from the TPP, and banning US foreign aid from performing or promoting abortions. First, President Donald Trump moved Monday to make good on a campaign promise to shrink the size of the federal government, issuing a memo to freeze federal…


More Confirmation Hearings, Republican Retreat

It’s a busy short week for Congress. House and Senate Republicans head to Philadelphia this week to begin sorting out fiscal priorities for the coming year in the party’s annual retreat.  The retreat should lay out the first 100 days game plan for the Administration and Congressional Republicans and could lay the groundwork for setting fiscal…



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