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Republicans mull reconciliation

While Republicans enjoy a large majority in the House, the lack of 60 GOP Senators in the Senate continues to be a roadblock to the Republican legislative agenda. As both chambers begin work on the budget, however, a powerful legislative tool known as reconciliation is at their disposal, a tool that would allow them to get around the 60 vote threshold in the Senate. The question is if they use reconciliation, what will the GOP seek to push forward?

Some Republicans favor using reconciliation to respond to whatever the Supreme Court ruling is on the Affordable Care Act. Others want to see reconciliation used to move comprehensive tax reform forward. Hardline conservatives are urging the procedural move be used to thwart President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Late this week, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, attempted to shoot down rumors that tax reform could happen via reconciliation. According to Hatch, tax reform simply isn’t ready to move.

And while immigration hawks may like the idea of using reconciliation to stop President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, it appears that the most likely legislative priority – at least at this date – would be action related to the Affordable Care Act. Reconciliation is controversial because it sidelines the minority party in the Senate and has a history of being used to muscle through partisan policies, including the Affordable Care Act itself and the Bush-era tax cuts.

Before getting to reconciliation, however, both chambers must agree to budget proposals, which is no small feat.

Republicans generally agree that any plan must balance the government’s budget within a decade, which would require massive cuts. House Republicans have been passing those sorts of budgets for years, but this year there is an even more vocal group of fiscal conservatives who will be seeking even deeper cuts. Leadership cannot rely on the votes from any Democrats, which unlike in other recent battles in the House, will complicate things.

Both chambers aim to push their respective plans through the budget committees next week, with floor action to follow the subsequent week before lawmakers head home for Easter recess.

Democrats push back hard against GOP Iran letter

It was difficult to imagine relations between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats could get any testier, until 47 GOPers wrote a letter to Iran’s leaders warning that any deal with President Obama might not outlast his presidency.

While Democrats have been split on how to deal with Iran, they are united against the Republican letter.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ranking member, said the Iranians don't need a letter "to be told that which they know about our government, that this government, meaning the Congress, will have a say at some point."

"As far as I am concerned, you saw that it was a partisan letter, [that] tells you everything about it," said Menendez. Menendez and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker have put forth a bill that would require a congressional review of any nuclear agreement with Iran.

Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) led the charge on crafting the letter, which was signed by all but seven of the upper chamber's Republicans. The letter says Obama will "leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades," and if Congress doesn't approve the agreement, the next president could "revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen."

The frustrations over the letter come a week after some Democrats, including at least eight senators, boycotted an Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress that urged the United States against striking a nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Democrats say the letter politicizes foreign relations and makes compromise among the two parties tougher. Critics on Monday included Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Whip Dick Durbin. The letter is "unprecedented," "reprehensible," and plays politics with foreign relations, Democrats say, and Republicans are trying to cut the legs out from Obama as he attempts to forge a deal with Iran over the country's nuclear program.

VIDEO

Watch the Washington Business Brief video, “A Very Busy Week in Washinton Steve LaTourette .”

New life for energy-efficiency legislation?

This week, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are once again reintroducing their energy-efficiency legislation. The measure has been floated around in one form or another since 2011, and despite the fact that it draws wide bipartisan support, the legislation has yet to move forward.

In the past, controversial amendments have bogged down the legislation, which has reached the floor twice in the last two years, only to die there.

"We have gotten bogged down in the dysfunction of Washington in the past," Portman told National Journal. "We're hopeful that we can now gain traction in this Congress."

Last year, the legislation became bogged down in the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. Given that the Senate has already spent weeks on that issue, supporters are hopeful that the energy-efficiency language may actually have a chance to pass.

There are many other dangers aside from Keystone lurking for the legislation, such as the push by many Republicans to derail Environmental Protection Agency carbon-emissions rules, which would make the bill a nonstarter for the White House even if it somehow cleared the Senate.

Avoiding controversial amendments, however, would still not ensure the bill is opposition-free. Heritage Action, an influential conservative group, has opposed previous versions that came to the floor, taking aim at funding authorizations for the bill's programs and also arguing that the bill duplicates existing federal and state efforts.

The wide-ranging bill's various provisions include:

  • New and enhanced Energy Department work with manufacturers to develop and commercialize efficient technologies and industrial processes;
  • Stronger "model" building codes and assistance to help states and local governments adopt them;
  • An initiative to train people for careers in efficient building design and operation;
  • Provisions to boost energy efficiency in federal buildings;
  • Language directing energy savings to be incorporated into federally backed mortgages to encourage greater efficiency, and more.

The two senators say the case for the bill is obvious. According to a summary from their offices, the measure would, by 2030, create more than 190,000 jobs, save consumers $16 billion a year, and cut carbon-dioxide emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road. Supporters include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Business Roundtable, the Environmental Defense Fund, and a broad suite of other groups and individual companies, including corporate giants like Westinghouse and General Electric.

Bipartisan group of senators push medical marijuana

Bipartisanship is increasingly rare in hyper-partisan DC, but this week Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joined with Democrats Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing legislation to change the classification of marijuana. Marijuana has long been classified in the federal government as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no use—medical or otherwise—in society. The Paul/Booker/Gillibrand legislation would change the classification to Schedule II, which would acknowledge that the drug has an accepted medical use, and “free” states to enact their medical-marijuana laws without the fear of federal legal repercussions.

The bipartisan group introduced the CARERS Act (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States) on Tuesday. The law seeks to legalize medical marijuana in states that have already passed medical-marijuana legislation. Essentially, it would be a codification of the status quo—the Obama administration does not pursue federal marijuana charges in states that have passed pro-marijuana legislation.

In addition, the legislation would make it easier for medical marijuana businesses to use the national banking system without fear of breaking the law. There are dangers and annoyances of having a cash-only business, from paying utilities in cash to storing vast amount of money on-site.

The senators also framed the issue in terms of veterans' rights, who when receiving care from the VA system, are ineligible for medical marijuana. "Right now, our veterans are prohibited from getting the medical treatment they desperately need to [relieve] their pain and suffering," Booker said.

Fielding a question from the press, Gillibrand said the bipartisan group of senators is "going to approach all our colleagues" about supporting the bill. Speaking after some medical-marijuana patients had spoken, Gillibrand said that she dares "any senator to meet these patients here and say to them, they don't deserve the medicine their doctors prescribed."

Transportation in Focus

An ugly war: Taxis vs. Uber

The long running war between traditional taxis and upstarts like Uber has gotten even uglier. The public face of the taxis is its trade group - the Taxicab, Limousine, and Paratransit Association (TLPA) - and that trade group has hired a Bethesda, Maryland-based PR firm to create a media campaign entitled "Who's Driving You?"

The goal of the campaign is to bring attention to what the taxi companies say are unsafe and illegal business practices by Uber. The PR firm scans the news for any incidents that make Uber look bad or unsafe and then distributes those bits of information in press releases sent to local and national media outlets.

It's not just a PR campaign for the traditional taxi and limo companies, but also a comprehensive lobby strategy aimed at pulling Uber into the regulatory maze it has sought to avoid.

Uber has eschewed local and state regulations that traditional taxi and limo companies must contend with by claiming they are a technology company, not a transportation company. Uber's approach has generally been to launch services in new areas regardless of the pre-existing rules regulating taxis and then leverage its popularity and success with the public to force regulators to adapt to Uber, rather than the other way around. So far, the approach has been incredibly successful, with Uber valued at $40 billion.

The traditional taxi and limousine companies aren't banking on beating the upstart Uber, indeed many are hoping just to buy time to allow themselves to develop the technology to compete with Uber in this new app-driven space.

Political bits

House

Iowa 1st Congressional District: Jack Melton (I-IA), a former campaign staffer for Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA), said he will challenge Blum in 2016, saying he is "sick of the Republican hate speech towards homosexuals, anti-immigration and desire to govern women's uteruses," and was angry about comments Blum made minimizing the contributions of veterans. Maryland 1st Congressional District: Former state Del. Michael Smigiel (R-MD) a leader of the libertarian wing of the Maryland Republican Party said Tuesday he is considering running for Rep. Andy Harris's (R-MD) seat, regardless of whether Harris runs for Senate. Maryland 4th Congressional District: Attorney Glenn Ivey (D-MD) announced that he'll seek Rep. Donna Edwards's (D-MD) seat in the House. Several other potential candidates have been mentioned as possibilities for the seat, including state's attorney Angela Alsobrooks (D-MD), state Del. Michael Vaughn (D-MD), state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-MD), former state Del. Aisha Braveboy (D-MD), Prince George's County Councilwoman Andrea Harrison (D-MD), and former Prince George's County Councilwoman Ingrid Turner (D-MD).

Senate

Florida: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said Monday he's considering a bid for Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) seat if Rubio seeks the GOP presidential nomination. Maryland: Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) jumped into the race to succeed retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). This sets the table for a potentially bruising primary between Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Edwards – who is a darling of the progressive left. Wisconsin: A Public Policy Polling survey (D) found Sen. Ron Johnson's (R) approval underwater at 32-40%. Former Sen. Russ Feingold's (D) approval was 46-35%, and Feingold led a head-to-head matchup 50-41%.

Governor

Indiana: In a statement sent Friday, former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh (D-IN) said he will not run for governor in 2016 against current Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), despite a smattering of rumors to the contrary. Bayh was governor before he served in the U.S. Senate between 1999 and 2011.

President

Hillary Clinton (D-NY): Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally addressed the controversy swirling around her use of a personal email account while serving as Secretary of State. Unfortunately for Secretary Clinton, her remarks did little to quell the controversy. There are whispers that former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) may have raised over $100 million in his first quarter of fundraising. If this number is true, it would be a staggering haul for Bush and the first real show of his strength in the GOP field.

A LOOK AHEAD

House

Monday, March 16

3:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget.

5:00 p.m. House (Select) Intelligence Committee - Hearing. Full committee closed hearing on "Ongoing Intelligence Activities."

7:30 p.m. House Veterans' Affairs Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "The Power of Legislative Inquiry - Improving the VA by Improving Transparency."

Tuesday, March 17

9:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the National Park Service budget.

9:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget.

9:15 a.m. House Agriculture Committee - Hearing. Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee hearing on review the definition of "waters of the United States" rules and its impact on rural America.

9:30 a.m. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill: Laying the Foundation for U.S. Economic Growth and Job Creation Part II."

10:00 a.m. House Energy and Commerce Committee - Hearing. Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on "EPA's Proposed 111(d) Rule for Existing Power Plants: Legal and Cost Issue," focusing on legal and cost issues relating to EPA's proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) rule for existing power plants.

10:00 a.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "The FY2016 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Military Departments."

10:00 a.m. House Judiciary Committee - Hearing. Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee hearing on H.R.758, the "Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2015."

10:00 a.m. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Reality Check: The Impact and Achievability of EPA's Proposed Ozone Standard."

10:00 a.m. House Ways and Means Committee - Hearing. Human Resources Subcommittee hearing on "Expanding Opportunity by Funding What Works: Using Evidence to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Get Ahead."

10:00 a.m. House Education and the Workforce Committee - Hearing. Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee hearing on "Strengthening America's Higher Education System."

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Labor Department budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Defense Subcommittee hearing on the National Guard and Reserve budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "Budget Hearing - Department of Energy, Applied Energy Funding."

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Secret Service budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Secret Service budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration.

10:00 a.m. House Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the Spending Priorities and Missions of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) in the President's FY2016 Budget Proposal."

10:00 a.m. House Homeland Security Committee - Hearing. Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee hearing on "Combating Terrorist Travel: Does the Visa Waiver Program Keep Our Nation Safe?"

10:00 a.m. House Small Business Committee - Hearing. Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on "Contracting and Industrial Base II: Bundling, Goaling, and the Office of Hearings and Appeals."

10:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - HearingCommerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the National Science Foundation budget.

10:30 a.m. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Hearing. Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee hearing on "An Overview of the U.S. Coast Guard's Missions."

10:30 a.m. House Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Federal Lands Subcommittee hearing "Examining the Spending Priorities and Missions of the National Park Service in the President's FY2016 Budget Proposal."

11:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the General Services Administration.

1:00 p.m. House (Select) Intelligence Committee - Hearing. Full committee closed hearing on "Ongoing Intelligence Activities."

1:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Energy Department's Office of Science.

2:00 p.m. House Veterans' Affairs Committee - Hearing. Economic Opportunity Subcommittee hearing on "A Review of Higher Education Opportunities for the Newest Generation of Veterans."

2:30 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Agency for International Development budget.

3:30 p.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on "Assuring Assured Access to Space."

Wednesday, March 18

9:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on FY2016 appropriations for agencies under its jurisdiction.

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "Closing the Achievement Gap in Higher Education."

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "Closing the Achievement Gap in Higher Education."

10:00 a.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "The President's Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against ISIL and the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of Defense."

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Agriculture Department Rural Development budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Energy Department, Environmental Management budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Agriculture Department Rural Development budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Energy Department, Environmental Management budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Defense Subcommittee closed hearing on "The United States Pacific Command and United States Forces Korea."

10:00 a.m. House Homeland Security Committee - Hearing. Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee hearing on "Unmanned Aerial System Threats: Exploring Security Implications and Mitigation Technologies."

10:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget.

10:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget.

10:30 a.m. House Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing on "Effect of the President's FY2016 Budget and Legislative Proposals for the Office of Surface Mining on Private Sector Job Creation, Domestic Energy Production, State Programs and Deficit Reduction."

10:30 a.m. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Hearing. Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee hearing on "The President's FY2016 Budget: Administration Priorities for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

11:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service budget.

11:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service budget.

1:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on FY2016 appropriations for agencies under its jurisdiction.

2:00 p.m. House Armed Services Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Hearing. House Armed Services Committee Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and House Armed Services Committee Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee joint hearing on "Naval Cooperative Strategy."

2:00 p.m. House Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee hearing on "Funding Priorities for and the United States' Responsibilities concerning Indians, Alaska Natives and Insular Areas in the President's FY2016 Budget Request for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, Office of Insular Affairs, and Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians."

2:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for agencies under its jurisdiction.

2:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the Treasury Department's International Programs budget.

2:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the budget for agencies under its jurisdiction.

2:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the Treasury Department's International Programs budget.

3:30 p.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing on "Special Operations Forces in an Uncertain Threat Environment: A Review of the FY2016 Budget Request for U.S. Special Operations Command."

Thursday, March 19

12:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Surface Transportation Programs budget.

8:00 a.m. House Veterans' Affairs Committee - Hearing. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on H.R.571, the "Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act of 2015"; H.R.593, the "Aurora VA Hospital Financing and Construction Reform Act of 2015"; H.R.1015, the "Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2015"; H.R.1016, the "Biological Implant Tracking and Veteran Safety Act of 2015"; H.R.1017, to improve the information security of the Veterans Affairs Department by directing the secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out certain actions to improve the transparency and the governance of the information security program of the department; H.R.1128, to make certain improvements in the information security of the Veterans Affairs Department; and H.R.1129, to establish within the Veterans Affairs Department an Office of Whistleblower and Patient Protection.

8:00 a.m. House Veterans' Affairs Committee - Hearing. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on H.R.571, the "Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act of 2015"; H.R.593, the "Aurora VA Hospital Financing and Construction Reform Act of 2015"; H.R.1015, the "Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2015"; H.R.1016, the "Biological Implant Tracking and Veteran Safety Act of 2015"; H.R.1017, to improve the information security of the Veterans Affairs Department by directing the secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out certain actions to improve the transparency and the governance of the information security program of the department; H.R.1128, to make certain improvements in the information security of the Veterans Affairs Department; and H.R.1129, to establish within the Veterans Affairs Department an Office of Whistleblower and Patient Protection.

9:00 a.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on "FY2016 Missile Defense Hearing."

9:00 a.m. House (Select) Intelligence Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "The Growing Cyber Threat and its Impact on American Business."

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Bureau of Land Management budget.

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General.

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the Bureau of Land Management budget.

9:30 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General.

9:30 a.m. House Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee and Federal Lands Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the Spending Priorities and Missions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the President's FY2016 Budget Proposal."

9:30 a.m. House Homeland Security Committee - Hearing. Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee hearing on "Agents of Opportunity: Responding to the Threat of Chemical Terrorism."

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Agriculture Department Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Defense Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. European Command budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Transportation Security Administration budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Agriculture Department Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Transportation Security Administration budget.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Defense Subcommittee closed hearing on the U.S. European Command budget.

10:00 a.m. House Small Business Committee - Hearing. Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on "Contracting and the Industrial Base Part III: Reverse Auctions, Verification and The SBA's Role in Rulemaking."

10:30 a.m. House Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee hearing on "FY2016 Ground Force Modernization and Rotorcraft Modernization Programs."

11:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) budget.

11:00 a.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Commission budget.

12:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Surface Transportation Programs budget.

3:00 p.m. House Appropriations Committee - Hearing. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Commission budget.

Senate

Monday, March 16

10:00 a.m. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee - Hearing. Full committee field hearing on "Minority Access to Capital."

4:00 p.m. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Examining Federal Improper Payments and Errors in the Death Master File."

Tuesday, March 17

9:00 a.m. Senate Armed Services Committee - Briefing. Full committee closed briefing on cyber, space and strategic competition with China and Russia in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program.

10:00 a.m. Senate Finance Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Building a Competitive U.S. International Tax System."

10:00 a.m. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Evaluating Technological Innovation in the Electric Grid."

10:00 a.m. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee - Hearing. Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee hearing on S.659, to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.

10:00 a.m. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Opportunities and Challenges for Agriculture Trade with Cuba."

10:00 a.m. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "America's Health IT Transformation: Translating the Promise of Electronic Health Records Into Better Care."

10:00 a.m. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Securing the Southwest Border: Perspectives from Beyond the Beltway."

10:00 a.m. Senate Judiciary Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Immigration Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers." Wednesday, March 18

9:30 a.m. Senate Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Seapower Subcommittee hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program.

10:00 a.m. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee - Hearing. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee joint hearing on "The Legislative Presentation of Multiple Veterans Service Organizations (JWV, AFSA, TREA, FRA, NASDVA, NGAUS, AXPOW, GSW and WWP)."

2:30 p.m. Senate Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on the postures of the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program.

2:30 p.m. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission."

Thursday, March 19

9:30 a.m. Senate Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S. Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program.

10:00 a.m. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee - Hearing. Full committee hearing on U.S. crude oil export policy.

2:30 p.m. Senate Armed Services Committee - Hearing. Airland Subcommittee hearing on Air Force force structure and modernization in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program.

WASHINGTON BY THE NUMBERS

25 million – The amount in tax credits that New York State may offer to musicians as an incentive to work in the state.

20 - The percentage of Kentucky voters who say they want Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to run for President.

THEY SAID WHAT?

"Gov. Walker sounds a lot like President Reagan. #WalkerForPres" -- Actor Scott Baio endorsing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s bid for President (via Twitter)

WASHINGTON HUMOR

"Another scandal for Hillary Clinton — they're saying she used a private email address when she was secretary of state, which means the government couldn't archive and preserve her emails. Then Obama said, 'Don't worry, we saw them. We see everyone's emails.'" –Jimmy Fallon

  

 Steven C. LaTourette, President | 202.559.2600

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC
101 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 600 East, Washington, D.C. 20001 

www.mcdonaldhopkinsgs.com

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Although McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC is owned by the law firm McDonald Hopkins LLC, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Accordingly, the retention of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies does not create a client-lawyer relationship and the protections of the client-lawyer relationship, such as attorney-client privilege and the ethics rules pertaining to conduct by lawyers, do not apply.

 

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