This Week in Congress

The House is in Tuesday through Friday.


The major bill on the agenda is H.R. 986, which would overturn President Trump’s regulation allowing states to opt-out of Obamacare mandates. Under the regulation, states could opt to give their citizens greater choice in insurance so they could buy affordable insurance that meets their specific needs.


The argument against it is that allowing states to legalize health care that doesn’t comply with Obamacare’s mandates harms those with pre-existing conditions. But Obamacare’s mandates and price controls might harm those with pre-existing conditions by incentivizing insurance companies to provide them with lower quality care at cut rate prices. For more on pre-existing conditions see here.


The House will also consider H.R. 2157. This is an update of the disaster bill that passed the House in January (and by update, I mean it increases spending). The bill adds $3 billion in spending to help with recent floods and tornadoes, bringing the total cost to $17.2 billion. Since it is emergency spending, it does not need to be offset, so it just gets added onto the nation’s credit card. For more on the disaster supplemental see  here.


The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension, including:


  1. H.R. 2002—Encourages Taiwan to build up its defenses and urges continued U.S. support for Taiwan.


  1. H.Res. 273— Reaffirms U.S. commitment to Taiwan and calls on the president to make regular transfers of military equipment to Taiwan. It also calls on U.S. to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.


  1. H.R. 1704—Creates an Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Matters within the State Department and establishes that a principled mission of U.S. diplomacy is to promote U.S. economic and commercial interests—in other words act as part of the marketing department for large corporations.


  1. H.R. 1503—Allows individuals to receive detailed information on drugs from the FDA.


  1. H.R. 1328—Creates a new office of Internet Connectivity and Growth whose mission is to ensure all communities have access to high-speed Internet and otherwise promote development and access to broadband.


  1. H.R. 375—Reaffirms the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes.

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