Fox on the HillOctober 3, 2016 – Newsletters
The Senate initially failed to pass a continuing resolution because the bill did not include any funding for the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The House and Senate came together on an agreement to ensure it will be addressed in the lame duck session via a different piece of legislation – the Water Resources Development Act. Once the agreement came about, the Senate and House each successfully passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 9 that includes funding to combat the Zika virus and additional funds for natural disasters.
Foreign Affairs and National Security
The House and Senate voted to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. This was the first successful veto override in Obama’s presidency. At the time of the veto, President Obama noted that the legislation would not deter from future attacks, could endanger U.S. officials abroad and could expose the United States to lawsuits in other countries. The veto override vote received wide support from both chambers of Congress. There are members, including the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) who have expressed the desire to narrow the legislation to ensure the United States officials abroad are protected.
To settle payments owed to insurers under the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Justice is considering using funds in the Treasury Department’s judgment fund. This move would bypass Congress, which banned the use of Health and Human Services operational budget to pay the insurers.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA) are confident that the conference to resolve differences between the House and the Senate versions of Water Resources Development Act is going to be swift. The two signaled this following the strong bipartisan support the legislation received. The legislation passed the House, 399-25 and in the Senate, 95-3. The goal is to have the conference completed during the lame duck session.
An overtime rule expected to go into effect on December 1 could be delayed. The House voted last week to postpone enforcement of the rule until June 2017. Three pieces of legislation were introduced in the Senate. One, introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), is the companion bill to the one passed in the House last week. The second, introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), would phase the overtime rule in over a five-year period. The third, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), would delay the implementation of the rule for two years.