Week Back Week Ahead In Congress: Monday, February 9, 2015

Erin Carson, Lead Analyst Monday February 9th 2015

The Week Behind in Congress

The Senate failed to vote last week on the House-passed Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2015 (H.R. 240), inching closer to the February 27 statutory deadline when the agency’s funding will run out. Senate Democrats rejected all three attempts to bring the measure to the floor for a cloture vote -- on February 3 by 51-48, on February 4 by 53-47, and on February 5 by 52-47. The House version of the spending bill would cut funding for President Obama’s Immigration policies, and Senate Democrats want the House to send over a new bill without the immigration measures. House Leadership says the Senate must come up with its own bill first. Lawmakers must resolve the stalemate soon; both the House and Senate are scheduled to be in recess the full week of February 16, leaving them just one week before the statutory deadline to pass the agency’s appropriations package.

In the House, lawmakers voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, passing H.R. 596 by a vote of 239-186.   The House Ways and Means Committee also held its first markup under new Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and passed a number of tax extenders, including H.R.636 the Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. The move angered many Democrats and budget watchdogs as none of the extenders included cost offsetting provisions. Some of these bills will be considered by the House next week.

The full report on last week’s activity is provided below.

Week Behind - House Floor Action

The following bills were approved in the House after full debate:

 H.R. 596 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and for other purposes

Earlier in the week, the House passed the following bills by voice vote under suspension of the rules:

H.R. 361       Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act  

H.R. 615       Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act

H.R. 623       Social Media Working Group Act of 2015   

The House also passed the following Resolutions:

H.Con.Res. 12: Authorizing the use of the rotunda of the United States Capitol for a ceremony to present the Congressional Gold Medal to Jack Nicklaus.

H.Res. 71: Electing Members to a certain standing committee of the House of Representatives.

Senate Floor Action

Bills that failed:

The Senate failed to proceed to a vote on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for FY 2015, after failing to pass three separate cloture votes on the measure last week.

In bills that passed:

On February 3, the Senate passed H.R. 203 - the Clay Hunt SAV Act by a vote of 99-0. The bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for the conduct of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to require a pilot program on loan repayment for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. The bill has now passed both the House and Senate and will next to to the President for final approval.

The Senate also passed the following Simple Resolutions:

S.Res. 62: A resolution designating the week beginning on February 8, 2015, as “National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week”.

S. Res. 71, designating the week of February 8 through February 14, 2015, as ``Internet Governance Awareness Week''.

S.Res. 63: A resolution congratulating the New England Patriots on their victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

Week Behind - House Committee Action

Armed Services – On February 3, the full committee held a  hearing entitled ``World Wide Threats.'' Also on February 3, the Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing entitled ``Wounded Warrior Program Update.” On February 4, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled ``Final Recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.''

Budget - On February 4, the full committee held a hearing entitled, “The President's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget.''

Education and the Workforce – On February 4, the Full Committee held a hearing entitled, “Expanding Opportunity in America's Schools and Workplaces.”

Energy and Commerce – On February 3 the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled “Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to Seasonal Influenza.''On February 5, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held hearing on H.R. 212, the the Drinking Water Protection Act.''

Financial Services – On February 4, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled, ``Exploring Alleged Ethical and Legal Violations at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”'

Foreign Affairs - The Committee held two hearings last week to discuss their concerns on normalizing relations with Cuba: one hearing on February 4 titled Cuba: Assessing the Administration’s Sudden Shift and another on February 5 titled Human Rights in Cuba: A Squandered Opportunity.  According to Chair Ed Royce, "This hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to press State, Treasury, and Commerce Department officials for the many missing details of its entire normalization plan.”  In addition the Committee held another hearing on February 3 titled The Strategic Importance of the Western Hemisphere: Defining U.S. Interests in the Region, and one on February 4 titled The Palestinian Authority’s International Criminal Court Gambit: A True Partner for Peace? 

Homeland Security – On February 3 the Committee held a hearing titled A Review of Access Control Measures at Our Nation’s Airports. Panelists will include senior officials from the Transportation Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterterrorism Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Judiciary– On February 3 the full committee held a hearing Examining the Adequacy and Enforcement of Our Nation’s Immigration Laws featuring testimony from the following witnesses: Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, Florence, Arizona; Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies; and Jan C. Ting, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law.  On February 4 the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing to discuss draft legislation: H.R. _____, the “Legal Workforce Act” and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will held a hearing to consider H.R. 526, the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015”.

Oversight and Government Reform – On February 3 the full committee held a hearing titled: Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority with testimony from: Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice; Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., Inspector General, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Kathy A. Buller, Inspector General, U.S. Peace Corps.

Science, Space, and Technology Committee – On February 3 the Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Research and Technology Joint held a joint hearing titled: NSF’s Oversight of the NEON Project and Other Major Research Facilities Developed Under Cooperative Agreements. The hearing featured testimony from: Dr. Richard Buckius, Chief Operating Officer, National Science Foundation; Dr. James P. Collins, Chairman, National Ecological Observatory Network; and Ms. Kate Manuel, Legislative Attorney, Congressional Research Service.

Transportation and Infrastructure – On February 3 the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will held a hearing titled: How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation. On February 4 the Full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing to discuss the Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments.  The hearing had two panels of witnesses: Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, for Civil Works; E. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, State of Oklahoma; Adam H. Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Sallie Clark, Commissioner, District 3, El Paso County, CO; on behalf of the National Association of Counties; Timothy Mauck, Commissioner, District 1, Clear Creek County, CO; and Lemuel M. Srolovic, Bureau Chief, Environmental Protection Bureau, Office of New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Ways and Means –  On February 3 the committee helda hearing to discuss the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal, the hearing will feature Jacob J. Lew from the U.S. Department of Treasury. On February 4 the committee held a markup to discuss a number of pending tax proposals including H.R.636 the Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, all pending legislation was reported out of committee on partisan line votes.

Week Behind - Senate Committee Action

Armed Services – On February 3, the full committee held hearings to examine the findings of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. On February 4 the full committee held hearings to examine the nomination of Ashton B. Carter, of Massachusetts, to be Secretary of Defense. On February 5 the full committee held  to examine the Guantanamo detention facility and the future of United States detention policy, receiving testimony from Brian P. McKeon, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, and Rear Admiral Ross A. Myers, Vice Deputy Director for Nuclear, Homeland Defense, and Current Operations, Joint Staff, both of the Department of Defense; and Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director, National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Budget – On February 3 the full committee held hearings to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016.

Commerce, Science, and Transportation – On February 4 the full committee held a hearing, Building a More Secure Cyber Future: Examining Private Sector Experience with the NIST Framework, to examine potential next steps for the public and private sectors, and for Congress, on the issue of cybersecurity, as well as progress by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in implementing its February 2014, “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.  On February 4 the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a hearing, The Impacts of Vessel Discharge Regulations on our Shipping and Fishing Industries to focus on existing regulations governing ballast water discharge and other discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels.

Energy and Natural Resources – On February 4 the full committee held a joint hearing with the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to examine impacts of the proposed waters of the United States rule on state and local governments. On February 12 the Committee considered the Department of Energy’s FY 2016 Budget Proposal

Environment and Public Works – On February 4, the Committee held a House-Senate Joint Hearing on State & Local Impacts of Administration’s Proposed Expansion of Waters Regulation.

Finance – The committee held hearings to examine the Internal Revenue Service Operations and the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016; and again the full Committee held separate set of hearings to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016.

Foreign Relations – On February 3 the Committee held a hearing titled Understanding The Impact of U.S. Policy Changes On Human Rights And Democracy In Cuba to discuss their concerns on normalizing relations with Cuba. On February 4 the Committee held a hearing titled Ending Modern Slavery: What is the Best Way Forward? to discuss human trafficking, and issue which has gained widespread attention in recent years and is especially relevant in the US during the week leading up the Super Bowl football game. The hearing featured testimony of a trafficking survivor and officials from the International Justice Mission, Solidarity Center, Challenging Heights and Humanity United.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions –On February 3, the committee will hold hearings to examine No Child Left Behind, focusing on innovation to meet the needs of students. On February 5, the full committee will hold hearings to examine the ``joint employer'' standard and business ownership.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – On February 4 the Committee held a hearing titled Deferred Action on Immigration: Implications and Unanswered Questions. According to a joint press release from Chairman Johnson (R-WI) and Ranking Member Carper (D-DE), the purpose of the hearing “will be to examine the logistical, financial and national security implications of the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expansion and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs, announced in November 2014.”

Judiciary Committee- The committee held an Executive Business Meeting  to discuss several pending nominations.

Indian Affairs Committee - On February 4 the full committee met for an oversight hearing to discuss  "Loan Leveraging in Indian Country." The full committee also met on February 4 to consider committee legislation: S. 209 the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2015 and S. 286 the Department of the Interior Tribal Self-Governance Act of 2015. The committee reported both favorably.  

Week Ahead in Congress

The House is expected to pass S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act, and send it to the President next week. President Obama has issued a veto threat on the bill.

Multiple committees will also continue drilling into the FY 2016 President’s Budget. In addition, both the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees will continue to consider legislation and hold hearings to discuss points of contention with the President including his recent action to provide many illegal aliens with a deferred action, preventing deportation proceedings.

The full report on next week’s activity is provided below.

Week Ahead - Bills on the House Floor

 

The following bills will be considered in the House next week under full rules of debate:

S. 1   Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act 

H.R. 636       America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015

H.R. 644       Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015

The House will also consider the following bills next week under suspension of the rules:

H.R. 719       TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015

H.R. 720       Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015   

H.R. 710       Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential Assessment Act

H.R. __         National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015

H.R. 431       To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Foot Soldiers who participated in Bloody Sunday, Turnaround Tuesday, or the final Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in March of 1965, which served as a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Week Ahead - Bills on the Senate Floor

 

The Senate will begin consideration of the nomination of Michael P. Botticelli, of the District of Columbia, to be Director of National Drug Control Policy.

Week Ahead - House Committee Action

Agriculture  On February 11, the full committee will hold a hearing on the State of the Rural Economy. On February 12, the  full committee business meeting to consider the Budget Views and Estimates Letter of the Committee on Agriculture for the agencies and programs under jurisdiction of the Committee for FY 2016 and other organizational matters

Appropriations – On February 11, four different subcommittees will hold hearings: the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold aBudget Hearing on the Indian Health Service; the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will hold a Budget Hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs will hold anOversight Hearing on “Funding to PRevent, Prepare for, and Respond to the Ebola Virus Outbreak; and the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a Budget Hearing on the Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works.

On Thursday, February 12, the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a Budget Hearing on the Bureau of Reclamation.

On Friday, February 13, the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will hold a Budget Hearing on the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General.

Armed Services – On February 11, the full committee will hold a hearing on the FY 16 Budget Request, entitled “A View from Outside Experts: Alternative Budgets and Strategic Choices.” Also on February 11, the Subcommittee on Military Personnel will hold a hearing on Final Recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. On February 12, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled“Update on Detainee Transfers from GTMO.” Finally, on February 13, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled, “What is the State of Islamic Extremism: Key Trends, Challenges, and Implications for U.S. Policy.”

Education and the Workforce – On February 12, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold a hearing entitled, “How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy.

Energy and Commerce – The E&C Committee will three hearings next week and mark up a series of bipartisan bills. On Wednesday, February 11, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will review a Government Accountability Office report on the failures of the federal mental health system in a hearing entitled “Why Greater HHS Leadership is Needed.” Also on February 11, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing entitled “Examining ICD-10 Implementation,” a coding system to be used by health care providers for reimbursement and other functions. On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power will examine the FY 2016 Department of Energy Budget.

On Wednesday, the full committee will markup the following bills:

H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act, authored by full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

H.R. 639, the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act, authored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), and full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

H.R. 648, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act, authored by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).

H.R. 647, the Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, also authored by Reps. Burgess and Green.  The bill reauthorizes language from the Public Health Service Act to fund trauma care centers. This funding is set to expire in fiscal year 2015.

H.R. 734, The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act of 2015, authored by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The legislation reduces the reporting workload and increases efficiency at the FCC.

H.R. 212, the Drinking Water Protection Act, authored by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH).

Financial Services – On February 11, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled “The Future of Housing IN America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration.”

Foreign Affairs - The Committee will hold three hearings next week. On February 11, the Committee will hold a hearing titled: State Sponsor of Terror: The Global Threat of Iran, to discuss the threat of nuclear capability in Iran. The Obama administration has been engaged with ongoing negogations with the government of Iran. On February 12, the Committee will hold a hearing titled: The Syrian Humanitarian Crisis: Four Years Later and No End in Sight to discuss the conflict in Syria and resulting migration and humanitarian concerns. On February 12, the Committee will hold a hearing titled: Azerbaijan: US Energy, Security, and Human Rights Interests.

Homeland Security – On February 11, the full committee will hold a hearing titled: Countering Violent Islamist Extremism: The Urgent Threat of Foreign Fighters and Homegrown Terror with testimony from senior officials in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice, US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of the State. On February 12, the full committee will hold a hearing titled: Emerging Threats and Technologies to Protect the Homeland, which will include a review of efforts at the US Department of Homeland Security to detect and combat cyber crime..

Judiciary– On February 11 the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations will hold a hearing, Federal Asset Forfeiture: Uses and Reforms and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will also hold a hearing, Interior Immigration Enforcement Legislation to consider several pieces of related legislation:

H.R.____, to improve immigration law enforcement within the interior of the United States, and for other purposes;

H.R.____, to modify the treatment of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status, and for other purposes; and,

H.R.____, to amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.

On February 12 the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing Consumers Shortchanged? Oversight of the Justice Department’s Mortgage Lending Settlements and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet will hold a hearing  Examining Recent Supreme Court Cases in the Patent Arena .  Finally on February 13 the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing  Oversight of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

Oversight and Government Reform – On February 11 the full committee will meet for a hearing, GAO’s High Risk Report: 25 Years of Problematic Practices, to discuss the Government Accountability Office, on February 12 the full committee will meet for a hearing, U.S. Secret Service: Identifying Steps to Restore the Protective Agency, to discuss recent issues surrounding the U.S. Secret Service. On February 12 the National Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing, The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration and Their Impact on Federal and State Elections, to discuss President Obama’s recent executive order to grant deferred action status to many illegal aliens.  On February 13 the Government Operations Subcommittee will meet to discuss D.C. Metro: Is There a Safety Gap?

Science, Space, and Technology Committee –  On February 12 the Subcommittee on Research and Technology and Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a joint hearing - Can Americans Trust the Privacy and Security of their Information on HealthCare.gov?  Witnesses: Michelle De Mooy, Deputy Director, Consumer Privacy, Center for Democracy and Technology and Morgan Wright, Principal, Morgan Wright, LLC will testify at the hearing.  

On February 12 the Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a joint hearing - Bridging the Gap: America’s Weather Satellites and Weather Forecasting with testimony from the following witnesses: David Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues, Government Accountability Office; Dr. Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Steven Clarke, Director, Joint Agency Satellite Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and Dr. Alexander McDonald, President, American Meteorological Society; Director, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and Chief Science Advisor, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Small Business – On February 12 the committee will hold a hearing, Contracting and the Industrial Base, to examine barriers in utilizing small businesses to support the industrial base.

Transportation and Infrastructure – On February 11 the committee will hold a roundtable to discuss Taxpayer Savings Opportunities in Washington, DC Area Federal Leases, also on February 11 the full committee will meet to discuss the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill.

Veterans’ Affairs Committee –  On February 10 the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will meet for a hearing to Examine the Waste and Abuse Associated with VA’s Management of Land-Use Agreements.  On February 11 the full committee will meet to discuss the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2016 budget request, the full committee will also meet to Designate Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) to HVAC Subcommittees.

On February 12 the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will meet to review President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for the Department of Labor’s Veteran Employment and Training Service (VETS). The full committee will also meet on February 12 to discuss yet unannounced pending legislation.

Ways and Means – The committee will hold four hearings during the upcoming week, all on February 11.  The Subcommittee on Oversight and Human Resources will both hold organization meetings.  The Subcommittee on Oversight will hold its first substantive meeting following their organizational meeting to discuss Protecting Small Businesses from IRS Abuse.  The Human Resources Subcommittee will also hold its first hearing following their organizational meeting. The hearing is the first in a series titled: Moving America’s Families Forward.

Week Ahead - Senate Committee Action

Armed Services – On February 10, the committee will hold a hearing on Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy. On February 11, the committee will hold two hearings on the Situation in Afghanistan - on e closed and one open to the public. Also on February 11, the committee will hold a closed Briefing on World-wide Nuclear Capabilities, and a hearing on Retirement and Compensation Proposals of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – On February 10, the committee will hold a hearing on Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions. On February 12, the committee will hold a hearing on Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions.

Budget – On February 11, the committee will hold a hearing entitled, The Coming Crisis: Social Security Disability Trust Fund Insolvency.”

Commerce, Science, and Transportation – On February 10 the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security will hold a hearing titled Keeping Goods Moving to discuss the U.S. supply chain, particularly the importance of efficiently functioning U.S. ports. On February 11 the full committee will hold a hearing titled: The Connected World: Examining the Internet of Things. The hearing will focus on how devices – from home heating systems controlled by users online, to wearable devices that track health and activity with the help of Internet-based analytics -- will be made smarter and more dynamic through Internet technologies.

Energy and Natural Resources – On February 12, the full committee will consider the Department of Energy’s FY 2016 Budget, with testimony of DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Environment and Public Works – On February 11, the full committee will hold an oversight hearing entitled Examining EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rules from New, Modified, and Existing Power Plants.

Foreign Relations –  The Committee has a Business meeting on February 12 to discuss S.Res. 65 condemning the violence by Boko Haram and urging peaceful and transparent elections in Nigeria, and another resolution to condemn the attacks by Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.  On February 11 the Committee will hold a hearing titled: Ending Modern Day Slavery: The Role of US Leadership with testimony from Sarah Sewell, Under Secretary Of State For Civilian Security, Democracy, And Human Rights at the U. Department of State. The hearing follows last week’s hearing, Ending Modern Slavery: What is the Best Way Forward? which featured testimony of officials from a number of human rights NGOs and a trafficking survivor. The Committee will also hold a hearing that will be top secret and closed to the public titled: Update on Iran Nuclear Negotiations, where senior officials from the Department of the State and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will brief Congress on the progress of the administration’s negotiations with Iran.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – On February 10, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled, The Re-emergence of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Exploring the Public Health Successes and Challenges. On February 11, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Ambushed: How the NLRB’s New Election Rule Harms Employers & Employees.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – On February 11 the full Committee will hold a hearing titled: Risky Business: Examining GAO's 2015 List of High Risk Government Programs, with testimony from Eugene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the US at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The independent, non-partisan, agency prepares a high-risk list every two years to highlight federal agencies and program areas that are vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse.  

Judiciary Committee- On February 12 the committee will meet for an Executive Business Session to discuss not yet disclosed nominations and/or legislation.

Indian Affairs Committee - On February 11 the committee will hold a listening session to discuss the President’s FY 2016 budget request regarding Indian programs.