News

Compromise Aviation Legislative Language Possible Friday

The House and Senate transportation committees are aiming for a Friday release of legislative language on a compromise aviation bill, according to three congressional aides with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations.

Lawmakers Take Wait-and-See Approach on Florence Relief Funding

Lawmakers aren’t rushing yet to pass a Hurricane Florence disaster spending bill before the House recesses in October.

Florence’s landfall today, in the peak of hurricane season, comes as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s war chest is about seven times higher than it was in 2017. That gives lawmakers more runway before needing to rush out any FEMA supplemental funding bills, which totaled almost $50 billion last year.

Democrats Eye More Gains In Well-Educated Republican Districts

Democrats looking for persuadable voters as they try to flip Republican House seats may find opportunities in districts where the adults have high levels of formal education, including many suburban areas where Republican strength has deteriorated in the last two years.

F-35 Jets for Turkey Held Back in Compromise Pentagon Bill

Congress is taking the unusual step of trying to block the transfer of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey, even though the country is a NATO ally and a partner in building the jet.

Congress’ most recent move comes as part of the 2019 Pentagon spending bill that both chambers are expected to consider later this month. Transfers of the F-35 would be held back under a compromise struck on the spending bill for the next fiscal year, according to Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Local Transit Projects Hobbled as Trump Agencies Mum on Funds

Los Angeles, host of the 2028 Summer Olympics, has an ambitious plan to move fans through traffic to the far-flung athletic sites: extend the city’s metro line with some help from the federal government.

Bloomberg Government

Kavanaugh Fight Draws Millions in Lobbying Dollars on Both Sides

Advocacy groups have spent millions trying to sway the Senate fight over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — part of an increasingly acrimonious and partisan judicial confirmation process.

Organizations such as the Judicial Crisis Network on the right and groups advocating liberal causes such as abortion rights have been buying up TV airtime and deploying lobbyists to Capitol Hill.

GOP Split Over Border-Wall Fight in Lame Duck or Next Congress

Republican lawmakers are split over what could be a lose-lose scenario: whether to set a deadline for completing funding of the government shortly before Christmas, or in January, when Democrats may have taken control of the House.

FEC Deadlocks on Trump Cases Involving Foreign Emails, Manafort

The Federal Election Commission deadlocked on whether to pursue enforcement action against President Donald Trump’s campaign for soliciting foreign contributions by emailing foreign nationals.

The 2-2 vote of the commissioners, along party lines, resulted in dismissal of three complaints, which were filed following news reports about the emails in 2016. The reports said recipients of the emails included members of parliament in Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Farm Bill Talks Lag Over SNAP as Final Vote Timing Still Elusive

A vote on a final farm bill conference report has been ruled out for next week by the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman, as the days dwindle to pass a final report by Sept. 30, when the current law expires.

“That would be a pretty heavy lift,” Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said Thursday, when asked if a vote on a conference report could happen next week. Partisan disagreements on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may hold things up and force lawmakers to extend the current law.

Sen. Blunt Unsure of Legality of Migrant Children Detention Plan

A key Senate Republican expressed uncertainty about the legality of a proposal from the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments that would lengthen the time undocumented immigrant children could be detained.

The joint proposal from the departments in a notice published Thursday would replace provisions in the 1997 Flores settlement, a legal agreement that lays out parameters for the treatment of foreign minors detained after crossing the U.S. border illegally.