Congress

House to take up CR, Export-Import Bank and voting rights legislation in November

Hoyer outlines floor schedule for November, says action on prescription drug bill delayed to December

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Friday he’s hopeful “that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will take up a stopgap funding bill, legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and a voting rights measure in November, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a “Dear Colleague” letter Friday.

The House has been on recess this week and will return Tuesday after the Veterans Day holiday for two consecutive weeks of legislative sessions before recessing again for the week of Thanksgiving. 

The majority of the bills being brought to the floor during that short period will be preventive measures to ensure government funding and other programs don’t expire on Nov. 21. 

The government has been running on stopgap funding for the fiscal 2020 year that started Oct. 1, and that funding is set to expire Nov. 21. Hoyer said the Senate’s inaction on most of the regular fiscal 2020 appropriations bills, as well as a continued impasse over the 302(b) allocations for those 12 measures, is “unfortunately” why  Congress will be need to pass a second continuing resolution

The House will take up that CR the week of Nov. 18, Hoyer said. He did not specify how long the CR would run but told House Democrats on a conference call earlier this week is that his preference is an expiration date around Dec. 15. 

“I remain hopeful that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year,” the Maryland Democrat said in his letter Friday.

Next week the House will consider legislation to reauthorize the Export-Important Bank, which like the current CR is scheduled to expire Nov. 21, Hoyer said.

HR 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, will also be on the floor this month, Hoyer said.

“This legislation will restore the Voting Rights Act to its full strength after it was undermined by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013,” he said. “Every American should be able to exercise their right to vote. The Voting Rights Advancement Act will strengthen voting rights and prevent voter discrimination and suppression tactics.”

The House will also be ready to act on the National Defense Authorization Act conference report if the bicameral committee concludes its work this month, Hoyer said. 

A prescription drug pricing overhaul Democrats had hoped to bring to the floor this month, HR 3, will be delayed to December because lawmakers are waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to analyze its budget impact, Hoyer said.

Hoyer also alluded to the big activity happening off the floor in the impeachment inquiry, as the House Intelligence Committee begins public hearings next week.

“The House is continuing to do important work for the people, even as our committees continue the impeachment inquiry,” he said. “We can, and we will, continue to make progress on critical issues while upholding our Constitutional duty.”

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