By Matt Vallone, Senior Analysis Manager
Main Story: Cabinet Confirmations Get Underway
After getting all the pomp and circumstance of a swearing in a new Congress out of the way last week, Congress returns with a hectic schedule of votes and confirmation hearings. While most of the action will be in the Senate, the House has a busy week with plans to vote on at least four controversial rules bills and a variety of suspension bills (less controversial legislation that requires a higher threshold of votes for passage). In the Senate, the week will be chock full of hearings and legislative action, as Republicans try to kick-start a productive first hundred days for President-elect Trump by moving forward on his cabinet selections and passing a budget to allow for expedited repeal of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, we’re starting to get more details on the shape and operations of Trump’s national security team. Of particular interest to those following aerospace and defense news might be reporting by Josh Rogin at the Washington Post looking at tensions between Secretary of Defense nominee James Mattis and the rest of the Trump transition team, as well as a Politico deep-dive on incoming OMB head Rep. Mick Mulvaney (article behind a paywall). Off the Hill, President-elect Donald Trump has a planned press conference for Wednesday, January 11th.
House Activity – The House has a busy week planned, with several controversial bills aimed at either limiting or raising the standards for regulations for financial matters. In addition, the House may consider a budget resolution to expedite consideration of repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Activity – The Senate has an absolutely jam-packed week, with confirmation hearings and debate on a budget resolution set to keep Senators busy through the week. Debate and voting on the budget resolution will kick-off with a vote on Sen. Rand Paul’s balanced budget amendment, and will likely extend through the week. Democratic senators are committing to speak through the night to delay the vote as long as possible. Despite that, it is likely that the Senate will complete consideration of all amendments by the end of the week. At the same time, members will have confirmation hearings throughout the week. The schedule for hearings is as follows:
- Judiciary Committee: Senator Jeff Sessions, nominee for Attorney General
- Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee: Gen. John Kelly (Ret.), nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security
- Foreign Relations Committee: Rex Tillerson, nominee for Secretary of State
- [Postponed until Tuesday, 1/17] Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education
- Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee: Elaine Chao, nominee for Secretary of Transportation
- Armed Services Committee: Gen. James Mattis (Ret.), nominee to be Secretary of Defense
- Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee: Ben Carson, nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee: Wilbur Ross, nominee for Secretary of Commerce
- Intelligence Committee: Rep. Mike Pompeo, nominee for CIA Director
- 1/10 Civilian Control of the Armed Forces, Full Committee hearing, 216 Hart, 930am
- 1/12 Confirmation Hearing – Secretary of Defense Nominee Gen. James Mattis (Ret.)
- HASC – No hearing scheduled
- HAC-D – No hearing scheduled
- SAC-D – No hearing scheduled
Government Activity Round-Up
Nothing new out from GAO, but the CBO has put together a fairly interesting report on trends in DoD operations and maintenance spending. Definitely worth taking a look at if you’re interested in maintenance or support services.
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