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What’s New in Washington

10 things you need to know


As the Trump presidency completes its first 10 weeks, the administration is celebrating big wins on the regulatory reform front while nursing some wounds from a major defeat on efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While health care reform is on pause for the moment, Republicans are turning to tax reform as the next major policy priority and continuing to use executive orders (EO) and the Congressional Review Act to roll back Obama-era regulations. Funding for the government expires on April 28, 2017, so Republicans and Democrats will face the first test of bipartisanship in the next few weeks as they seek to fund government agencies, including the Department of Defense, through the end of September. All eyes will be on the Senate next week as the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch takes center stage.

Here are 10 things that we believe are worth focusing on from the last two weeks:

1. Gorsuch Nomination

2. Possible Repeal of ISP Security Rules

3. TSA’s New Restrictions on Electronic Devices

4. “Energy Independence” Executive Order

5. Secretary Tillerson in Asia

6. Bilateral Trade and NAFTA Renegotiations

7. FDA User Fees Reauthorization

8. Fiduciary Rule

9. USTR Reports

10. Congressional Appropriations Preview

Gorsuch Nomination

Amid pressure from his left-leaning base, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stepped up his opposition to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. Sen. Schumer recently announced his intention to mount a minority filibuster of the nomination just years after Senate Democrats used the nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster for all non-Supreme Court nominees. Republicans need at least eight Democrats to vote to end debate and move to a final vote on the nomination, and they have inched closer to that goal with the March 30 announcement that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), both up for re-election in 2018, intend to cross party lines to vote to confirm Gorsuch. Despite the news, Sen. Schumer continues to express confidence that the Democrats can, and will, deny GOP leadership the necessary votes to get the nomination over the finish line.

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