SC Blues Federal
Political Action Committee

Tell Us Your ThoughtsPolitical ResourcesSC Blues Feed Log Out

2019 - 2nd Quarter Review 

What Passed?

  • Disaster Relief: A $19.1 billion disaster relief funding bill passed both chambers of Congress on bipartisan votes and signed into law.  The bill also extended the National Flood Insurance Program through September.  
  • Funding for the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: A bill to provide $4.59 billion to alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border passed the Senate on a bipartisan 84-8 vote.  It then passed the House on a bipartisan 305-102 vote, after the moderate problem solvers caucus prevented Democratic leadership from making further revisions to the bill and delaying its enactment. 
  • Nominations: The Senate confirmed 26 district court judges, eight circuit court judges, and one Cabinet official (Interior Secretary David Bernhardt) - in addition to more than a dozen other lower tier nominations following the deployment of the "nuclear option" to speed up debate on lower profile nominations earlier this year. 
  • Subpoenas: House Democrats subpoened Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel for information related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.  They also made it easier for House committee chairs to seek the enforcement of subpoenas in federal court. 

What Failed?

  • House Democrats' Partisan Bills: Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to block bills passed on mostly party-line votes by House Democrats.  Bills to give "Dreamers" & Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients permanent resident status and a path to citizenship; ban low-premium "junk" health plans; reverse Trump's administrative actions on Obamacare; make gender identity & sexual orientation "protected classes" under federal law; restore net neutrality; remain in the Paris Climate Agreement; and undo reforms to the Cosumer Financial Protection Bureau are among those unlikely to be considered in the upper chamber. 
  • Budget & Appropriations: For the third straight year, Congress didn't adopt a budget resolution by April 15th as required by the Budget Control Act at 1974.  House Democrats considered bringing a bill to the floor to raise budget caps but were unable to do so because of dividions within their caucus.  Despite that, they've passed funding for 10 of the 12 appropriations titles in three bills along mostly party-lines.  The Senate is waiting for a bipartisan budget caps agreement to begin its work on the annual spending bills. 
  • War Powers Bills: President Donald Trump's veto of a resolution requiring the withdrawal of US forces assisting the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen was sustained after the Senate lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override it.  A related effort to force votes on resolutions blocking arms sales to Bahrain and Qatar failed to overcome procedural votes in the Senate. 

In Progress?

  • Asylum Reform: The Trump administration delayed an operation to step up deportations of unauthorized immigrants and gave Congress until the first weekend of July to "work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern border." Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding his bill to revise asylum laws before the end of the latest congressional work week, although it's unclear whether it can gain bipartsian support. 
  • Defense: The Senate passed its annual defense authorization bill, which sets spending levels and other defense policies for the coming fiscal year, on a bipartisan 86-8 vote.  The House is expected to take up its version of the bill when it returns the second week in July, prompting a likely conference negotiation between the House and Senate on a final bill. 
  • Retirement Reform: The House passed the Secure Act on a bipartisan 417-3 vote before Memorial Day, and negotiations in the Senate are ongoing to bring it to the floor for a vote. 
  • Arms Control: The Senate passed 22 bills to block a variety of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on overwhelming bipartisan votes, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he expects to bring them to the floor in the near future.
  • Robocall Enforcement: Both chambers of Congress are working on bipartisan bills to crack down on robocalls.  The Senate passed its bill 97-1 before Memorial Day, while the House Energy & Commerce Committee has prepped a  bipartisan bill of its own for the House floor. 


Copyright © 2017 BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SC Blues FedPAC is a service mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Paid for by Government Affairs of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

BCBS SC Logo.png