Policy – January 15, 2019
January 15, 2019

Today marks the 24th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, with no conclusion on the horizon. As the impact of the shutdown is becoming increasingly apparent, many GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have urged President Trump to reopen the government while negotiations to reach a deal on border wall funding continue.
Meanwhile the government agencies that were funded are also closed today, due to nearly a foot of snow in the Washington region. Congress and their staff, however, are at work. Of particular note are the several small business bills expected to pass the House today. Covering a wide array of areas (SBIR/STTR, contracting, and capital access), the bills will likely head to the Senate, which has not announced its intention to consider them under the new chairmanship of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
UPDATE: House Republicans and Democrats have announced their policy retreat dates. The GOP will hold their retreat from January 30 to February 1 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Democrats have scheduled their retreat for February 13-15 in a location not yet specified, but likely near Washington, D.C.
On Capitol Hill
Floor proceedings
House: In session
Votes expected today:
1. Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act of 2019 (H.R 246), which would establish reporting deadlines for the SBA and agencies participating in SBIR and STTR programs.
2. Investing in Main Street Act of 2019 (H.R.116), which would increase the amount certain banks and savings associations can invest in small business investment funds.
3. Encouraging Small Business Innovators Act (H.R. 206), which would amend the small business laws to create certain requirements with respect to the SBIR and STTR program.
4. Expanding Contract Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2019 (H.R. 190), which would amend the Small Business Act to eliminate the inclusion of option years in the award price for sole source contracts.
5. TANF Extension Act of 2019 (H.R.430), which would extend the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families and related programs through June 30, 2019.
Senate: In session
Senate continues to consider the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S.1), a foreign policy bill concerning Israel and Syria.
Committee proceedings
There are no relevant hearings or markups scheduled today.
At the Agencies
• SBA: Closed due to partial shutdown
• Disaster notice for California was issued
• Treasury: Closed due to partial shutdown
• Labor Department: Closed due to snow day
• USTR: Closed due to partial shutdown
• Commerce: Closed due to partial shutdown
Links You Can Use
For reviewing legislation and tracking appropriations: www.congress.gov
For reviewing proposed and pending regulation: www.federalregister.gov