Today in Washington – January 8, 2019
January 8, 2019
Source: Jennifer (White) Mangone – Legislative Counsel

Despite Weekend Meetings, No Resolution on Ending Partial Shutdown – White House and Congressional officials met over the weekend to discuss the ongoing government shutdown, now in its 17th day. As of this morning, neither side showed signs of an emerging deal. President Trump and a key aide, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, offered a concession over the weekend: funding for a steel fence instead of a concrete wall. However, the President is also weighing other measures, such as declaring a national emergency on border security that would allow him to use existing funds to build the wall. The Democrat-led House of Representatives will vote on at least four bills this week to fund parts of government: Agriculture-FDA, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD. Much like last week’s Democrat-passed spending bills, it is expected that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not allow the Senate to vote on those bills.
House Will Vote on Small Business Bills This Week – The House is scheduled to vote on seven small business bills this week. These bills were passed by the House last session, but had to be reintroduced for the new Congress. The text of these bills remains the same as the previous versions passed in the House last session.
• Bank Investments in Small Business (H.R. 116): This bill would allow financial institutions to invest as much as 15 percent of capital and surplus in small business investment companies.
• Small Business Office of Advocacy (H.R. 128): This bill would instruct the SBA’s Office of Advocacy to represent small businesses in international trade and regulation initiatives.
• Mentorship in SBIR/STTR (H.R. 206): This bill would incentivize participation in the Mentor-Protégé program by providing an increase to the past performance rating of any small business that has participated in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and serves as a mentor to another small business that is looking to participate in the SBIR/STTR programs.
• SBIR/STTR (H.R. 246): This bill would establish reporting deadlines for SBA and agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
Senate Committee Assignments Released:
Senate Small Business Committee
Republicans (10): Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.; Chairman), Jim Risch (Idaho), Rand Paul (Ky.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Todd Young (Ind.), John Kennedy (La.), Mitt Romney (Utah), and Josh Hawley (Mo.)
Democrats (9): Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.; Ranking Member), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Chris Coons (Del.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), and Jacky Rosen (Nev.)
Senate Banking Committee
Republicans (13): Mike Crapo (Idaho; Chairman), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), David Perdue (Ga.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), John Kennedy (La.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), and Kevin Cramer (N.D.)
Democrats (12): Sherrod Brown (Ohio; Ranking Member), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Tina Smith (Minn.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)