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This Week on the Hill, February 10 - February 14, 2020

Monday, February 10, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chevonna Nimmons
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The House meets at 2:00 p.m. Monday and will consider nine Homeland Security bills under suspension of the rules. Later in the week, the chamber will consider the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act of 2019 (H.R. 2546), which would designate more than 2 million acres of federal land as wilderness or recreation areas. More than 1,000 miles of river segments would be protected under the measure, which combines provisions from six bills that were approved by the House Natural Resources Committee.

The chamber is also expected to consider H.J. Res. 79, a bill that would remove the time limit for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in the wake of Virginia’s recent ratification. Despite the deadline passing in 1982, Nevada ratified the amendment in 2017, Illinois approved in 2018, and Virginia’s vote would put the number of ratifying states at 38 – the number of states necessary to ratify a constitutional amendment.  

The House will be out of session on Friday.


The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m. Monday and will consider the nomination of Andrew Brasher to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. 


President Donald Trump on Monday is set to unveil a $4.8 trillion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year that would bring steep cuts to social programs despite almost $1 trillion in deficit spending. The president plans to call for deep cuts to government programs he believes are unpopular with his base, slashing discretionary spending by 5% – down to $590 billion – in the coming year. That includes stringent new work requirements on welfare programs such as food stamps. The budget also cuts HHS and CDC funding by 9% each. 

The plan anticipates significant savings via $135 billion in drug pricing reform, $292 billion from adding a work requirement to welfare programs, $70 billion from reforming disability programs, and $266 billion from “site neutrality” rules that would see the government pay the same amount for medical services whether they were performed in a hospital or at a doctor’s office.

As always, the president’s budget request should be viewed as a political document, giving us a glimpse at the administration’s priorities for the coming year. Government spending is ultimately controlled by Congress – particularly the Democrat-controlled House. 


The death toll from the new virus has exceeded the 774 people who died from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which also began in China. The number of people killed by the coronavirus as of today is 910, with at least 40,573 infected, according to the latest data. There has been a dozen confirmed cases of infection in the United States, and one U.S. citizen living in Wuhan died there on Saturday. Lawmakers and medical experts believe it is important for the United States to have resources on hand for any domestic coronavirus emergency and HHS notified Congress on Sunday that the administration will spend up to $66 million in its initial response.


Tuesday, February 11


House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health hearing on “Achieving Health Equity for America’s Minority Veterans.” 10:00 a.m., 210 U.S. Capitol.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: "The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive." 10:00 a.m., 226 Dirksen Bldg.

House Education and Labor Committee markup of H.R. 5800, Ban Surprise Billing Act. 10:15 a.m., 2175 Rayburn Bldg.

House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing on “Balancing Work, Health, and Family: The Case for Expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act." 2:00 p.m., 2175 Rayburn Bldg.

Wednesday, February 12


Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on “There’s No Place Like Home: Home Health Care in Rural America.” 9:30 a.m., 366 Dirksen Bldg.

Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing: “Roundtable: Are We Prepared? Protecting the U.S. from Global Pandemics.” 9:30 a.m., SD-G50 Dirksen Bldg.

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on “Protecting Women’s Access to Reproductive Health Care.” 10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.

House Ways and Means Committee markup of the “Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020.” Time TBD, 1100 Longworth Bldg.

Thursday, February 13


Senate Finance Committee hearing on “The President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget” with testimony from HHS Secretary Alex Azar. 9:30 a.m., 215 Dirksen Bldg.


Monday, February 10


The Academy Health holds an event, "2020 National Health Policy Conference." 9:00 a.m., Marriott Marquis.



The Office of Management and Budget transmits President Trump’s proposed FY 2021 budget to Congress. 12:30 p.m.

Available at: and


Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Live Streaming: "66th Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Meeting" 1:00 p.m.



The Hudson Institute and the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense hold a discussion on "Containing the Coronavirus: Challenges to Thwarting the Outbreak." 2:00 p.m., 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.



The National Press Club holds an event, "Covering Coronavirus: Expert Tips for Journalists and Communicators." 6:00 p.m., The National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.



Tuesday, February11


The Aspen Institute holds an event, "Public Health Grand Rounds at the Aspen Institute presents Coronavirus: The New Pandemic?" 12:00 p.m., Gildenhorn Conference Room 7th Floor, Aspen Institute.



Thursday, February13


The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) holds an event, "Value Incentives & Systems Action Collaborative." 8:00 a.m., National Academy of Sciences Building.



Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Live Streaming: "NVAC will discuss efforts to strengthen U.S. immunization." 9:00 a.m.



The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) holds a webinar, "Living with Chronic Pain: Perspectives from Persons with Lived Experience." 1:30 p.m.



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