Michael C Burgess

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Louise Slaughter Dead at 88 After More Than Three Trailblazing Decades in Congress
New York Democrat fell and suffered concussion at D.C. residence last week

New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, who became the first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee in 2007, has died. In this July 2014 photo with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Slaughter and other members appear at a press conference following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, died early Friday after falling at her Washington home last week. She was 88 years old.

Her office said the New York Democrat died at George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treated. The 16-term lawmaker was the oldest sitting member of Congress.

Congress, Waiting for an Omnibus to Arrive
Senate staying on banking legislation, House looks at votes on guns

Lawmakers could get their first look at an omnibus spending bill this week.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keep an eye out for the release of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill this week. Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the sprawling bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year expires.

The bipartisan budget deal enacted last month freed up an additional $143 billion for discretionary programs in fiscal 2018 — $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for nondefense accounts.

GOP Plans to Keep Discussing Health Care, Even if Trump Does Not

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., thinks the GOP needs to continue discussing the nation's challenges when it comes to health insurance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Health care policy isn’t set to be a major focus of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday, although some Republicans say the GOP needs to talk about the rising costs of health insurance.

Republicans on Capitol Hill say they don’t want Trump to shy away from talking about health care, despite the fact that the 2010 health care law remains mostly intact a year into the GOP-controlled Congress and Trump presidency. Some Republicans say they’d like to hear Trump encourage lawmakers to keep working to address rising premium costs.

GOP Candidates Who Stand With Roy Moore
Four 2018 hopefuls attended Alabama Republican’s rally Monday night

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert was the only lawmaker at Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally Monday night in Midland City, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Most Republican lawmakers have shunned Roy Moore. And top GOP candidates have ducked questions about him. But four 2018 hopefuls traveled to Alabama on Monday to show their support.

These candidates are backing the former state Supreme Court chief justice even after allegations surfaced that he inappropriately pursued — and in two cases assaulted — teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore still has the support of President Donald Trump and former White House adviser Steve Bannon, and this small cohort of GOP primary candidates looking to take on the party establishment.

House Volleys CHIP Measure to Senate
Issue of offsets to cost are major sticking point

The House passed a reauthorization of CHIP, and now it’s the Senate's turn to consider renewing the health insurance program’s funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After months of disputes and delays, the House voted Friday to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other public health programs. The legislation passed easily, 242-174, although many Democrats opposed the measure due to disagreements over the offsets.

“Three times at the request of the Democrats, we delayed committee action,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. “These delays meant Congress went past the deadline of Sept. 30. We cannot wait any longer. Patients cannot wait any longer.”

House Begins Work on Over-the-Counter Drug Fees
FDA director: Consumers unprotected and manufacturers open to liability

(U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Scott Jackson)

The House began public deliberations Wednesday on a bill that would boost the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of over-the-counter drugs in exchange for industry-paid fees.

A bipartisan draft bill released earlier this week has support from the FDA and the over-the-counter drug industry. Under the new proposal, drug manufacturers would pay an annual fee for their facilities and an extra fee each time they submit a request to review proposed changes related to their product.

Word on the Hill: Weekend Plans?
McCain honored, and movies and tennis ahead

The Washington Nationals play the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You can spend your Saturday eating good food and watching baseball. The Washington Nationals are celebrating D.C.’s cosmopolitanism with the second annual Taste of the World celebration, billed as a culinary event heard ’round the world.

The participating embassies of Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Qatar, Romania, and South Korea will serve food and drink samples starting at 1:30 p.m., followed by cultural dance performances at 2 p.m. Participants get to take home a set of Nationals salt-and-pepper shakers.

Griffith Emerging As House Republican Bridge Builder
Colleagues say Virginia Republican is helping overcome divides within the GOP conference

Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith has drawn praise from his colleagues for his willingness to work toward solutions and compromise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where perfectionism can often earn you a bad reputation as an obstructionist, Rep. Morgan Griffith has managed to do the opposite.

Colleagues say the Virginia Republican, a member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, has shown a willingness to compromise and work toward solutions on legislative and procedural problems. But they also describe the four-term lawmaker as a principled perfectionist whose attention to detail has been an asset, not a hindrance.

How the House Finally Got to ‘Yes’ on Health Care
Frenzied final negotiations helped win over enough holdouts

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, center, and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry lead a group of Republican members to the House floor Thursday to vote on the GOP health care bill after meeting with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The final push on the health care bill started in earnest Monday night.

At 6 p.m., a cadre of Republican lawmakers from the Energy and Commerce Committee met in an unmarked Capitol office to make changes they hoped would bring moderate holdouts on board with the party’s overhaul of the health care system.