House Floor Schedule Leaves Time for GOP Soul-Searching

Group meetings will be more crucial than usual after health care debacle

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his conference will spend much of the week soul searching and charting their path forward after last week’s health care defeat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his conference will spend much of the week soul searching and charting their path forward after last week’s health care defeat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted March 28, 2017 at 5:00am

The House has a limited floor schedule this week, leaving Republicans plenty of time to huddle behind closed doors and chart the conference’s path forward after their failure to advance their top legislative priority of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. 

The intraparty soul searching will begin Tuesday morning during the weekly GOP conference meeting and continue throughout the week during smaller meetings of the Republican factions such as the Tuesday Group, Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus.

The conference could also huddle again Thursday for what is a near-weekly “planning” session, when it usually discusses some large legislative item to come. 

Expected to be up next on the larger agenda is a tax code overhaul. Republicans also have to coalesce around a strategy for funding the government beyond April 28 through the remainder of fiscal 2017, and to begin thinking about fiscal 2018 spending. 

On the House floor this week is a Congressional Review Act measure to roll back a Federal Communications Commission rule on broadband and telecommunication customers’ privacy, and legislation to prohibit the EPA from rule-making “based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible,” according to a committee description of the measure. 

In committee action, the Ways and Means panel on Tuesday will attempt, and likely succeed, in beating back a Democratic resolution of inquiry trying to force the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial information. 

The committee either has to mark up the resolution, or the minority can bring it up on the floor, according to a Ways and Means spokeswoman. After the committee reports the resolution, only the chairman or his designee can bring it up on the floor, the spokeswoman said. 

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on immigration enforcement, an early step in what is expected to result in legislation this year to tighten security at the border.