NCPA’s Legislative Director Brian Williams tells us what’s happening in Washington D.C. this week.
Once again, Washington D.C. was quiet this week as Congress is still in the midst of a two-week recess. That’s great news for Washington traffic, but bad news for legislative solutions to the public policy problems that Congress is supposed to resolve. Nevertheless, there are some late-breaking rumors today that Congress may try to tackle health reform (again) next week. Legislative language could be released as early as tomorrow and staffers in the House Majority Whip’s office say they are close to the requisite number of votes needed to pass the legislation. We shall see.
Here’s what else happened during this quiet week in Washington:
- NCPA Executive Director Allen West and Legislative Director Brian Williams met with officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget to discuss budgeting process reforms at the Department of Defense, particularly the implementation of zero-based budgeting. NCPA Senior Fellow David Grantham describes the proposed budgeting reforms in his study, A New Budgeting Approach for the Defense Department.
- President Trump signed the Veterans Choice Act, which provides an avenue for veterans to receive health services outside the Veterans Affairs (VA) system to avoid long VA wait times.
- President Trump issued an executive order that reviews the H-1B visa program that brings skilled workers to the United States. Dubbed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, the President’s objective is to hire more American workers and encourage the purchase of more American-made products.
- Vice President Mike Pence travelled to several of our Pacific rim allies, meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister and visiting the Korean peninsula, while President Trump presided over the White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington.
- Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch started work this week.