by Countable | 3.20.17
The 115th Congress will officially begin Tuesday, with new lawmakers taking being sworn in and the first votes of the session cast. But don't expect members to ease themselves back into legislating, as this week looks like it will provide plenty of controversy. One of the first orders of business in the House is the election of the speaker, and Paul Ryan (R-WI) is expected to retain the speaker's gavel despite the possible defection of a handful of Republicans.
The House will then vote on a rules package for the 115th Congress which has already ignited bickering. The rules will include new fines for members who take pictures or video on the House floor, which was included to deter future disruptions on the floor after last summer's sit-in and has been criticized by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as being "unconstitutional."
A high profile attempt to constrain the Office of Congressional Ethics had been included in the rules package, but following criticism from President-elect Donald Trump and many others the proposal was removed. The House will now work toward reforming the OCE in a bipartisan manner before Congress leave on its August recess.
Following the adoption of the House rules, lawmakers will move on to more typical legislative tasks. On the agenda this week are bills to make it easier for Congress to reject "midnight rules" issued by lame duck presidents, empower the legislative branch to approve or reject major regulations, and increase accountability for federal advisory committees and misbehaving Dept. of Veterans Affairs employees. The House will also vote on a non-binding resolution rejecting the U.N. Security Council's vote condemning Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The House is scheduled to be voting Monday through Friday, while the Senate convenes Tuesday and hasn't yet announced any votes. Check here throughout the week to see vote results and other updates to the schedule.
Schedule subject to change. All times Eastern.
Tuesday after 6:30pm
Wednesday between 4:30-5:30pm
Thursday after 12pm
Friday after 12pm
Want to tell your lawmakers how to vote on the bills before them this week? Use the "Take Action" button to make sure they hear your voice.
— Eric Revell
Written by Countable
Vote against the ban on live streaming, unless you have something to hide.
Please vote against this ban on live streaming and photographs. We need transparency now more than ever before.
Please support Elizabeth Warren's bill to require disclosure of Donald Trumps conflicts of interest. We need to know what his business interests are and while we're at it, let's see his tax returns as well!!!
I feel that the UN should continue to receive financial assistance from the US and that to cut this Assistance would be a travesty!
Do not prevent live streaming on the floor. Do not defund planned parenthood. Do not appoint Bannon. Stop denying climate change.
We need a complete investigation of the Russian involvement in our election
Vote against ban on live streaming, more transparency not less
Change the rules on broadcasting from the floor! We deserve to see what's happening in real time.
Please vote against the ban on live streaming and photographs. The Public has the right to know what is happening in Congress, and if the Speaker can turn off official cameras at will, then we need to keep alternative methods of informing the public. This move towards government secrecy is suspicious and dangerous.
Please do not remove the independent congressional oversight group.
How could you plan fines for live-streaming? We pay you to work for us. We should see what goes on behind closed doors so we can hold you ALL accountable for your work or lack of. Transparency is required! Sneaking things in is all too common of a ploy. And the OCE debacle, glad it was postponed, but we 74 million of us are watching! This will not be business as usual.
Government need more transparency, not less. Photos and videos must be allowed and no fines given.
Please vote against ban on live streaming. We need access to your discourse to remain educated about current events.
I'm disappointed that the "Rules" legislation passed imposing fines on those who film or take pictures with cameraphones in Congress. Transparency is vital now, and now more than ever, we must protect the public's ability to keep an eye on what is being done behind government's closed doors.
Senators, please vote No on the Fines for Public Streaming. We need more transparency not less! I want to know what is going on and this attempt at closed doors and secrecy is an affront to the American people who have sent you to represent us!
Reject the REINS Act and MIDNIGHT RULES Act
Do not do away with the independent ethics office only criminals want less oversight and transparency.
Hello, my name is Colleen Easley from Olympia, Wa. I am writing to request that you try to force the senior members of the Republican Party support a bipartisan investigation into the Russian interference into the election. This is necessary to restore the faith and confidence of all United States citizens that our election was legitimate. By refusing to do this they appear to be playing partisan politics and further add to the suspicion that Republicans are in collusion with Russia since they are the ones who were the beneficiaries. Thank you.
Vote against the ban on live streaming . Clearly partisan.
Congress doesn't need more power, they need to be held accountable to the people.