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This Week in Congress: Criminal Justice Reform & Trying to Avoid a Gov't Shutdown Over Border Security Funds

What do you think of this week's Congressional schedule?

by Countable | Updated on 12.21.18

Congress faces a deadline of midnight Friday to pass legislation funding seven agencies ― including Homeland Security ― or else the third partial government shutdown of 2018 will occur. It’s not yet clear how Congress will try to stave off a shutdown, or whether President Donald Trump will get the $5 billion in funding for border security he says is needed for his signature.

The Senate starts its week on Monday with a procedural vote to limit debate on the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that aims to lighten sentences for certain non-violent crimes and to incentivize low-risk prisoners' participation in recidivism reduction programs. Votes on amendments are expected in advance of a passage vote.

The House’s work week is expected to begin on Wednesday, but what will be on the agenda is unclear: as of Sunday evening House leadership hasn’t announced the schedule.

Check here throughout the week to see the vote results and updates to the schedule.

Schedule subject to change. All times Eastern.

Senate

Monday after 5:30pm

  • Cloture vote on S. 756: First Step Act Invoked 82-12.

Tuesday after 2:15pm

  • S. 756: First Step Act Passed 87-12.

Wednesday

  • Cloture vote on the nomination of Joseph Maguire to be Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Invoked 95-1.
  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Joseph Maguire to be Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Confirmed by voice vote.
  • H.R. 695: Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 Passed by voice vote.
  • S. 3178: Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 Passed by voice vote.

Thursday

  • No votes were held.

Friday after 12pm

  • Motion to proceed to H.R. 695: House Amendment to Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 Adopted 48-47 (w/ VP Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.)

Saturday after 12pm

  • H.R. 695: Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019

House

Wednesday after 6:30pm

  • H.R. 6615: Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 352-6.
  • S. 2076: BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act Passed 361-3.
  • H.R. 1222: Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act Passed 355-7.
  • S. 2278: State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 357-4.
  • H.R. 7279: Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Passed 351-10.
  • H.R. 6227: National Quantum Initiative Act Passed 348-11.
  • H.R. 6652: To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to the Kennewick Irrigation District, and for other purposes, as amended Passed 359-1.
  • S. 1520: Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 Passed 350-11.
  • S. 3530: Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 Passed 331-28.
  • H.R. 7327: SECURE Technology Act Passed 362-1.

Thursday after 11am

  • H.R. 695: House Amendment to Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 Passed 217-182.
  • S. 756: First Step Act Passed 358-36.
  • H.R. 88: Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act and the Taxpayer First Act Passed 220-183.
  • H.R. 5075: Ashanti Alert Act of 2018 Passed 386-2.
  • H.R. 4227: Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act of 2019 Passed 388-2.
  • H.R. 2606: Stigler Act Amendments of 2018 Passed 399-0.
  • S. 2765: RBIC Advisers Relief Act of 2018 Passed 389-0.
  • H.R. 6602: To reauthorize the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route, and for other purposes Passed 382-9.
  • H.R. 7093: Clean Up the Code Act of 2018 Passed 386-5.
  • S. 2322: Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions Act Failed suspension rules 230-162.
  • S. 2679: Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act Passed 389-1.
  • H.R. 7227: Taxpayer First Act of 2018, as amended Passed 378-11.
  • S. 2652: Stephen Michael Gleason Congressional Gold Medal Act Passed 390-2.
  • H.R. 5509: Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act Passed 378-13.
  • S. 7: NASA Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act of 2018 Passed 390-0.
  • S. 2200: National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 379-9.
  • H.R. 7328: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 Passed 367-9.
  • H.R. 767: SOAR to Health and Wellness Act of 2018 Failed 230-162.
  • H.R. 6418: VA Website Accessibility Act of 2018, as amended Passed 387-0.
  • S. 3444: A bill to designate the community-based outpatient clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as the Douglas Fournet Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic Passed 388-0.
  • S. 3777: Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act of 2018 Passed 389-0.
  • S. 2896: JACK Act Passed 391-0.
  • S. 2961: Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 388-2.
  • H.Res. 1181: 'Martial Law' rule allowing resolutions reported by the Rules Committee to be considered on the same day Passed 350-35.

Friday after 9am

  • H.R. 4174: Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2017 Passed 356-17.
  • S. 645: Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act of 2018 
  • H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 368-7.
  • H.R. 6287: 9/11 Memorial Act Passed 371-3.
  • S. 3461: AMBER Alert Nationwide Act of 2018
  • S. 1158: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 Passed 367-4.
  • S. 1580: Protecting Girls' Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act Passed 362-5.
  • S. 3247: Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 Passed 352-18.
  • H.R. 7293: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 770 Ayrault Road in Fairport, New York, as the “Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office” Passed 376-6, 2 present.
  • S. 2276: GAO-IG Act Passed 382-2.
  • S. 3031: Federal Personal Property Management Act of 2018 Passed 383-1.
  • S. 3191: Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018 Passed 376-6.
  • H.Res. 1063: Designating room H-226 of the United States Capitol as the "Lincoln Room” Passed 366-0.
  • H.R. 7329: To make technical corrections to provisions of law enacted by the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, and for other purposes Passed 378-2.
  • H.R. 7318: To amend the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 to ensure that the Public Buildings Reform Board has adequate time to carry out the responsibilities of the Board, and for other purposes Passed 372-2.
  • H.R. 7319: To amend the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 to provide flexibility with respect to the leaseback of certain Federal real property, and for other purposes Passed 372-1.
  • S. 3367: Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act Passed 381-2.
  • S. 3482: Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 
  • S. 2276: GAO-IG Act
  • S. 1848: Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act
  • S. 1862: Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 Passed 370-0.
  • S. 3661: 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act Passed 370-0.
  • S. 1333: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017 
  • S. 1023: Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2018 Passed 332-43.
  • S. 512: Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act Passed 361-10.
  • S. 1934: Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act Passed 202-171.
  • S. 3456: To redesignate Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge as the Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, and for other purposes Passed 365-5, 2 present.
  • S. 3277: Space Frontier Act of 2019 Passed 239-137.
  • H.R. 7388: National Flood Insurance Program Competition and Extension Act of 2018 Failed 148-226.
  • S. 3628: National Flood Insurance Program Extension Passed 315-48.

Saturday after 12pm

  • S. 2322: Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions Act
  • Additional legislative items are possible.

Tell your reps how to vote on this week's bills and share your thoughts below!

— Eric Revell

Countable

Written by Countable

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(118)
  • Steve
    Voted Sad
    12/16/2018
    ···

    If they are not impeaching Trump they have their priorities wrong.

    Like (49)
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  • Patricia
    12/16/2018
    ···

    We need criminal justice reform desperately. We have hundreds of thousands of nonviolent criminals in jail while the white collar criminals are walking around scott free. And we most definitely do not need a 5 billion dollar useless border wall. Trump needs that wall solely to fulfill a campaign promise that he swore Mexico would pay for. NO BORDER WALL. If he wants to spend 5 billion dollars let him spend on humanitarian aid to the people seeking asylum at the border.

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  • Leslie
    Voted Apathetic
    12/16/2018
    ···

    IMPEACH TRUMP FOR BREAKING HIS "OATH OF OFFICE" LYING TO "WE THE PEOPLE" IS A FELONY! AND NEEDS TO BE ENFORCED STARTING IMMEDIATELY WITH ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE GOP, EXCEPT JEFF FLAKE

    Like (40)
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  • Genie
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    I just can't seem to figure out why democrats approved 25billion back in Feb for the wall, now they can't give 5billion? Now its just a pissing contest.. I really can't stand liberal logic. Help ruin the entire country because they hate Trump. I support his policies but not everything that Comes out of his mouth. Its about my COUNTRY not a popularity contest! Get your sh*t together dems.

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  • John
    Voted Sad
    12/16/2018
    ···

    The Republicans can’t work with anyone to do anything other than build a useless wall, the Republicans can’t pass meetingfull healthcare, the Republicans can’t put a decent human being in the White House, Only an inept liar. I really think you should change your name from Republicans to republic-cant’s.

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  • William
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    While the passing of major bills seems like it will focus on only a few this week seems like it will make sense as congress will look to pass funding and prevent a shutdown. I think the “First Step Act” will be a very good step in helping to reform the prison system and other than funding this seems like it will hold the most priority in congress through this week. For the funding this will be interesting. At this point an agreement should’ve already been made on funding covering different organizations and funding for the wall/border security. Should however, the government shut down over wall funding? While I see it necessary that funding be given to the wall I see it as to risky to have a shutdown over. In addition funding should’ve already been finalized weeks ago (I think most can agree on it) and just dragging it out is just going to add more tension in congress but now may be the time to find out... will the government shut down? Note: for the people who post arguments that are just “impeach trump” in all caps and/or list bs reasons about irrelevant laws and outdated events, that does not help solve anything and does not prove anything. Seriously it’s just spam at this point.

    Like (16)
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  • Beth
    12/17/2018
    ···

    We don’t need a wall, and we sure as hell don’t need trump, send his lying corrupt ass to jail!

    Like (11)
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  • David
    Voted Apathetic
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The government needs to work on justice reform for everyone! The border wall idea is stupid.

    Like (9)
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  • Kari
    Voted Sad
    12/16/2018
    ···

    Tell that narcissist who stole our presidency with the help of Putin to get out of the White House. His billionaire tax break, coupled with his bloated military budget increased the national deficit by 50% in a single year. His incompetence is enough, even without his open misogyny, poor fiscal judgment, and complete lack of diplomatic grace. This border crisis could easily be solved by sending people capable of doing this “vetting” Trump and the GOP are so fixated on. Using military might to deal with a humanitarian concern is not only counter-productive, it is costing lives. Our forefathers fought for freedom, liberty, and justice. What’s more, we are violating international law—a law that came about as a result of the US denying entry to some 20,000 Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany. We have forgotten our values, and we have forgotten our history. We must uphold the values of the founding fathers—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Let us not forget the bravery of our forefathers. Let us not allow our soldiers’ deaths throughout the years, sacrifices in the name of “freedom and justice for all,” be in vain. Let us remember what the word “patriot” truly means.

    Like (15)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Sad
    12/17/2018
    ···

    ”TinkleBell” Pelosi’s “Denying-Delaying-Hindering & Obstructing” Agenda 😔 Sadly we are seeing that Congress faces a deadline of midnight Friday to pass legislation funding seven agencies ― including Homeland Security ― or else the third partial government shutdown of 2018 will occur. It’s not yet clear how Congress will try to stave off a shutdown, or whether President Donald Trump will get the $5 billion in funding for border security he says is needed for his signature. We’ve, as can be expected in seeing, a continuation of the Democratic, particularly the House led by “TinkleBell” Pelosi in “Denying-Delaying-Hindering & Obstructing” All things put forth by President Trump, Republican, or Conservative.” SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👿👎🏻👿👎🏻. 12*16*18.....

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  • James
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    Get it done folks! The President wants 5 Billion for the border wall and we need to get it done! NOW PLEASE?

    Like (11)
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  • KansasTamale
    Voted Apathetic
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Shutting down the government is a no question. Absolutely not. Too many people will be affected just before Christmas. Trump doesn’t care about anything but himself. He needs to be stopped. NO GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN

    Like (6)
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  • 1958FRO
    Voted Sad
    12/16/2018
    ···

    Trump doesn't need 5 billion for that useless wall. Since he's a "self-made" billionaire, he should pay for it himself. Mexico isn't going to pay for it and taxpayers shouldn't have to.

    Like (6)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Sad
    12/17/2018
    ···

    UNANIMOUSLY PASS THE “FIRST STEP BILL” POST HASTE Senate starts its week on Monday with a procedural vote to limit debate on the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that aims to lighten sentences for certain non-violent crimes and to incentivize low-risk prisoners' participation in recidivism reduction programs. Votes on amendments are expected in advance of a passage vote. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 12*16*18.....

    Like (6)
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  • SirRobert
    Voted Sad
    12/17/2018
    ···

    There should be no votes on bills until our elected representatives take office in two weeks!

    Like (6)
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  • KansasTamale
    Voted Apathetic
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The Criminal Justice System Definitely needs to be reformed. Lightening the sentences for non-violent crimes, particularly those connected to marijuana use & carry There is also a need to Incentivize low-risk prisoners even those that committed low level violent crimes to participate in recidivism reduction programs. Releasing all prisoners involved with marijuana would definitely help the budget. Most of these prisoners should never been in jail to start with.

    Like (6)
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  • DrCindyBean
    Voted Apathetic
    12/17/2018
    ···

    No wall. No shutdown. Take your time on the prison reform- make sure that trump/GOP has not put more money laundering in there - what is CBO cost ?

    Like (6)
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  • Sherry
    Voted Happy
    12/17/2018
    ···

    We need to stop the government shutdown. Government employees should not be pawns in Trump's sick game of king of the kill. Under no circumstances should there be any funds for border wall, and that includes the use of soldiers.

    Like (5)
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  • Michael
    12/16/2018
    ···

    The common sense approach that President Trump believes in makes logical sense. I have difficulty understanding why Dems do not possess any common sense. If Dems support the open border concept, then they should be willing to let illegal aliens stay with them. At least, buy some tents or temporary housing and let them live on their property. If you aren't willing to take that sort of action, then try using a common sense approach to immigration and border security.

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  • Morris
    Voted Apathetic
    12/16/2018
    ···

    If you don't give us funding for the wall you can leave the government shut down for the next two years or until you approve it. BUILD THE WALL! !!!!!

    Like (5)
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