Bloomberg Government’s Hill Watch Examines Agendas Upended By Pandemic

Senator John Thune to Discuss What’s Happening on Capitol Hill in May 28 Webcast

WASHINGTON, DC (May 21, 2020) — Bloomberg Government today announced that its annual Spring Hill Watch event will be held May 28 as a live webcast. The event corresponds with the recently issued spring edition of Hill Watch, Bloomberg Government’s semi-annual, in-depth look at the Capitol Hill agenda. Hill Watch delivers analysis of and the outlook for legislative initiatives in both chambers of Congress with coverage of legislation on a full range of issues including coronavirus relief, budget and appropriations, education, defense, taxation, and transportation, among others.

The webcast event on May 28 will be held from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST and will include a live moderated discussion and in-depth look at what’s happening on the Hill with Senator John Thune (R-SD). For more information and to register, visit https://about.bgov.com/event/spring-2020-hill-watch-live-with-senator-john-thune-r-sd/.

“In order to manage the response to Covid-19, lawmakers’ priorities have changed dramatically from what they were at the beginning of the year,” said Heather Rothman, news director, Bloomberg Government. “This year’s Spring Hill Watch is an exhaustive look by dozens of Capitol Hill’s most talented editors and reporters at how Congress will balance coronavirus relief with other key legislation on important issues.”

These are among the issues that will be front and center on Capitol Hill in the months ahead:

Covid-19 Relief: The threat posed by the coronavirus has upended congressional operations and lawmakers’ agendas, forcing House and Senate leaders to put much of what they planned on the backburner while they focus on the next steps to curb health risks and restore the economy. Both parties have staked out positions on the next recovery packages that lawmakers expect to approve this summer to help hard-hit businesses, state and local governments, and individual taxpayers.

Government Spending: Even before the pandemic, some appropriators said it would be difficult to finish all 12 annual appropriations bills needed to avoid a shutdown before October because of the distractions of a presidential election year. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) still wants the House to consider regular fiscal 2021 spending bills in June, Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hasn’t discussed any timetable for the bills coming out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Elections: Legislation introduced in the House and Senate would expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states and reimburse states for all additional costs in administering elections during the coronavirus pandemic. There has been no action yet in either chamber, but President Trump has said increasing voting by mail, as favored by Democrats, would invite election fraud and harm Republicans

Defense Authorization: Leaders also still plan to advance the annual rewrite of the National Defense Authorization Act. Markup plans for bills developed by Senate Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) have slipped but both are planning to have measures ready for floor consideration this summer.

A copy of Hill Watch is available for complimentary download at https://about.bgov.com/reports/spring-2020-hill-watch/.

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