Budget Chairman To Release Process Overhaul Proposal

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R-Ga.) will unveil proposed revisions to the federal budgetary process during an event at the Brookings Institution on November 30. Price’s discussion draft is meant to guide future legislative efforts to rewrite the process by which appropriations bills are developed. Majority Staff for the Committee confirmed that Price’s proposal aims to reassert congressional authority over the budget, strengthen budget authority, increase transparency in the appropriations process, better control automatic spending, and counter bias toward consistently increased spending. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is also expected to release more details about his plans for budget process reform during the next Congress in the coming weeks.

Democratic Leadership Asks CMS Not to Finalize Part B Proposal

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have written to the administration requesting that they refrain from finalizing the proposed Medicare Part B drug demonstration. Should the White House decide to finalize the rule as a symbolic measure aimed at reducing drug prices, Congress or the Trump Administration would almost certainly decide to block its implementation or undo the regulation altogether.

President’s Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Judge

A federal judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction halting the Labor Department’s overtime rule nationwide. The rule would double the salary threshold under which workers receive time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours per week. The rule was previously scheduled to take effect on December 1. The Administration has estimated that the rule could affect as many as 200,000 hospital employees and 300,000 non-hospital health care providers. While the appeals process may continue until after the inauguration of President-Elect Trump, the new administration could instead move to reverse the regulation.

Pelosi Proposes Changes to House Democratic Leadership Structure

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has outlined a set of proposals aimed at expanding and diversifying leadership of the Democratic Caucus. In a letter to her colleagues, Pelosi proposes to make the chairman of Democratic Policy and Communications an elected position that must be filled by a member who has served less than five terms. She would also revise the Policy and Communications leadership to be comprised of the chairman, along with three elected co-chairs. Once vacant, Pelosi proposes that the elected position of Assistant Leader would be opened up only to members who have served fewer than three terms. Pelosi also outlines the creation of five regional vice chairs on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, elected by members of each region. Finally, Pelosi suggests the creation of a vice ranking member position on Congressional committees (or vice-chair, should Democrats regain the majority), that would be filled by members having served on each Committee for four terms or less. House Democrats would need to vote on her proposals. Pelosi is currently being challenged for the Minority Leader position by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio). House Democratic leadership elections will be held on November 30.

Trump Administration Staff Announcements

President-Elect Donald Trump named two more members of his Administration last week. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was asked to serve as Trump’s next ambassador to the United Nations. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was elected as Governor in 2011. She is the youngest current governor in the United States. She previously served in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Betsy DeVos has been tapped for the position of Secretary of Education. DeVos is a Michigan Republican activist and philanthropist. She is the former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, and is currently the chairman of The Windquest Group, a Michigan-based investment management company. Both roles are subject to Senate confirmation.

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