Washington Weekly
Jul. 20, 2015

Last Week

The House passed an $8 billion highway reauthorization "patch" that would extend the current set of programs until December. The current authorization is set to expire July 31, and now moves to the Senate, which will act on legislation this week. In addition, the House passed legislation opposed by the White House that would improve the government controlled flow of water in California through the Central Valley and restrain regulatory impediments bringing harm to the agricultural community. The Senate spent the week debating and eventually passing an overhaul to the education law known as No Child Left Behind.More

This Week

The Senate will move to pass a fix to the highway funding measure that is set to expire at the end of the month. It is also expected to debate the president's recently announced agreement with Iran. The White House needs to keep 34 Democrats with it to sustain a likely veto of what ends up passing out of the Senate in disapproval of the agreement. The House will consider a patent reform bill, a coal industry bill, and also food labeling legislation addressing genetically engineered food or plants.More

Item of Interest

We've heard from a number of members regarding concerns over the recently announced overtime regulations by the Department of Labor. This week, ASA will be taking part in a roundtable discussion by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy on this subject, as well as writing the DOL to request an extension to the upcoming Sept. 6 deadline for public comments. More

Outlook: Highway Bill Deadline Means No Early Recess
National Journal
After three minutes of railing for reauthorizing the government bank that subsidizes the financing of U.S. exports, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer tugged his ear and sheepishly asked the Republican leader who controls the chamber's schedule a simple, innocent question, in part because 20 of his colleagues had heard rumors and prodded him to ask it: Are we getting out of work early?More

White House Backs House GOP Highway Fix
The Hill
President Barack Obama will sign an $8 billion highway patch that was voted on July 17 by the House, the White House said, despite an earlier veto hint by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. House Republicans unveiled an approximately $8 billion highway patch July 15 that would extend federal transportation spending until December as a July 31 deadline for expiration of the current highway bill looms large in Washington. More

Kevin McCarthy: California Can Grow Greater Still if we're Smart about Water
USA Today
California is at a crossroads. A historic drought now into its fourth year confronts us with the choice of either measured decline or renewed prosperity. Will we concede that we have reached our ecological and technological limits? Or will we face this challenge as generations of Californians have before us with the perseverance and innovation unique to the Golden State?More

Hillary: I'm 'Examining' Obamacare's Cadillac Tax
Politico
In her highly anticipated speech on the economy Monday, Hillary Clinton was heavy on rhetoric and short on specifics, promising to reveal her actual policy proposals in the weeks ahead. But, she also dropped a not-so-subtle hint about a big one. In a questionnaire for the American Federation of Teachers, which endorsed her this week, Clinton noted that the so-called "Cadillac tax" levied under Obamacare is one area she is "examining."More