Congress returns from its two week spring “district work period.” The Senate will be voting on nominations. The major event of the week takes place in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which will hold a hearing and vote on CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State. Senator Rand Paul has come out in opposition to Pompeo because his hawkish views contradict the “America First” platform President Trump campaigned on. Senator Paul is also opposing Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director because of her hawkish views and her support for torture.

The House will be in session Tuesday through Friday. The big event of the week for the House is a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. This amendment is not going to get the two thirds necessary to pass and even if it did it would be DOA in the Senate. And even if it passed the Senate it would still need to get two-thirds of the states to ratify it.

So why have the vote? It couldn’t be an attempt to give some Republicans cover for voting for the $1.3 billion dollar Omnibus spending bill could it?

The House will also consider some bills modified in Dodd-Frank, including H.R. 4790 which exempts community banks from the Volcker Rule and makes the Federal Reserve sole regulator of the rule.

Read about the Volcker Rule here.

The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension including:

  1. H.Res. 128– Condemns Ethiopian government’s recent killing of peaceful protesters and calls on the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop a strategy to promote democracy and calls on State and Treasury Departments to apply sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses in Ethiopia.

  2. H.R.  2219– Requires creation of new anti-money laundering programs to target human trafficking.