THE WEEK AHEAD: January 23rd-27th, 2017

Congress is back in session this week after last week’s halt to official government business (not to be remotely construed with a halt to political business) in preparation for the inauguration. And speaking of the inauguration, of course, the power of the Executive has officially transitioned—Obama is now in possession of the title “former President” and Trump is calling the shots. What a surreal moment it is this morning.

The US Senate convenes at 3pm and “advise and consent” will dominate the day, which will be a familiar routine over coming weeks. Note for context, Democrats eliminated the fillibuster for appointments other than Supreme Court vacancies so as long as the GOP caucus sticks together, Democrats cannot stop a single nominee. That is, until Scalia’s nominated replacement heads to the hill—still a 60 vote threshold in the Senate to get cloture for that vote. We’ll see if that threshold lasts through the impending fight.

On the US House side, per the leadership calendar: “On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.” Specific bills listed at the same link.

Staying in the DC Beltway geographically but shifting topics from politics to policy, two calendars. First, I’ve pulled together the “On the Radar” list from Politico’s “The Agenda” verticals below. Second, DC LinkTank’s list of events. LinkTank is a great resources to track policy-relevant publications, thinks tanks, experts/scholars, and the many events they are involved in inside the Beltway.

Via NCSL, map below shows that most of the states are off and running with legislative sessions. A bit more info here via MultiState on the state legislative calendars, and also the graphic below (link to PDF here) comes from MultiState. Here are the dates for upcoming Gubenetorial “State of the State” addresses and the trascripts for those 26 states that have already have their State Executive deliver the address & charts the year’s agenda. My friends and former colleagues at ALEC have been summerizing the addresses and offering commentary.

Via Econoday, the economic news to watch this week. What I’ll be watching most closely is the updated CBO release of their “Budget and Economic Outlook,” which looks at the current economic situation, forecasts and projects key economic fundamentals a decade forward, and consider the implications of the national economy on the government. Data drops tomorrow (Tuesday 1-24-17). The study is important for its general rigor in projections, but also because these baselines become core underlying assumptions of legislative scoring in nearly all economic analysis by the CBO of proposed Federal legislative matters.

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