Saturday, December 2, 2017

CHPP Daily Brief: Legislative Snapshot Saturday, December 2, 2017

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief:
Legislative Snapshot
Saturday, December 2, 2017

"Stand firm, let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

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Alert: Supreme Court

Landmark Case Reaches Supreme Court

Next week, on December 5th, the United States Supreme Court will hear one of the most significant religious freedom cases of our lifetime. NOW is a critical time to be in prayer that the justices will unequivocally protect our religious liberties and rights of conscience!

Back in July of 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, was faced with a challenging decision: whether to live according to the dictates and values of his Christian faith or face a monumental backlash from the gay rights lobby and anti-faith organizations. Because of his decision to stand for what he believes, Jack was sued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Today, after years of legal battles, the lines have been drawn and his fight has become our fight . . . to protect the freedom to run our businesses, to have a voice in the court of public opinion, and to live our lives according to our deeply held-and Constitutionally protected-religious beliefs.

Though others might state otherwise, this case is not about overt discrimination, it's not about gender identity or choices, and it's not about one person telling another person how to live his or her life. This case will determine whether or not the government can force someone to violate his or her conscience and to do so in an intrusive and egregious manner. Should a Jewish baker whose mother was a Holocaust survivor be forced to decorate a cake with swastikas for a neo-Nazi activist? Should an African-American baker be forced to decorate a cake with offensive symbols for a Ku Klux Klan member? Of course not! Every American, regardless of where they are on the political spectrum, should be concerned about an unfavorable outcome.
The Supreme Court case next week will affect all of us, whether we are a person of faith or not. We have seen this play out in various ways on the national scene again and again . . . with designers, retailers, florists, bakers, and more. To learn more about this case, click here.
Please pray for an outcome that will protect our religious freedom and rights of conscience. Gather with friends, family members, colleagues, and those in your faith community, to ask for God's intervention and favor. We believe prayer can and will make a difference.
If you are able, you can also come and take a stand for faith at a rally being held on the opening day of oral arguments. Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM (arrive at 7:00 AM)
Location: U.S. Supreme Court sidewalk
1 1st St., NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

Signs will be provided, speakers will give remarks, and the attorneys representing Jack Phillips will join the rally after the oral arguments are heard. Please bring your family members and friends and join in support of Jack! For more information, please email
For Faith and Freedom,

Lea Carawan
Executive Director
Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation

> > > To view original alert, please go here.

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

Michael Flynn, who was fired as President Donald Trump's national security adviser after revelations that he lied about his communications with Russia's ambassador, pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he lied to the FBI about those conversations. "Yes, sir," the retired three-star general and former military intelligence chief said when asked in court if he wanted to plead guilty. The single charge is outlined in a criminal information unsealed Friday in a Washington, D.C., court.

Flynn initially drew scrutiny for a secret meeting that he and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, had with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak of Russia last December in Trump Tower. Agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation later asked Flynn in January whether he had talked with Kislyak about sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama in retaliation for Russia's election meddling. Flynn, who as a private citizen during those conversations was barred from negotiating with foreign powers, told the agents that sanctions hadn't come up, the Washington Post has reported. The Justice Department informed the White House that Flynn's denial contradicted the contents of phone calls intercepted by intelligence agencies, potentially exposing him to blackmail by Moscow, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed current and former U.S. officials. Flynn resigned on Feb. 13 after only 24 days on the job. In his resignation letter he apologized to the president and vice president for giving them "incomplete information" about his interactions with the Russian ambassador. (Newsmax) Read more.

- Father, we lift up Michael Flynn and his family as they go through this selective prosecution. Give him the strength and grace to bear whatever comes next, and we pray You would exonerate him if he truly did nothing wrong.

- "What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter." (Isaiah 5:20)

> > > See also:

No 'Russia collusion' in Mueller's case against Flynn - WND

It's significant that Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty Friday to the "process crime" of lying to FBI agents rather than to a conspiracy of collusion, contends a former assistant U.S. attorney. (Read more here)

Senate passes tax reform package

Senate passes major tax reform package

The U.S. Senate voted just before 2 a.m. ET Saturday to pass a sweeping tax overhaul worth roughly $1.4 trillion, putting the Trump White House a big step closer to its first major legislative victory - and many Americans closer to a tax cut.

The vote was 51-49, with Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee the only member of the GOP to side with the Democrats in opposition.

The bill is still not yet finalized. Saturday's vote means the Senate and House have passed similar tax reform plans, but negotiators from both chambers will start meeting Monday to agree on a single piece of legislation that both chambers must approve before it is sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.
. . . The House will vote on a motion to go to conference on the tax bills on Monday evening. The Senate is expected to vote on a similar measure soon after. Congress is scheduled to adjourn for its Christmas break on Dec. 15, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he will keep the House in session beyond that date if necessary to get tax reform passed. (Fox News) Read more here.
- Father God, today we praise You for this breakthrough in the Senate Chamber. We now ask for a quick resolution of the remaining differences between the two versions of this bill in the House and the Senate when they meet in Committee, and that this WILL be done before the next recess period. In Your Name, amen.
- "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant." (Psalm 135:3)

The Daily Jot

Friday, December 1, 2017

If you are delusional, raise your hand

Just finished reading a story about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delaying tax reform because he can't get enough votes. Same old story with him. Remember the last big vote was repeal of socialist healthcare and he couldn't hold his own Republicans together to vote to end something they all promised to end. We have had over a decade of a do-nothing Congress. The previous "president" remedied the situation with executive orders. The current president is working around Congress through administrative actions and executive orders. Congress, which is supposed to be the check and balance on the President and the Supreme Court, is more of "send me a check to keep my balance."

Republican or Democrat, Congress seems to be the weak link in every year's government. Inaction has resulted in turning the presidency into a near-dictatorship, where the enforcement of laws is selective and the power of law has become vested in agencies, administrative law that enforces an agenda. During the previous administration, Congress was a non-factor in budgeting (against its Constitutional duty) as well as the check on a president that refused to enforce many laws that Congress passed. Today, Congress generally prefers globalism to the "put America first" agenda of the president, and has acted accordingly-which is essentially no action.

Some people want to fix this situation with term limits. In reality, every election for a representative or senator is a term limit. So those who want term limits are trying to fix another problem with a legal solution. That problem is delusion among citizens. The definition of delusion is the holding of beliefs that are contradictory to evidence or reality. Many people complain about "Congress," but when election time rolls around, they continue to reelect their congressman. They believe it's everybody else's congressman that is the problem-not theirs. This is widely confirmed by polls. Citizens give Congress extremely poor marks, but their own congressman gets high marks. Meantime, the country declines.

The same sad commentary could be said of the church in America. There are many complaints about bad doctrine; seeker sensitive light-weight church; self indulgent, extra-biblical and emotional teaching; a lack of making disciples; and just plain nonsense that is driving our youth and others away from Christianity. Yet, when it comes down to it, people think their pastor is doing a great job. Or the pastor has set it up that no one dare question what he is doing. How many times have you heard, "Well, I don't think he is teaching the Bible as it should be taught, but he's a really nice guy"? Good citizenship in country and in the kingdom of God requires responsibility, and responsibility requires action. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Delusion is self-inflicted deception. Recognize it and act on it.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!

Bill Wilson

Recent Floor Activity

Weekly Digest of the Congressional Record

Related Headlines

House passes bill removing 'Negro' and 'Oriental' from federal regulations
Senate confirms Gregory Katsas to federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.
House passes rule requiring anti-harassment training for Congress
Senate approves major tax cuts in victory for Trump

Congress Last Week

Tax Reform

Sen. Portman on GOP tax plan's impact on middle class, businesses
Media twist tax plan studies to claim it hammers middle class
House Leaders Work on California Delegation in Tax Overhaul, McHenry Says
House Leaders May Revive Income Tax Deduction for California, McHenry Says
New Excise Tax Targets Big-Money Nonprofit Executives
Marco Rubio, Mike Lee float tying expanded child tax credit to higher corporate rate
Republicans in House seek protection for municipal bonds in tax bill
Susan Collins: Senate tax bill will include bigger medical expense deduction
These key provisions of the Senate tax bill may be a tough sell in the House

Federal Spending
Trump: 'I don't see a deal' with Democrats on keeping government open
Congress government funding fight seen spilling into 2018
House resorting to series of temporary funding bills
House conservatives won't back spending bill with ObamaCare payments

Dems object to Grassley's move on judicial nominee blue slips

Health Care Policy
Obamacare's Individual Mandate Is Repealing Itself
CBO: Insurance Market Stabilization Impact Null If Mandate Repealed
Lawmakers question HHS nominee on drug industry ties, position on the ACA
Senate tax bill accomplishes major Obamacare repeal goal
"Huge implications" of tax bill's Obamacare mandate repeal

Graham, Durbin suggest tacking immigration policy onto government spending bill
DACA state of play: Trouble in the Senate, pressure rising in the House

3 words that perfectly illustrate how out of touch Congress is on sexual harassment
Allegations of sexual misconduct roiling Congress

Pending Activity

Committee Activity

Brady Ready to Release Tax Vehicles After Overhaul
House Committee takes up NRA-backed concealed carry bill
Donald Trump Jr. to speak to House panel in Russia probe
U.S. lawmaker says House intel panel near consensus on NSA spy program
Rod Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee
Senate Ethics Committee opens probe of Senator Franken
House panel approves bill to crack down on Obama-era 'unmasking'
House intel panel advances NSA spying bill despite privacy objections
Congress Ethics chairs request more data to determine extent of sex harassment payouts

Floor Schedule

House schedules Monday vote to conference with Senate on tax bill

Senate Floor
Senate Floor Schedule
Program for Monday: The Senate convenes at 3:00 PM on Monday, December 4th and proceeds to Leader remarks.  The Senate then proceeds to an Executive Session to consider Cal. #495, Kirstjen Nielsen to be Secretary of Homeland Security.  At 5:30PM, the Senate votes on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the nomination.

Senate Committees
Senate Committee Meetings Schedule
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
Hearings to examine addressing the opioid crisis in America, focusing on prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Business meeting to consider S. 2155, to promote economic growth, provide tailored regulatory relief, and enhance consumer protections, and the nomination of Jerome H. Powell, of Maryland, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Hearings to examine the nominations of
Timothy R. Petty, of Indiana, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and
Linda Capuano, of Texas, to be Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy.
Hearings to examine the nominations of
Kenneth L. Marcus, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, and
Johnny Collett, of Kentucky, to be Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, both of the Department of Education, and
Scott A. Mugno, of Pennsylvania, to be an Assistant Secretary, and
William Beach, of Kansas, to be Commissioner of Labor Statistics, both of the Department of Labor.
Hearings to examine S. 1336, to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize hydroelectric production incentives and hydroelectric efficiency improvement incentives, S. 1455, to amend the United States Energy Storage Competitiveness Act of 2007 to direct the Secretary of Energy to establish new goals for the Department of Energy relating to energy storage and to carry out certain demonstration projects relating to energy storage, S. 1563, to authorize the Office of Fossil Energy to develop advanced separation technologies for the extraction and recovery of rare earth elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts, S. 1851, to require the Secretary of Energy to establish an energy storage research program, demonstration and deployment program, and technical assistance and grant program, S. 1876, to direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to advance energy storage deployment by reducing the cost of energy storage through research, development, and demonstration, S. 1981, to amend the Natural Gas Act to expedite approval of exports of small volumes of natural gas, and S. 2030, to deem the compliance date for amended energy conservation standards for ceiling light kits to be January 21, 2020.
Business meeting to consider S. 1118, to reauthorize the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004, S. 1901, to require global economic and political pressure to support diplomatic denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, including through the imposition of sanctions with respect to the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and any enablers of the activities of that Government, and to reauthorize the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, S. 447, to require reporting on acts of certain foreign countries on Holocaust era assets and related issues, S.Res.150, recognizing threats to freedom of the press and expression around the world and reaffirming freedom of the press as a priority in efforts of the United States Government to promote democracy and good governance, S.Res.139, condemning the Government of Iran's state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights, and the nominations of
Eric M. Ueland, of Oregon, to be an Under Secretary (Management), and
James Randolph Evans, of Georgia, to be Ambassador to Luxembourg, both of the Department of State; to be immediately followed by a hearing in SD-419 to examine the President, Congress, and shared authority over the international accords.
To receive a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters.
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
Hearings to examine America's aging workforce, focusing on opportunities and challenges.
Hearings to examine the nomination of R. D. James, of Missouri, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense.
Hearings to examine adapting to defend the Homeland against the evolving international terrorist threat.
Hearings to examine firearm accessory regulation and enforcing Federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Business meeting to consider S. 1870, to amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to secure urgent resources vital to Indian victims of crime; to be immediately followed by a hearing to examine S. 664, to approve the settlement of the water rights claims of the Navajo in Utah, to authorize construction of projects in connection therewith, and S. 1770, to approve the settlement of water rights claims of the Hualapai Tribe and certain allottees in the State of Arizona, to authorize construction of a water project relating to those water rights claims.
Hearings to examine challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters.
Hearings to examine beyond ISIS, focusing on countering terrorism, radicalization, and promoting stability in North Africa.
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
Business meeting to consider the nominations of
Mitchell Zais, of South Carolina, to be Deputy Secretary, and
James Blew, of California, to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, both of the Department of Education,
Kate S. O'Scannlain, of Maryland, to be Solicitor, and
Preston Rutledge, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary, both of the Department of Labor, and other pending nominations.
Hearings to examine Department of Defense acquisition reform efforts.
Hearings to examine implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, focusing on progress and the path forward for medical innovation.
Business meeting to consider the nominations of
Leonard Steven Grasz, of Nebraska, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit,
James C. Ho, of Texas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit,
Don R. Willett, of Texas, to be a Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,
Terry A. Doughty, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana,
Terry Fitzgerald Moorer, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama,
Mark Saalfield Norris, Sr., to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee,
Claria Horn Boom, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky,
John W. Broomes, to be United States District Judge for the District of Kansas,
Rebecca Grady Jennings, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky, and
Robert Earl Wier, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
To receive a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters.

House Floor
House Floor Schedule
On Monday, the House will meet at 6:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Motion to Go to Conference on H.R. 1, and Democrat Motion to Instruct Conferees
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 3731 – Secret Service Recruitment and Retention Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Katko / Judiciary Committee)
2) H.R. 3317 – SAFE Act (Sponsored by Rep. Dave Trott / Judiciary Committee)
3) S. 1266 – Enhancing Veteran Care Act (Sponsored by Sen. James M. Inhofe / Veterans Affairs Committee)
4) H.Res. 259 – Expressing concern and condemnation over the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis / Foreign Affairs Committee)
5) H.R. 2658 – Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel / Foreign Affairs Committee)
6) H.Con.Res. 90 – Condemning ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and calling for an end to the attacks in and an immediate restoration of humanitarian access to the state of Rakhine in Burma, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley / Foreign Affairs Committee)
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.
On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.
H.R. 38Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson / Judiciary Committee)
H.R. 3971Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Claudia Tenney / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 477Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga / Financial Services Committee)
Consideration of Legislation Making Further Appropriations for FY 2017
Additional Legislative Items are Possible
Printable PDF

Text of Bills for the Week of Dec. 4, 2017

House Committees
House Committee Meetings ScheduleWeek of December 3 - 9, 2017
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

H.R. 38 — Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (Rules Committee Print 115-45 — Showing the text of H.R. 38 and H.R. 4477 as ordered reported by the Committee on the Judiciary); H.J. Res.___The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

From Lab to Market: A Review of NSF Innovation Corps

Workplace Leave Policies: Opportunities and Challenges for Employers and Working Families"

Advancing Human Rights to Combat Extremism

U.S. Policy Toward Tibet: Access, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights

NASAs Next Four Large Telescopes

H.R. 477 — Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017; H.R. 3971 — Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Counterterrorism Efforts in Africa

The Mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Congressional Workplace: Examining Reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act

"Examining the Department of Homeland Securitys Efforts to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction."

New Names, Same Problems: The VA Medical Surgical Prime Vendor Program

Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Oversight hearing titled Transforming the Department of the Interior for the 21st Century.

Oversight of IT and Cybersecurity at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Legislative Hearing on

  • H.R. 805 (Rep. Devin Nunes), To authorize the conveyance of and remove the reversionary interest of the United States in certain lands in the City of Tulare, California. Tulare Youth Recreation and Womens History Enhancement Act;
  • H.R. 1349 (Rep. Tom McClintock), To amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the use of bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not prohibited in Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes;
  • H.R. 3371 (Rep. Doug LaMalfa), To provide for the conveyance of an obsolete Over-the-Horizon Backscatter Radar System receiving station in Modoc County, California, to promote economic development of the site. Modoc County Land Transfer and Economic Development Act of 2017; and
  • H.R. 3961 (Rep. Darren Soto), To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Kissimmee River and its tributaries in the State of Florida for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. Kissimmee River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017

Examining the Role of the Department of Energy in Energy Sector Cybersecurity

Signs and Wonders: Part One

Signs and Wonders: Part One

Magnitude 4.1 earthquake near Dover, Del.,
rattles Mid-Atlantic

A rare magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred in eastern Delaware, about six miles northeast of Dover, at 4:47 p.m. eastern Thursday. The tremor was centered in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge along the Delaware Bay.

Reports compiled the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicate the quake was felt as far west as the Washington D.C. area and as far north as Allentown, Pa., New York City and southern Connecticut.

Capital Weather Gang readers on Twitter reported feeling the tremor around Washington and particularly its northern suburbs, including Aspen Hill, Columbia, Gaithersburg, Olney, Severna Park and Silver Spring and even McLean in Virginia. There have not been reports of any damage locally as of this time.

"Whole house shook and dog went wild," tweeted @kaeperr in Gaithersburg, Md.

Dale Grant, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey, said an earthquake in this location is "exceptionally rare" and that he was not aware of any previous activity in the area but that he needed to further investigate. "We're just getting the information in now." (Washington Post) Read more.

Signs and Wonders: Part Two

Signs and Wonders: Part Two

Supermoon 2017:

Biggest, Brightest Moon of the Year to Light up the Night's Sky

Here's How to See It

The first and only visible supermoon of 2017 will occur on the night of December 3, shining up to 16 percent brighter and 7 percent larger than normal, according to National Geographic.

Because the moon's orbit of the Earth is not perfectly circular, its distance from us varies. A supermoon occurs when perigree - the closest point to Earth in the moon's orbit - coincides with a full moon. This makes the moon appear larger and brighter in the sky than usual.

Budding astronomers on the East Coast need only stay awake until 4:00am ET on December 4 to see the moon at its nearest distance to Earth - a measly 222,443 miles. During the average apogee - when the moon is furthest from the earth - this distance stretches to roughly 252,000 miles, according to NASA. (Newsweek) Read more.

A Message from NDP

Three Prayer Priorities for America in December 2017

Submitted by: Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President, National Day of Prayer

I believe in the power of praying in agreement with other believers about specific things based upon the power of God's Word. Unify with other Christ followers, churches, and ministries with these three prayer priorities for America in December 2017.

We are going to be praying for unity in America for the next several months. Yes, we did reveal in November that Pray For America: UNITY is our 2018 theme for the National Day of Prayer. We chose this theme because we believe strongly this is God's heart. Therefore, from now until and even beyond our Thursday, May 3, 2018, National Day of Prayer, we are going to call for, forward, and pray for unity in America.

Whether you pray daily or weekly for our nation, please join us in praying with the authority of the Scriptures for these three priorities for America. (Read more here)

Reference Links
Links to Congressional news and information
Prayer Guide

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