With the Senate Focusing on Impeachment, There Will Be Limited Movement on Other Priorities.
- Impeachment and the Senate Calendar. This week, the House will begin the process to appoint impeachment managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. This sets the stage for an impeachment trial in the Senate, which could begin as early as this week. When the trial begins, all other activity in the Senate will essentially be at a standstill. Unlike in the House, where only the key committees of jurisdiction were involved with impeachment, in the Senate, all 100 members are engaged in the process. Healthcare policy outcomes in 2020 are directly related to the political aftermath of the impeachment trial in the Senate.
- Texas v. Azar. Last week, there was movement on the Texas v. Azar The Trump administration and Republican-led states responded to the request from Democratic attorneys general to expedite the case to the Supreme Court. As expected, they did not argue for the case to be expedited. We now wait for the Supreme Court to make its decision to take up the case. If they decide to hear the case, will they decide to expedite it? Only four justices need to agree to take up the case. However, five must agree to expedite it. If the Supreme Court takes up and expedites the case, which they could decide very soon, it would change the political calculus, ultimately making the issue far more consequential this year, as ruling would be issued prior to the 2020 election.
- Opioids in the Spotlight. This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold the hearing “A Public Health Emergency: State Efforts to Curb the Opioid Crisis.” During this hearing, we listen for signals if members are interested in further pursuing a bipartisan issue like this, which could be possible during an election year.
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