This week: Lawmakers return to mourn George H.W. Bush
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Lawmakers are returning this week as Washington mourns former President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and head of one of America’s most prominent political families.

Former President George W. Bush announced his father’s death in a statement Friday night, describing him as "a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for.”

Bush, who passed away at 94, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda starting on Monday, with the public able to pay their respects through 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to a joint statement from congressional leadership. A bicameral arrival ceremony is expected to be held at 5 p.m. on Monday evening.

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Remembrances poured in over the weekend ahead of the formal start of ceremonies that are expected to dominate much of Washington this week as the political world pays respects to Bush, who also served as director of the CIA and vice president.

“George Bush built his life on the premise that loving and serving America was simply a citizen’s duty. He fulfilled that duty time and time again, as completely as anyone could. His legacy will rank among the most distinguished statesmen our nation has ever produced,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement on Saturday.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE ordered flags at half mast for 30 days and, in a proclamation, declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. U.S. stock markets will also be closed that day.

Trump, speaking to reporters in Argentina over the weekend, called Bush a “wonderful man” and said he had spoken with former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

"He was a very fine man. I met him on a number of occasions," Trump said. "He was a terrific guy and he’ll be missed. He lived a full life and an exemplary life."

A memorial service is expected to be held Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate GOP, House Democrats begin battle over trillion bill Melania Trump announces plans to renovate White House Rose Garden Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask MORE are both expected to attend the funeral.  

Bush’s casket will then be flown back to Texas, where he is expected to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, beginning on Wednesday evening. A funeral service will be held at the church on Thursday at 10 a.m., according to a schedule released by the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region.

Bush is expected to be laid to rest Thursday on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Bush, according to a release from the university, will be buried at the family’s plot alongside his wife, Barbara, who passed away in April, and their daughter Robin, who passed away in 1953 at age 3.

Government funding

Bush’s death has increased the chance that lawmakers will use a continuing resolution (CR) to fund part of the government past the Dec. 7 deadline, as Washington focuses this week on mourning him.

Lawmakers have a matter of days if they wanted to get a deal on a yearlong funding agreement, after they missed the Sept. 30 end-of-the-fiscal-year deadline for seven out of the 12 individual appropriations bills.

Trump opened the door to a stopgap bill over the weekend, saying he is willing to accept an extension of up to two weeks, potentially pushing the shutdown fight up against the Christmas holiday.

"If they come to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it," Trump said, referring to lawmakers.

Trump is expected to meet with Senate Democratic leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers push Trump to restore full funding for National Guards responding to pandemic Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks MORE (Calif.) on Tuesday, according to a source familiar. Though a topic of discussion hasn’t formally been set, they are likely to talk about the looming government funding deadline.

But both sides have remained far apart on a protracted fight on funding for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, increasing their posturing and blame-gaming as they head toward Friday’s deadline.

Schumer has said Trump has two options that could garner the 60 votes needed to pass a funding bill in the Senate: Accept the $1.6 billion that is included in the Senate’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill or pass a CR for the department, which would give Trump $1.3 billion for the border.

"If President Trump wants to throw a temper tantrum and shut down some departments and agencies over Christmas, that's certainly within his power, but he has two more sensible options available to him. It would be a shame if the country suffered because of a Trump temper tantrum. It's the president's choice," Schumer said late last week.

But Republicans believe Trump would veto a bill that only included $1.6 billion, with the White House instead pushing for $5 billion, in line with the House DHS bill. Republicans have floated a two-year plan, which has been rejected by Democrats, that would give Trump $2.5 billion in funding for barriers and border security for both 2019 and 2020.

Saudi Arabia

The Senate is scrambling to an all-out brawl over a resolution that would end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen.

The chamber took a small, but significant, step last week when they voted to advance the resolution — spearheaded by Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee Democrats try to force Trump to boost medical supplies production Overnight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration MORE (D-Conn.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Connecticut in final presidential primary of year Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris MORE (I-Vt.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Overnight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure MORE (R-Utah) — out of the Foreign Relations Committee and to the full Senate.

The resolution requires Trump to withdraw any troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days. But some senators are expected to offer changes forcing lawmakers to figure out what a final bill will look like as they prepare to take a next step of bringing the resolution up for debate — and a potentially raucous floor drama.

Supporters of the resolution and leadership are trying to negotiate a deal that would limit the number of amendments that get a vote or at least force them to be related to Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, senators are predicting a marathon floor session akin to the infamous vote-a-rama that accompany budget resolutions, where any member can force a vote on any amendment on any issue.

“Absent a consent agreement, there is a potential for unlimited vote-a-rama where we could be voting on anything from immigration reform to criminal justice reform,” said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThree pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, adding the free-wheeling votes could be “rather confusing.”

Two Senate aides said Friday that they had not yet reached a deal; one source predicted an agreement could be reached Monday.

Several Republican senators voted to advance the resolution last week because of the message it sent to the administration, instead of its actual substance. Instead, they are expected to try to substitute in their own bills.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama MORE (R-Tenn.), who is retiring after this Congress, is working to draft a closely held amendment that, he says, would have “teeth” but let Congress “more fully express” itself.  

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick Republicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement MORE (R-S.C.) says he is planning to offer a substitute proposal, which he introduced as a stand-alone bill with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), that would require sanctions within 30 days on anyone involved in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey Oct. 2, including “any official of the government of Saudi Arabia or member of the royal family” determined to be involved.

It would also require a report within 30 days on the kingdom’s human rights record. And to help address the Yemen crisis, the bill would suspend weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit the U.S. military from refueling Saudi coalition aircraft.

Nominations

The Senate is working through three additional nominations this week.

Senators are expected to take a procedural vote on Monday night on Bernard McNamee’s nomination to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Senate also needs to take final confirmation votes on Jonathan Kobes’s nomination to be a judge for the 8th Circuit and Kathleen Kraninger to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Senate kicked a final vote on Thomas Farr’s district judge nomination to this week after Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeLincoln Project expands GOP target list, winning Trump ire Trump's contempt for advice and consent Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  MORE (R-Okla.) left D.C. for family reasons. But Farr’s nomination is now effectively in limbo after Sens. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Lobbyists see wins, losses in GOP coronavirus bill Revered civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis lies in state in the Capitol MORE (R-S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) said they would join all 49 Democrats and oppose him.

Their opposition leaves Farr without the 50 votes needed to let Vice President Pence break a tie and confirm him. Scott, the only African-American in the Senate Republican caucus, appeared to seal Farr’s fate late Thursday afternoon when he announced his opposition to Trump’s pick.

Farr’s nomination drew intense opposition from Democrats and their outside group allies, who warn that, if confirmed, he’ll use his position as a federal judge to rule against minorities.

Scott pointed to a 1990s Justice Department investigation into Jesse Helms’s Senate campaign for mailing postcards to more than 120,000 North Carolinians, most of whom were black voters, suggesting they were ineligible to vote and could be prosecuted for voter fraud.

The Washington Post published a memo last week that outlined the Justice Department's case. Scott cited the memo as influential to his decision to oppose Farr.

"This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns," Scott said in a statement.

The White House hasn’t yet indicated if it will withdraw Farr’s nomination, as it did after Scott opposed Ryan Bounds’s circuit court nomination.

House Resolutions

The House is slated to vote on four resolutions this week. The first, introduced by Rep. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastMost Black women since 2004 running for office this year Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers House Republicans push back against proxy voting MORE (R-Fla.), is aimed at condemning the government of Bashar Assad “and its backers for their continued support of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.”

The second calls of the government of Burma to release two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years in prison for investigating the country’s military's attacks on civilians. The measure was sponsored Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotHouse Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections Bottom line The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks MORE (R-Ohio).

Del. Madeleine BordalloMadeleine Mary BordalloThis week: Lawmakers return to mourn George H.W. Bush Guam New Members 2019 Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE’s (D-Guam) resolution aimed at “reaffirming the strong commitment of the United States to the countries and territories of the Pacific Islands region” is also slated to be taken up on the floor.

Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceGil Cisneros to face Young Kim in rematch of 2018 House race in California The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE’s (R-Calif.) measure recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea’s role in stabilizing and providing security in the region is also expected to be taken up in the lower chamber.

Farm Bill

The House could vote on a final version of a massive must-pass farm bill as soon as this week.

Lawmakers at the center of the negotiations announced late last week that they had an agreement "in principle" on the legislation after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations that pushed the bill past the Sept. 30 expiration date for the current farm bill.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do," Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsMcConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Kan.) and Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (R-Texas) and Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Senators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list MORE (D-Mich.) and Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonPeterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district House approves statehood for DC in 232-180 vote House to pass sweeping police reform legislation MORE (D-Minn.), the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committee, respectively, said in a joint statement.

Conaway told reporters late last week that he wants a vote in the House before Dec. 7 to avoid crashing into the fight over funding the government.

In a blow to conservatives, the final agreement reportedly will not include new work requirements in the food stamps program and tighten overall eligibility on who can qualify for the federal assistance. The House-passed farm bill would have required all adults aged 18 to 59 to work at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in a training program in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Democrats were adamantly against the changes to SNAP, arguing the Senate-passed version did not include the changes and they could be detrimental to the safety net relied upon by low-income earners.

"You don’t always get everything that you want,” Rep. Glenn ThompsonGlenn (G.T.) W. ThompsonWill the next coronavirus relief package leave essential workers behind? Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill MORE (R-Pa.) told Erie News Now. “But this is a pretty darn good farm bill.” 

The final version of a bill is expected to include a provision, pushed for by McConnell, that would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Lawmakers allowed the farm bill to lapse at the end of September largely over disagreements on the welfare reform language.