This week: Attorney general vote, cybersecurity top agenda

The Senate may finally take up Loretta Lynch’s long-delayed nomination for attorney general this week upon passage of a human trafficking prevention bill, while the House will focus on cybersecurity.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, spearheaded by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has been held up since early March because of a fight over abortion. Democrats worry that the legislation as written would expand the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of federal funds on abortions, to cover a victims fund.

But senators on both sides of the aisle suggested late last week that they were closing in on a deal. Meanwhile, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he was “hopeful” senators could vote on the legislation and any amendments early next week.

{mosads}The Senate could also take a long-delayed vote in the coming days on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general. Democrats have blasted McConnell for refusing to bring up her nomination, which has been pending since November.

But McConnell has held his ground, requiring lawmakers to pass the anti-trafficking proposal before moving on to the nomination. 

Lynch’s confirmation vote may be one the closest in recent years. But with five Republicans pledging to back her, she’s likely to be confirmed.


After senators tackle the trafficking legislation as well as the Lynch nomination, McConnell said they would take up legislation allowing Congress to weigh in on a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), reached a compromise on legislation spearheaded by the Tennessee Republican.

Under their deal, Congress would get 30 days to pass a resolution of disapproval on any deal. Negotiators are currently working to finalize an agreement before June 30.

President Obama, who has long threatened to veto the bill, reversed course this week and said he would sign the new compromise if it wasn’t changed significantly.


The House will vote on two bills to promote sharing of cyber threat information between the federal government and the private sector.

The two measures would grant companies liability protection when sharing cyber threat data with federal agencies.

Consideration of the bills comes amid high-profile security breaches at major U.S. companies over the last year, such as the hack on Sony Pictures.

Proponents of the legislation argue that the government and private sector should communicate about cyber threats in order to defend against hacks. But privacy advocates have expressed concern that the measures could offer yet another way for the National Security Agency to collect sensitive data about Americans.

Below is a day-by-day breakdown of the week ahead:


The House will convene for a pro forma session at 2 p.m. No votes are expected.

The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. for leadership remarks. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on George Hanks to be a U.S. district judge for the southern district of Texas.


The House will convene at noon for morning hour debate and 2 p.m. to debate a series of noncontroversial bills under suspension of the rules. Members will also consider H.R. 1195, which would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director to establish a Small Business Advisory board to consult the agency on small business practices. First votes of the week will be at 6:30 p.m.

The Senate will continue consideration of the anti-human trafficking bill. The chamber is expected to recess from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. for the weekly party caucus luncheons.


The House will turn to the first of the cyber bills, H.R. 1560.

The Senate will likely still be on the human trafficking bill or have turned to the Lynch nomination.


The House will complete the second cybersecurity bill, H.R. 1731, as its last agenda item for the week.

The Senate may vote on Lynch’s nomination before leaving town for the week. Senators may also begin consideration of the Iran bill.

Neither chamber is expected to be in session on Friday.

– Cory Bennett contributed.

Tags cybersecurity Human trafficking Iran Loretta Lynch
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