House to take up voting rights, government funding this month

House to take up voting rights, government funding this month
© Greg Nash

The House is expected to take up bills over the next two weeks that would tackle voting rights and avoid a government shutdown, House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Democrats aim to impeach Trump by Christmas The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Dems shouldn't hold public hearings MORE (D-Md.) announced Friday.

Hoyer said the House plans to take up legislation sponsored by Rep. Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellHouse to take up voting rights, government funding this month Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive Sunday shows - Next impeachment phase dominates MORE (D-Ala.) that would create a new formula to determine which states and localities with histories of voting rights violations have to clear any election changes with the Justice Department.

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The bill, advanced along party lines last month by the Judiciary Committee, comes in response to a 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down the Voting Rights Act's formula that set the rules for obtaining federal pre-clearance.

"This legislation will restore the Voting Rights Act to its full strength after it was undermined by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013. Every American should be able to exercise their right to vote," Hoyer said in a letter to colleagues Friday.

Hoyer also said the House is expected to consider a continuing resolution (CR) the week of Nov. 18. Current funding expires on Nov. 21.

Lawmakers have made little progress funding the government through fiscal 2020, which ends on Sept. 30, despite reaching a bipartisan budget deal over the summer, meaning that another stopgap measure is likely this month.

Congressional leaders are eyeing a CR that would last into December, with the hopes of enacting a longer-term spending deal before year's end.

"I remain hopeful that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year," Hoyer wrote.

Hoyer also said the House is set to take up legislation next week to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which assists in financing U.S. exports. The current stopgap spending measure that keeps the federal government funded through Nov. 21 includes a temporary authorization for the Export-Import Bank.

The legislation slated for a House floor vote next week would authorize the Export-Import Bank for 10 years.

House Democrats' bill to help lower prescription drug prices is not likely to hit the floor until December as they await a final cost analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Hoyer said.

December is also when when Democrats might finish their impeachment inquiry and consider articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE over his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE.

"The House is continuing to do important work for the people, even as our committees continue the impeachment inquiry. We can, and we will, continue to make progress on critical issues while upholding our Constitutional duty," Hoyer wrote.