With the 2016 Presidential Election complete, the Campaign for Home Energy Assistance has turned its attention to strategizing its advocacy and outreach efforts in light of the incoming Administration and the 115th Congress. Changes in leadership impact the future of many programs, including LIHEAP. Below is our expert assessment on the current environment in which we will push for continued–and increased–funding for the program.
LIHEAP: Current State of Play
The week of November 28, 2016 the House returns Tuesday, convening at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, House Democrats hold their leadership elections. Current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has a challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.
President-elect Donald J. Trump on November 29, 2016 announced his intent to nominate Chairman of the House Budget Committee Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Senate convened at 3 p.m. on November 28.
- View the Post-Election Targeted Outreach List (PDF)
Election 2016 – Overview
The 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections saw a shift in power in the President’s seat with the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States and continued Republican control in the House and Senate.
Control of the presidency, House and Senate gives Republican leadership an opportunity to set the legislative agenda, frame policy, and shape the message for the nation for the coming two, and possibly four years.
The election results dictate three distinct power centers, including:
- President-elect Trump who will want to make his mark on the office and set an agenda that addresses the needs of the constituencies who helped elect him and not necessarily the typical party doctrine.
- Congressional House and Senate Republicans who are expected to play a role in helping shape the legislative priorities of President-elect Trump.
- Democrats in the Senate who hold 47 seats and will be an important force in working with the new President or using the rules of the Senate as a tool of obstruction.
President-Elect Trump’s First 100 Days
President-elect Trump is expected to pursue an aggressive agenda in his first 100-days in office.
Trump released a video outlining a number of executive actions he could take on day one, including:
- Withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement
- Canceling restrictions on the development of American energy
- Protecting American infrastructure from cyber and other attacks
- Directing the Department of Labor to investigate visa abuse
- Establishing a rule that, for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.
In addition to those executive actions, some other First 100 Days priorities that may require congressional action as well, include:
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act;
- Revoking federal regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States;
- Reengaging in discussions to allow the Keystone pipeline to proceed;
- Tax Reform;
Expectations of Congress
Congress will return on November 14, 2016 to engage in a lame-duck session. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) indicated President-elect Donald Trump will help determine the timing and scope of a potential lame-duck session.
Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations: Recently, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers announced that the House and Senate would not move forward with appropriations bills in 2016, and would instead take up a Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend government funding through March 31, 2017. The current CR expires December 9.
Overall spending levels were established in the two-year budget deal passed last December, so lame-duck spending battles would be over the agency and program-level details. House appropriators drafted 11 of the 12 bills and the House has passed seven. The Senate drafted eight of the 12 bills then debated none of them after a fight over amendments.
Agenda for the 115th Congress
Congress will convene the new session on January 3, 2017.
The Campaign for Home Energy Assistance will continue to update its members and partners on progress on Capitol Hill and important developments regarding LIHEAP. For more information about the Campaign’s advocacy efforts, contact Clara Pratte at CPratte@btbv.com.
To view the full memo as a downloadable PDF, click here.