Former FBI Director James Comey could testify as early as next week about his firing, President Trump and all things Russia, which would be the topper in a week filled with several other highly anticipated events.
House Government and Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday and invited Comey, although it’s not clear he will appear. If he misses that date, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Friday that Comey had accepted his invitation to testify, which is expected to happen sometime after Memorial Day.
But Congress has more to do than probe Trump’s May 9 firing of Comey and whether that was done to hinder the FBI’s examination of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Lawmakers will also start delving into President Trump’s detailed budget proposal for fiscal 2018 at a Wednesday hearing.
Trump’s fiscal budget request is expected to arrive in Congress on Tuesday.
The proposal, which augments a less-detailed budget provided by Trump in March, includes language to leverage private funding for a major infrastructure proposal and the creation of a $25 billion paid family leave plan.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, will answer questions about the plan at a House Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday. Mulvaney met with Trump about the budget on Friday, before Trump departed for an overseas trip.
The budget will call for $200 billion in federal infrastructure spending over a decade, more money for defense, and cuts to domestic spending.
In the meantime, Republican senators will meet again to try to make progress toward a consensus bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Some of their discussion could change depending on how the Congressional Budget Office scores the House bill, which they have largely discarded so far in favor of starting from scratch with their own measure.
The Congressional Budget Office will release an updated score on the House bill, the American Health Care Act, to reflect changes the GOP made on their third attempt to pass the legislation.
The new score, expected Wednesday, will provide the cost of instituting a waiver system to let states opt out of certain insurance mandates, as well as the price tag for adding more money for high-risk pools to cover patients with pre-existing conditions.
Republican leaders downplayed a report that the House would have vote a second time on their bill if the CBO determines it does not reduce the deficit enough to qualify for a budgetary tool called reconciliation, which would allow the Senate to pass it with just 51 votes instead of 60.
“This is a technical issue,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday. “I have all the confidence in the world that the CBO score will meet the reconciliation number and will move on to the Senate.”
Beyond those major issues, the Senate won’t vote on any major legislation, but will take up a few Trump administration nominations. Senators will vote Monday to confirm Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as Trump’s ambassador to China, and on Tuesday, they will vote to advance the nomination of John Sullivan, to be deputy secretary of state.
The House will take up several bills aimed at expanding protections against child sexual abuse.
And throughout the week, lawmakers may cast an eye toward Trump’s first overseas trip as president, to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome.
Comey, budget and healthcare collide in Congress next week