The House and Senate will be in today to consider resolutions pertaining to the lying in state of former President George H.W. Bush who passed away late Friday night. President Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Dec. 3-5.

Trade Update: President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a trade truce, with a 90 day time frame to reach an agreement on reforms, to avert higher tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on January 1st. Trump also held a ceremonial signing of the renegotiated NAFTA agreement known as the USMCA. The President told reporters that he intends to formally withdraw from NAFTA in six months. He is presenting Congress with an all or nothing decision to approve the USMCA or return to pre-NAFTA. The U.S. is still working on a deal for Mexico and Canada to earn exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs, which is seen by many as a critical step needed before Congress will consider approving the USMCA.

Appropriations Update: With the Dec. 7th funding deadline approaching, Republicans, including the President, and Democrats seem to be in agreement for some sort of short-term continuing resolution to push the appropriations debate until after the President Bush remembrance week. However, with Congress currently scheduled to leave for the Christmas/NYE recess and end of the 115th Congress on December 14th, it appears Democrats are only willing to support a weeklong extension, setting up a partial shutdown showdown with the President demanding $5 billion for a down payment on his border wall.

Leadership Update: Last week, House Democrats selected Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be their nominee for House Speaker by a 203-32 vote. Pelosi will have to win a majority of votes on the House floor to be confirmed as Speaker for the 116th Congress. Democrats also selected Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to be Majority Leader in the new Congress and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) as the Majority Whip. Republicans also named Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) as chief deputy whip for the 116th Congress.
House Republicans also selected the ranking members for the congressional committees for the new Congress, notably Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) will serve as ranking on Ways and Means, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) will serve as ranking member for the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) will serve as the head Republican on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was selected to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.