Architect of the Capitol

Talks Over Keeping the Government Open Continue

Planned Parenthood is part of those discussions, and also is in the spotlight as a panel tackles two bills to strengthen enforcement of existing abortion laws.

While the on­go­ing Ir­an de­bate and the battle over keep­ing the gov­ern­ment open bey­ond Sept. 30 con­tin­ue, a hand­ful of com­mit­tees and the White House will press for­ward on oth­er fronts this week. Here’s what’s on tap:


The fight over what to do about Planned Par­ent­hood will con­tin­ue, both with­in com­mit­tee and in talks about a spend­ing bill to keep the gov­ern­ment open. On Thursday, the En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee’s Health Sub­com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing to dis­cuss two bills that would strengthen en­force­ment of ex­ist­ing abor­tion laws. The com­mit­tee, along with two oth­ers, is in­vest­ig­at­ing Planned Par­ent­hood after the re­lease of a series of con­tro­ver­sial videos over the sum­mer. Re­pub­lic­ans will con­tin­ue to de­bate wheth­er Planned Par­ent­hood fund­ing should be in­cluded in the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion. 

In the Sen­ate, the Health, Edu­ca­tion, Labor, and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee will tackle a much-less con­tro­ver­sial top­ic, elec­tron­ic health re­cords, in a hear­ing Wed­nes­day. And on Thursday, the com­mit­tee’s Primary Health and Re­tire­ment sub­com­mit­tee will re­ceive a pro­gress re­port from an FDA of­fi­cial on the im­ple­ment­a­tion of bi­osim­il­ars.


En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency ad­min­is­trat­or Gina Mc­Carthy pulls triple duty this week to dis­cuss her agency’s role in a min­ing-waste spill that pol­luted two Col­or­ado rivers. First Mc­Carthy ap­pears be­fore sep­ar­ate hear­ings of the Sen­ate En­vir­on­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee and the Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on In­di­an Af­fairs on Wed­nes­day. Then she will testi­fy on Thursday along­side In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary Sally Jew­ell—whose agency is hold­ing an in­de­pend­ent in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the spill—at a joint hear­ing of the House Over­sight and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tees.

Re­pub­lic­ans on the House Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee will bring in Louisi­ana’s Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate del­eg­a­tion for a hear­ing on how fed­er­al policies have im­pacted en­ergy pro­duc­tion in the Gulf of Mex­ico, part of chair­man Rob Bish­op’s push to ex­pand off­shore drilling.


The Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing on re­form­ing the Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Pri­vacy Act on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Sen. Patrick Leahy and oth­er law­makers have been push­ing to amend the law to re­quire po­lice to ob­tain a war­rant to read emails and oth­er di­git­al in­form­a­tion.


Pres­id­ent Obama heads to Des Moines, Iowa, for Edu­ca­tion Sec­ret­ary Arne Duncan’s an­nu­al back-to-school bus tour Monday. He’ll host a town hall with high school ju­ni­ors and seni­ors, along with their par­ents, on col­lege ac­cess and af­ford­ab­il­ity.

After host­ing the NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball cham­pi­ons last week, Obama will have the Uni­versity of Con­necti­c­ut Huskies, the wo­men’s cham­pi­ons, at the White House on Tues­day. That af­ter­noon, he’ll host Fe­lipe VI and Let­iz­ia, the king and queen of Spain, to re­in­force “the strong and en­dur­ing ties between the Amer­ic­an and Span­ish people,” press sec­ret­ary Josh Earn­est told re­port­ers Fri­day.

Obama will vis­it wounded ser­vice mem­bers at Wal­ter Reed Na­tion­al Mil­it­ary Med­ic­al Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day, and will at­tend a DSCC event in the Wash­ing­ton area on Thursday. On Fri­day, he’ll at­tend meet­ings at the White House, and on Sat­urday, he’ll de­liv­er re­marks at the Con­gres­sion­al Black Caucus Found­a­tion’s 45th An­nu­al Le­gis­lat­ive Con­fer­ence Phoenix Awards Din­ner in Wash­ing­ton.

Caitlin OwensBrendan SassoRebecca Nelson and Jason Plautz contributed to this article.