McConnell lays out agenda as House bills pile up

Senate Republicans are coming under fire from Democrats over the pile-up of House-passed bills and realizing they need to take action beyond confirming President Trump’s nominees.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to get the appropriations process — which started off well last year and then stalled — back on track and rekindle talk of an infrastructure package, despite broad pessimism among his GOP colleagues about finding a way to pay for it.

Republicans say they expect movement on the National Defense Authorization Act, reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and an overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program.

McConnell, however, has declined to commit to action on GOP-supported bills that prove risky, like the annual Senate budget resolution, legislation to curb Trump’s ability to impose tariffs, and a measure that would make minor changes to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

He also won’t say whether Herman Cain, Trump’s pick for a Federal Reserve post, will come up for a floor vote. Four Senate Republicans have said they’re inclined to oppose Cain, which would leave him without enough votes if Democrats stand united in opposition.
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