This Week: Flint Aid, Immigration Top Agenda

A package to provide assistance to the city of Flint, Mich., after residents suffered from water contamination and the fate of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration will be the focus of this week in Congress.

Senators are expressing hope that they’ll be able to revive a long-stalled energy bill and deal on aid to Flint, Mich., this week.

But hurdles remain in bringing the bills back onto the Senate floor. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) put a hold on the package over concerns about a GOP-push for an amendment to expand an offshore drilling revenue-sharing program.

“They’re trying to start the process of drilling off of Florida,” Nelson told reporters late last week. “For 40 years, I’ve fought to keep rigs off of the state of Florida and I will not let that happen here to satisfy Sen. [Bill] Cassidy.”
Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, is offering the amendment.

Unless Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) files cloture on the two bills, supporters will need unanimous consent to bring the measures up on the Senate floor.

Nelson, who is supportive of the energy bill, is one of two senators who have a hold.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is also blocking the Flint aid deal, though Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Gary Peters (D-Mitch.) expressed optimism that they would quickly be able to find an agreement.

Immigration

The House will take a step toward inserting itself in the debate over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration before the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers are expected to vote either Wednesday or Thursday on a resolution authorizing the Speaker to file an amicus brief on behalf of the full House in the case before the Supreme Court regarding the legality of President Obama’s 2014 actions to shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation.

By Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney for The Hill
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