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Federal Legisaltive Update - Week of October 10, 2023

Congress is in recess this week, with the Senate and House returning on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Last Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted as Speaker of the House. His Speakership lasted only nine months and ended after fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) filed a motion to vacate the Speaker. The vote passed 216-210 when eight Republicans joined all Democrats to remove the Speaker. Following the removal of Speaker McCarthy, Rep. Patrick McHenry was selected as Speaker pro tempore until a new Speaker was elected. Here is why all of this is important. With no Speaker of the House, the House of Representatives cannot pass any legislation. Although, some GOP authorities say that the House may pass legislation if they deem it necessary. The 45-day CR Congress passed will expire on November 17, making time limited for Congress to resolve differences and pass long-term government spending. The Farm Bill, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Flood Insurance Program reauthorizations are all legislative items that Congress must act on. Additionally, following an attack on Israel, members from both sides spoke of an urgency to assist Israel.


The frontrunners vying for Speaker are current House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Yesterday, Kevin McCarthy did not rule out returning as Speaker if House Republicans remain at a stalemate. Complicating all of this are some members who have vowed to only vote for Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. However, at a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, former Speaker McCarthy told lawmakers not to nominate him. Only a quarter of the Republican Conference are publicly committed to a candidate. It is unclear who has the inside track to get enough votes (218) to secure the Speakership. The candidate forum will occur tonight.


When the Senate returns next week, it plans to continue consideration of the three-bill appropriations package (Agriculture, Military Construction – Veterans Affairs, and Transportation – Housing and Urban Development). Previously, the Senate attempted to vote on the package but failed to advance after Republican opposition. The upper chamber will also vote on several judgeships.


Bills and Regulations of Interest to You

H.R. 5863

Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2023

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17)

To provide tax relief with respect to certain Federal disasters.


H.R. 5866 & S. 3006

Substance Use Disorder and Family Engagement (SAFE) in Recovery Act

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12) & Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

To make care accessible for parents living with substance use disorder (SUD) and prevent family separation.


H.R. 5874

Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program Reauthorization Act

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-1)

To amend the United States-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Act to reauthorize the United States-Mexico transboundary aquifer assessment program.


S. 2915

Enhancing Electric Grid Resilience Act

Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Amends the Federal Power Act to authorize the allocation of the costs of certain interstate electric power transmission lines and electric power transmission lines that are located offshore.


H.R. 5877

USDA Express Loan Act

Rep. Brad Finstad (R-MN-1)

Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to create the USDA Express Guaranteed Farm Ownership and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loan programs, enabling faster access to credit for America's farmers and ranchers.


S. 3023

Soil Conservation and Regeneration Education (Soil CARE) Act

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Establishes and maintain a training program for Department of Agriculture personnel and third-party providers on the rapidly evolving methodologies, science, and practices of biological soil health management systems on agricultural land.

H.R. 5903

A bill to improve wastewater treatment and flood control works

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-31)

Authorizes the International Boundary and Water Commission to accept funds for activities relating to wastewater treatment and flood control works.


H.R. 5846

Protecting America from Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Act

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2)

To bolster the federal response to seasonal and pandemic influenza.


US Army Corps of Engineers / DoD

WRDA Request for Proposals

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 directs the Secretary of the Army to implement a pilot program for carrying out projects under a continuing authority program for economically disadvantaged

October 20, 2023



Equitable Delivery of Climate Services

NOAA seeks information on how to enhance their delivery of climate data, information, science, and tools and ensure that this delivery is equitable.

October 21, 2023



Establishing a 5G Fund for Rural America
The FCC plans to reach the goal of high-speed mobile services through the 5G Fund will allow the Commission to proceed with its plan to transition from mobile legacy high-cost support, which continues to be distributed inefficient.

October 23, 2023



Simplifying FEMA Preparedness Grants

FEMA aims to improve the management and administration of its preparedness grant programs to continue to assist the nation in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to terrorist attacks and other hazards.

November 7, 2023



Proposed Overtime Rule

Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees

November 7, 2023



Updated Guidance for Non-Federal Entities Access to Federal Supply Schedule

Updates and clarifies the requirements for use of Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts by eligible non-Federal entities, such as State and local governments.

November 17, 2023



Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

The guidance would implement the amendments made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 with respect to the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act.

November 20, 2023



Proposed Design of a New Grant Program Regarding the Health Care Provider (HCP) Training Program

The new training program creates a cooperative agreement to help medical professionals better prevent, recognize, treat, and manage pesticide-related illness.

November 24, 2023



Programmatic Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Transit Projects

The guidance provides a framework for agencies to consider the effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated GHG emissions. It also advises agencies to assess the effects of climate change on their proposed actions.

November 24, 2023



Preventing the Improper Use of CHIPS Act Funding

Implement conditions in the Act that seek to prevent funding provided through the program from being used to directly or indirectly benefit foreign countries of concern.

November 24, 2023