Both chambers are in session this week. The House will have a short week of session, with House Democrats beginning their legislative retreat in Baltimore on Wednesday. The Biden Administration is still scheduled to release its proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget on Thursday, March 9, officially kickstarting the annual budget and appropriations process on Capitol Hill.
The House will consider 5 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act (HR 538), which requires the disclosure of a camera or recording capability in certain Internet-connected devices. The House will also vote on the Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act (H.R. 1123) to direct the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to submit to Congress a report examining the cybersecurity of mobile service networks. The House will also vote on H.J. Res. 30, a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act, which overturns a December 2022 Biden Administration Department of Labor rule on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in retirement plans; and the Reduce Exacerbated Inflation Negatively Impacting the Nation (REIN IN) Act (H.R. 347), which requires the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers to prepare a report including the inflationary effects for any executive action with an estimated impact of at least $1 billion. On the Senate side, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) will uphold the upper chamber’s longstanding tradition of delivering Washington’s Farewell Address. Following the address, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Jamar Walker to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Following the February 3 train derailment and fire in East Palestine, Ohio, both chambers will hold a total of 5 hearings on the response and aftermath of the disaster.
After a slow start to the 118th Congress, lawmakers are preparing for many legislative battles ahead. The top items congressional leaders are set to begin negotiations on include raising the debt limit and reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and Farm Bill programs. The latter two items both face expiring authorization deadlines of September 30, 2023, forcing action from Capitol Hill in the months to come. To begin the 118th Congressional session, House Republicans have set their focus on probing the Biden Administration while Senate Democrats have continued working to confirm President Biden’s executive and judicial nominees. The annual earmarking process is also underway, with guidance updates from the House still outstanding for the 118th Congress, as of Feb. 27. Other key issues that lawmakers may attempt to address this year are energy permitting, marijuana banking, and kids’ online privacy, to name a few.
For the remainder of this week, the House will hold several committee hearings, including a Agriculture Committee hearing on “Uncertainty, Inflation, Regulations: Challenges for American Agriculture” and a Natural Resources Committee hearing on “H.R. 2515, ‘Building U.S. Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act of 2023’”. The Senate will hold several committee hearings, including an Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing on the “Farm Bill 2023: Conservation and Forestry Programs;” and a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on “The Nomination of Phillip Washington to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”