The House and Senate are in session. The next few weeks are a critical time for Congress leading up to the month-long August recess.
The Senate returns to Washington today with a procedural vote on former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a Dear Colleague letter on Sunday outlining the Senate’s plans for the July work session. According to the letter, the upper chamber will emphasize appropriations, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), briefings on artificial intelligence, and confirming judicial nominees. The chamber will also attempt to address the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Farm Bill reauthorizations, permitting reform, and prescription drug pricing reform, to name a few additional legislative items.
Senate appropriators will release, and markup three additional Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 spending bills this week without subcommittee markups. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee decided to compensate for a late start this year. On Thursday, the committee will mark up its Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services-General Government, and Legislative Branch funding bills, following the same process used for the Agriculture-FDA and Military Construction-VA spending bills. As for the House Appropriations Committee, there has yet to be an announcement for their markup schedule this week. Half of the 12 spending bills passed through the full committee, while the Financial Services-General Government and State-Foreign Operations bills advanced out of their respective subcommittees and may be marked up by the full Committee later this week.
The House will consider the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670) this week, which authorizes a total of $874.2 billion in discretionary spending. The chamber will also likely consider several hundred of the 1,524 amendments filed to the bill by House members. These amendments cover various contentious topics, including abortion, transgender medical treatment, diversity programs, reducing penalties for troops who declined the COVID-19 vaccine, and decreasing aid for Ukraine. The House will also consider three bills under suspension of the rules this week, including the Improving Access to Small Business Information Act (H.R. 1548), which exempts the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the Paperwork Reduction Act. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s marked-up version of the FAA reauthorization bill, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935), should be voted on by the House during the week of July 17.
For the remainder of the week, the House will hold several hearings, including an Homeland Security Committee hearing on the “Future of FEMA: Agency Perspectives with Administrator Criswell” and an Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on “Review of Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request: Agency Perspectives (Part II).” In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will hold a markup on “Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, and Legislative Branch Appropriations bills.”
Bills and Regulations of Interest to You
Law Enforcement Officers Preventing Overdose Deaths Act
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4)
Authorizes rural community response pilot grant programs to allow state & local law enforcement agencies to purchase naloxone, an effective tool to prevent and reduce opioid overdose deaths and directs at least 50% of the programs’ grant funding to rural communities.
Clean School Bus Infrastructure Act
Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM-2)
Allows clean charging technology to be purchased with grant or loan dollars from the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grant Program.
Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act
Sen. Ashley Hinson (R-IA-2)
Prevents states and local jurisdictions from interfering with the production and distribution of agricultural products in interstate commerce, and for other purposes.
Bill to improve the Securing the Cities program
Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA-2)
Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make improvements to the Securing the Cities program, and for other purposes.
Council on Environmental Quality
Proposes equitable and just practices to advance safety, health, and prosperity for communities residing near the ocean, the coasts, and the Great Lakes and for the whole country, now and for future generations.
July 24, 2023
FEMA is reviewing the input on implementation of Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act of 2022 for potential improvements to FEMA’s resilience zones.
July 25, 2023
The IRS issued proposed regulations on direct pay and transferability mechanisms that will help local governments and other eligible entities access clean energy tax credits.
August 14, 2023
The FAA is reviewing our noise policy as part of our ongoing commitment to address aircraft noise.
July 31, 2023
The EPA attempts to provide innovative approaches necessary to reduce and recover plastic materials and improve economic, social, and environmental impacts.
July 31, 2023 (Extended from original June 16)
Army Corps of Engineers
The Corps is requesting proposals for the pilot program for carrying out projects under a continuing authority program for economically disadvantaged communities.
August 21, 2023