The House and Senate are in session this week, with the Senate returning today and the House coming back Tuesday. With midterm elections closing in, the next few weeks are crucial to the passage of many legislative items for the remainder of the 117th Congress.
The House will consider the annual defense authorization bill and abortion rights legislation. The House will vote on 22 bills under suspension of the rules. The House will consider two bills aimed at protecting abortion access, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (H.R. 8296), which codifies Roe v. Wade and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022 (H.R. 8297), which ensures that women can cross state lines to obtain legal abortions. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022 (H.R. 6538), which coordinates an alert system to notify communities of nearby active shooters. The House Rules Committee members will work through over 1,100 submitted amendments to the $839.9 billion must-pass National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7900), with House passage of the bill taking place later in the week. House leadership plans to vote on a package the week of July 18 after the House Appropriations Committee finished markups of the bills in late June. The package includes six of the FY23 spending bills: Transportation—Housing and Urban Development Agriculture—Rural Development, Energy—Water Development, Financial Services—General Government, Interior—Environment, and Military Construction—Veterans Affairs. The remaining six FY23 spending bills will very likely be considered by the House during the week of July 25.
The Senate will continue to negotiate a roughly $1 trillion budget reconciliation package. On Sunday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he tested positive for COVID-19, which could slow progress in the chamber. Last week, Schumer submitted text to the Senate Parliamentarian to confirm if the drug pricing portion of the bill meets the Senate “Byrd Bath” standards. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), one of the chief negotiators, mentioned that there are still “unresolved concerns” on critical items in the bill. Some of the hurdles left to resolve for the slimmed-down version of the Build Back Better (BBB) Act include proposals to lower the cost of prescription drugs, extending Medicare’s solvency, and raising taxes on some high-income earners. As mentioned last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened to halt movement on the USICA bill, a bipartisan package to fund $50 billion in semiconductor programs and advanced microelectronics research, if Leader Schumer moves ahead with a reconciliation package. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) is on record with the expectation that his committee will markup their versions of the FY23 spending bills before the August recess. If the Senate is going to act, we expect to learn of dates for subcommittee markups shortly. The Senate is also scheduled to vote on several nominations this week, including Ashish Vazirani to be Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Michael Barr to be a Member and Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Steve Dettelbach to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. If confirmed, Dettelbach would represent the first Senate-confirmed ATF director since 2015.
For the remainder of the week, several House and Senate committees will hold hearings, including a Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the “Review of the FY 2023 President’s Budget,” with testimony from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland; a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy hearing on “Pathways To Lower Energy Prices;” and a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Forestry.” Several committees will hold hearings following the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade including the House Oversight and Reform, Senate Judiciary, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and House Judiciary committees. The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will also hold an additional public hearing on Tuesday.
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