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Federal Legislative Update - Week of July 25, 2022

Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week. Both chambers will focus on the passage of the semiconductor bill to improve U.S. competitiveness with China. 

Last week, the Senate cleared the first procedural hurdle for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America or the “CHIPS plus” bill, which includes over $52 billion in grants and incentives to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing by a bipartisan vote of 64-34. After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added a 1,000-page amendment to the bill with funding for several agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Commerce Department. Sen. Schumer called for passage of the legislation early this week, which would send it over to the House for consideration prior to that chamber’s  August recess. The Senate expects to pass the legislation by Tuesday or Wednesday, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) ensuring action in the House as soon as the bill is “ready.” 

Once the CHIPS-plus bill passes, Senate Democratic leadership will consider taking up the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) for the remainder of the work week. This move comes after the House passed the bill, which codifies same-sex marriage into law, by a vote of 267-157, with 47 Republicans joining with all Democrats to support the bill. One of the Senate cosponsors, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), believes there is a possibility for the bill to receive at least 10 Republican votes needed to break a filibuster. Regarding the budget reconciliation bill, the Senate is still awaiting guidance from the Senate’s parliamentarian on the smaller package lowering prescription drug prices and extending Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. The House-passed Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (H.R. 7776) expects to clear the Senate before the August recess, setting up a conference between the two chambers to work through their differences. The Senate will also likely vote on legislation to add Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which passed in the House by a vote of 394-18.

Leader Hoyer mentioned last week the potential of the House returning early, potentially in the last two weeks of August, if the Senate passes a reconciliation bill. As stated earlier, the House will likely vote on the CHIPS-plus bill and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (H.R.1808), a renewal of the assault weapons ban for the first time since 1994. In addition, House lawmakers expect to vote on several other measures, including a package addressing drought and wildfires in the West and additional FY 2023 spending bills, after passing 6 of the 12 bills last week. The Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act (H.R. 5118), a package of 48 bills, would boost pay and benefits for wildland firefighters, help the Forest Service fill gaps in fire management staff, and promote more significant forest management projects to reduce hazardous fuels, in addition to several water-related provisions. Other legislation the House may consider this week includes the Invest to Protect Act of 2022 (H.R. 6448); the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 (H.R. 6375); the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (H.R. 4118); the Mental Health Justice Act of 2021 (H.R. 1368); the VICTIM Act of 2022 (H.R. 5768); the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act of 2022 (H.R. 2814); the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263); the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2022 (H.R. 4040); the South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2022 (H.R. 3771); and the Susan Muffley Act of 2022 (H.R. 6929). The House will also potentially consider 29 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Federal PFAS Research Evaluation Act (H.R. 7289), requiring various studies and reports on the exposure, hazards, and management of PFAS.

For the remainder of the week, several House and Senate committees will hold hearings, including a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Law Enforcement Officer Safety: Protecting Those Who Protect and Serve”; a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on “Preventing Polluters from Getting Government Contracts: Bureau of Land Management’s Corporate Exclusions Lists”; and a House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth hearing on “Building a Modern Economic Foundation: Economic Security and Income Support for 21st Century America.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is also expected to release the draft text of all twelve of its FY 2023 spending bills by Friday, July 29, including lists of all accepted earmark requests submitted by senators in May.

Last Week:

  • Senate advances more than $50 billion bill to boost U.S. semiconductor production READ MORE
  • House Passes Six-Bill Government Funding Package READ MORE
  • House passes bill protecting marriage equality, with 47 GOP members voting ‘yes’ READ MORE
  • Biden 'hoping' inflation cools as gas prices fall daily for more than a month READ MORE
  • Manchin pumps brakes: Bill ‘needs to be scrubbed much better’ READ MORE
  • President Biden Releases Safer America Plan READ MORE
  • House committee advances bill to ban assault weapons READ MORE
  • Biden tests positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms READ MORE
  • House approves resolution supporting Finland, Sweden joining NATO READ MORE