The House is holding virtual Committee Work Days this week, while the Senate is in recess until July 11.
On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed into law the most significant gun legislation to pass in Congress in nearly 30 years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938). On Friday, the House passed S. 2938 by a vote of 234-193, following passage in the Senate. Following weeks of negotiations led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate passed the bill on Thursday night with a bipartisan vote of 65-33. The $13 billion bill provides significant provisions for state and local communities. The legislation aids states in setting up “red flag” laws, provides billions in funding for mental health and school safety resources, works to close the “boyfriend loophole,” adds limits to illegal weapons trafficking, enhances background checks for buyers under 21, increases scrutiny on gun sellers evading licensing requirements, and includes other measures. “Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” President Biden said in a press release.
When Congress returns from its July 4 recess, there are several significant issues to address before the August recess and midterm elections. The conference committee of the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act (USCIA) of 2021 (S. 1260) and the House-passed America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (America COMPETES) Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521) will aim to resolve differences centering around climate, labor, and trade-related issues. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, President Biden called on Congress to pass a law to codify Roe v. Wade. Congress will also consider whether to pass legislation suspending the federal gas tax and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will continue holding hearings.
House appropriators will finish their full committee markups this week of Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending bills, including Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, State and Foreign Operations, and Transportation-HUD. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) mentioned last week that he expects the Senate Appropriations Committee will begin markups of the FY23 spending bills following the July 4th recess. For the remainder of the week, the House will hold several hybrid committee hearings, including an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on “Investing in Public Health: Legislation to Support Patients, Workers, and Research;” and an Oversight and Reform Committee hearing to examine “The 2022 National Drug Control Strategy and the Federal Response to the Overdose Crisis.”
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