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Federal Legislative Update: Week of May 2, 2022

Congressional Outlook

The Senate is in session while the House is out for a District Work Period.

Last week, the Biden Administration released a $33 billion request to Congress for additional Ukrainian assistance. Senate Democrats are likely to decide this week if they will attach COVID-19 aid to the Ukraine funding package. The Administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly support linking the two issues. Speaker Pelosi told reporters Friday, “We have emergencies here. We need to have the COVID money, and time is of the essence because we need the Ukraine money.” The decision falls to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has not made his plans on both relief packages public. Tying both bills together makes the pathway out of the 50-50 Senate more difficult. Last month, Senate Republicans blocked a deal on the $10 billion coronavirus relief from advancing over Title 42, a pandemic-related immigration restriction. Last week, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Biden Administration from ending the provision. Senate Republicans will likely demand a vote on an amendment offered by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), further preventing the White House from ending Title 42. The amendment has support from at least five moderate Senate Democrats. 

In addition to Ukraine and coronavirus-related pandemic assistance, the Senate will work through procedural motions instructing conferees on the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), legislation aimed at improving the U.S. semiconductor industry and boosting competitiveness with China. 28 motions will clear before the Senate enters a final conference committee with House. The Senate will also vote on several nominations, including Joshua Frost to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets at the Treasury Department; Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava to be Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Lisa Cook to be a Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The Senate may also consider Jerome Powell for a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve and Phillip Jefferson to be a Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

For the remainder of the week, the Senate will hold several committee hearings, including an Environment and Public Works markup of the “Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022).” Two Cabinet Secretaries, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, will testify before the Energy and Natural Resources and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees, respectively, to discuss the President’s FY 2023 budget request to Congress. Several Senate Appropriations subcommittees will also hold hearings on the President’s FY23 budget, including the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy

Last Week

Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in aid for Ukraine as war drags on READ MORE

Federal judge temporarily blocks Biden administration from ending Title 42 Covid border restrictions for migrants READ MORE

President Biden Signs Long-Awaited MAPLand Act Into Law READ MORE

Senate confirms Lael Brainard as Fed vice chair READ MORE

Senate confirms Crabtree as DOE fossil energy chief READ MORE

Campaign season kicks off in earnest with primaries in 13 states in May READ MORE

This week: Senate faces decision time on Ukraine aid READ MORE

U.S. Congress revives World War Two-era “Lend-Lease” program for Ukraine READ MORE

TSA stops enforcing traveler mask mandate READ MORE

Senators relaunch bipartisan immigration discussions READ MORE