Federal Legislative Update: Week of May 9, 2022
The House and Senate are in session.
The House will vote on 28 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Empowering the U.S. Fire Administration Act (H.R. 7077), which authorizes the Fire Administration to conduct on-site investigations of significant fires. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 (H.R. 2499), which expands eligibility for firefighters who develop certain health conditions; and the Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022 (H.R. 5129), which reauthorize the program for 10 years and authorize $1 billion annually for grants. The House will also vote on a resolution allowing House staffers to unionize.
Following a leaked opinion on a possible Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will file cloture to codify the right to abortion. The vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (S.1975), slated for Wednesday, will fail, as the measure will need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. Many will look to see how Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) vote. Even with the support of all three members, the measure will fail. This issue has quickly taken center stage in both chambers of Congress and will serve as a hot topic issue for the midterm elections.
Additionally, Congress hopes to address several long-awaited assistance packages and nominations. Most signs regarding Ukrainian and COVID-19 aid packages point to lawmakers combining the two measures. The approach by Democratic leadership comes with concerns from Republicans over the Title 42 provision, a pandemic-related immigration restriction. Currently, the Biden Administration is following a court order temporarily blocking any changes to the policy. The White House requested assistance for Ukraine, and the Coronavirus pandemic is $33 billion and $10 billion, respectively. In order to move both bills, Republicans will likely require a vote on an amendment preventing the end of Title 42.
The Senate will vote on several nominations, including Ann Phillips to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration; Asmeret Berhe to be Director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy; Jay Powell for a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve; Lisa Cook to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Alvaro Bedoya to be a Federal Trade Commissioner.
For the remainder of the week, the House and Senate will hold several committee hearings, including a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on the “An oversight hearing to examine the Council on Environmental Quality;” and a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “Modernizing Hydropower: Licensing and Reforms for a Clean Energy Future” Secretaries and other department leaders will appear on Capitol Hill to testify on their fiscal year 2023 budget requests next week, including: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg before the House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee; U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus in the Homeland Security Subcommittee; and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee.
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