Congress is in session this week, with the Senate and the House returning Monday and Tuesday, respectively. While Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) earlier this month to keep the federal government open through January 19 and February 2, 2024, lawmakers still have considerable work to do to close out the year over the next three legislative weeks before adjourning on December 15.
The House will consider six bills and three resolutions under suspension of the rules, including the Returning Erroneous COVID Loans Addressing Illegal and Misappropriated (RECLAIM) Taxpayer Funds Act (H.R. 4667), which requires the Small Business Administration to issue guidance to return and track unused and fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Protecting our Communities from Failure to Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 5283), which prohibits federal land from being used to house migrants and also revokes a New York City lease for migrant shelters on federal parkland in Brooklyn; the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act (H.R. 5961), which directs the president to impose sanctions against financial institutions that facilitate transactions involving the $6 billion in oil revenue that Iran was previously allowed to access through a September prisoner exchange deal; and a Senate-passed Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (S.J. Res. 32) nullifying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule requiring lenders to collect and report demographic data on small business loan applicants. The House may also vote on a resolution (H. Res. 878) expelling Representative George Santos (R-N.Y.) from the House.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter on Sunday evening outlining items the Senate will likely consider before adjourning for the year on December 15. These include: continued work on FY 2024 spending bill negotiations with House leadership; a national security supplemental funding package providing funding for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and southern border policy; the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); and a rules change regarding consideration of hundreds of military promotions at one time. The Senate this week will vote on several judicial and executive nominations, including: Jeffrey Bryan to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota; Margaret Garnett to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York; and Jose Javier Rodriguez to be Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the Department of Labor.
For the remainder of the week, the House and Senate will hold several hearings, including a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Gun Violence Epidemic: A Public Health Crisis”; a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “WRDA 2024: Stakeholder Feedback on USACE Project Partnership Agreements”; a House Budget Committee hearing on “Examining the Need for a Fiscal Commission”; a House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on “Bad for Business: DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule”; a House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Subcommittee hearing on “Getting on the Right Track: Navigating the Future of Intercity Passenger Rail in America”; a House T&I Subcommittee hearing on “Turbulence Ahead: Consequences of Delaying a Long-Term FAA Bill”; and a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on “Oversight of President Biden’s Broadband Takeover.”
Representative-elect Celeste Maloy (R-Utah) will be sworn-in as the newest member of the House on Tuesday evening. Maloy won a special election on November 21 in Utah’s 2nd congressional district with 57 percent of the vote, succeeding former Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who resigned from Congress on September 15 after serving in the chamber for more than ten years. For the first time since late May, the total number of House members will be 435, consisting of 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats.
Bills and Regulations of Interest to You
Providing Robust Organics and Diets for Urban Communities Everywhere (PRODUCE) Act
Rep. Rob Menendez Jr. (D-NJ-8)
Expands the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production’s capacity to assist urban farming operations across the country by increasing discretionary funding to $50 million per year.
Natural Disaster Safety Board Act
Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA-47)
Creates an investigative body to study natural disasters and implement policies that could help mitigate harm from future wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters.
Bill to amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to codify a grant program to promote and assist in the reentry of justice-involved individuals into the workforce.
Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11)
Amends the WIOA to codify a grant program.
Bill to Reauthorize the Community Connect Grant Program
Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-1)
Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to reauthorize the Community Connect Grant Program.
Bill Promoting the Reduction of Health Disparities
Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-MI-13)
Provides for the designation of areas as Health Disparity Zones to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in such areas.