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Federal Legislative Update: Week of November 8, 2021

Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in recess this week.

Late Friday night, the House passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), by a vote of 228-206, with 13 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and 6 Democrats voting against. The legislation includes a complete five-year, $383.4 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, and an additional $550 billion in new funding for roads and bridges, road safety, railways, airports, public transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, ports and waterways, the electric grid, broadband, water infrastructure, resiliency and western water storage, and environmental remediation over Fiscal Years 2022—2026. President Biden will likely sign the bill into law next week. In addition to the House vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the House also passed a Rule setting up a future vote on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act during the week of November 15. This came after many negotiations between House moderates and progressives and the agreement to vote on President Joe Biden’s social spending plan following the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) scoring of the bill.

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a Dear Colleague letter outlining the success of passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and called passing the Rule on the Build Back Better Act, a “running start on passing more of the President’s agenda.” The Speaker went on to say, “when the House comes back into session the week of November 15th, we will act with a message that is clear and unified to produce results,” signaling that she expects to vote on the BBB Act next week when the House is back in session. The Senate, however, has no set timeline to act on the social and climate spending bill from President Biden, with two key Senate moderates Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), likely to demand additional changes to the legislation before agreeing to support it.

While both chambers are in recess, the House has 6 committee meetings scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday. These House hearings include: the Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s hearing on “Reauthorizing the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program”; the Agriculture Committee’s hearing on “hunger among veterans and servicemembers”; and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s hearing on “fairness in federal passenger rail contracting.”

President Biden will visit Baltimore on Wednesday, touting the newly passed infrastructure package. White House officials noted his message will focus on the benefits to ports and supply chains as he is slated to tour the Port of Baltimore Wednesday. Today, the Biden Administration released a fact sheet highlighting the contents of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, including: increased clean energy jobs, strengthened resilience and advances to environmental justice. 

Last Week

  • House passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill, advances social spending plan READ MORE
  • Roads, transit, internet: What’s in the infrastructure bill READ MORE
  • Biden faces fresh challenges after infrastructure victory READ MORE
  • Congressional end-of-the-year agenda READ MORE
  • The road ahead for passing the Build Back Better Act READ MORE
  • Congress hits ‘standstill’ as December shutdown, debt cliff near READ MORE
  • How the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill made it to passage READ MORE
  • Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’’s Bipartisan HELP Act Passes Congress READ MORE
  • House passes bill to prohibit age discrimination against job applicants READ MORE
  • Camille Touton confirmed as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation READ MORE
  • Senate Confirms Michael Connor as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works READ MORE
  • Jeffrey Prieto Confirmed by Senate to Become EPA’s Top Lawyer READ MORE
  • The Senate has confirmed the 1st Latino to lead the U.S. census, Robert Santos READ MORE
  • McConnell: 2022 midterms will be 'very good election for Republicans' READ MORE
  • U.S. lifts travel ban for vaccinated foreigners READ MORE
  • Top Biden officials urging school administrators to help get students vaccinated READ MORE
  • Two new Ohio congress members report for duty: Democrat Shontel Brown and Republican Mike Carey READ MORE