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Legislative Update - March 20, 2023

Both chambers are back in session this week – the Senate returns on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday.

The House will vote on the Parents Bill of Rights Act (HR 5), which requires public schools that receive federal funding to allow parents to review educational materials and provide consent for certain activities. Today, President Biden vetoed his first bill, H.J. Res. 30, a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act, which would have blocked a Labor Department rule to allow employers to consider environmental, social, and governance factors when choosing investments for workers’ retirement plans. The House could vote on overriding the president’s veto this week, with a two-thirds majority needed to be successful, which is an unlikely scenario.

President Biden rolled out his Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget last week and this week, appropriators in both chambers will begin holding hearings on those FY 2024 funding requests. Leaders from various agencies will testify on the House side, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse. Senators will also hear testimony from Secretaries Blinken and Yellen, as well as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Many House Republicans have maintained their stance that FY 2024 spending levels will revert to enacted FY 2022 levels. In response, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) released letters on the potential impacts of proposed House Republican cuts from all major federal agencies. To secure the Speakership, McCarthy promised the spending cuts, a plan that even some House Republicans may not support.

For the remainder of the week, the House will hold several hearings including a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on “FAA Reauthorization: Securing the Future of General Aviation;” and a Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on “Unleashing American Power: The Development of Next Generation Energy Infrastructure.”

Bills and Regulations of Interest to You


Fire Grants and Safety Act

Sen. Peters

Reauthorizes appropriations for operations of the U.S. Fire Administration for two programs: the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants.


H.R.914S. 375

Simplifying Grants Act

Rep. Franklin, Sen. Rubio

Requires agencies to simplify the process for all current and future federal grant opportunities.


S. 576

Railway Safety Act of 2023

Sen. Brown & Vance

Improves rail safety protocols, such as enhancing safety procedures for trains carrying hazardous materials, establishing requirements for wayside defect detectors.


H.R. 837

Restoring Communities Left Behind Act

Reps. Kaptur & Tlaib

Makes $5 billion available to local communities through a grant program administered by HUD funding neighborhood revitalization activities.


H.R. 1011

Audit and Return It Act

Rep. Finstad

Directs OMB to conduct an audit of all COVID-related spending and rescind any unobligated amounts for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.


Agency: EP

Title: PFAS Drinking Water Rule Proposal

Proposed Regulation: A pre-published version of the rule is available here.

Comment Deadline: 60 days after publication


Do you want to weigh in on any of these bills and/or regulations? Contact NSDC Staff!