Becker’s Washington Weekly: August 30, 2021

Becker’s Washington Weekly: August 30, 2021

THE ADMINISTRATION

The nation is reeling from the tragic deaths of 13 U.S. servicemembers and dozens of Afghans during an ISIS-K attack on Kabul’s Airport. In the wake of the bombing, President Biden authorized a counteroffensive that eliminated two ISIS-K members. He has also committed that his Administration would evacuate as many willing U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Afghan special visa holders from Afghanistan as possible by the August 31st deadline.

The President continues to navigate new delta variant outbreaks, particularly in states without mask mandates and low vaccination rates. Hospitalizations have either reached or surpassed mid-2020 pandemic levels as healthcare workers on the front lines struggle with overcrowded healthcare facilities.

Finally, the President is working with FEMA and Louisiana officials to provide aid to those affected by the powerful Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in the state on the 16th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

THE HOUSE

Last week, the House narrowly approved a blueprint measure for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan while setting a September 27th deadline to vote on the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. Speaker Pelosi set the deadline to appease centrist House Democrats who wanted to ensure the infrastructure bill’s passage by separating the two measures into individual votes without any condition from the reconciliation plan.

In the coming weeks, House Committees will hold markups over their respective portions of the reconciliation framework ahead of a September 15th deadline, likely to start with the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

The House Armed Services committee will mark up the FY 2022 defense authorization measure, which is largely in line with President Biden’s requests of nearly $716 billion – though there will likely be an attempt to increase it. The Committee will also consider amendments over PFAS cleanup funding worth $549 million more than what the President has requested. If passed, the House’s authorization would be less than the $740 billion authorized by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.

The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation will consider legislation mandating that certain companies report to the Department of Homeland Security if they suffered a cyber-attack.

THE SENATE

The Senate is in session this week only to hold two pro forma sessions.

Becker’s Federal Lobbying Team will continue to monitor these developments as they evolve and will share with you as soon as information becomes available.