Becker’s Washington Weekly: May 10, 2021

Becker’s Washington Weekly: May 10, 2021

THE HOUSE

Republican members are poised to remove Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her conference leadership position and replace her with Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Some see this as retribution against Cheney for her outspoken criticism of former President Trump’s role in the violent January 6 attack of the Capitol and her subsequent vote to impeach the then President.

Consensus, however, is not unanimous.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has doubled down and stated publicly his belief that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, not Rep. Cheney, should have his leadership role replaced.

Further, House Administration Committee scheduled a hearing regarding the Capitol Police’s threat assessment and counter-surveillance before and during the attack on the United States Capitol. The House Oversight and Reform Committee has also scheduled a hearing regarding the attack and will hear testimony from Washington Metro Police Chief Robert Contee, former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

Representative-elect Troy Carter (D-LA-02) will be sworn in to fill a vacancy left by Rep. Cedric Richmond, who joined the Biden Administration, increasing the Democrats’ slim majority to 219-212.

Meetings

  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee will meet the HHS Secretary Becerra to discuss the department’s FY22 budget requests.
  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy will hold a hearing concerning the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee is hosting a hearing on the CLEAN Future Act and superfunding proposals to advance cleanups, equity, and climate resilience.
  • House Appropriations Subcommittees are hosting several hearings.
  • The Homeland Security Subcommittee will meet with ICE Acting Director Johnson to discuss the agency’s resource management and operational priorities.
  • The Transportation-HUD Subcommittee will discuss oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules. There are numerous packages of issues to be voted on, including mental health awareness and prevention measures, drug manufacturing concerns, Veterans Affairs issues, and tribal land & gaming expansions.

THE SENATE

The Senate has scheduled several timely hearings and set a number of bills for markup.

  • The Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is holding a hearing regarding freight mobility and strengthening America’s supply chains and competitiveness.
  • The Environment and Public Works Committee is holding a hearing regarding equity in transportation infrastructure that will focus on removing barriers to connect communities and repair networks across the country.
  • The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will examine DHS actions to address unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on gun violence and ghost guns.
  • The Finance Committee will hold a hearing regarding closing the tax gap.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing concerning domestic violent extremism.

Additionally, there will be a number of hearings related to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.

THE ADMINISTRATION

President Biden will continue negotiations over his proposed $4 trillion economic plan. In doing so, he will meet with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) with hopes of forging an agreement on the infrastructure portion of the American Jobs Plan.

The American Jobs Plan proposes $2.25 trillion of investment and spending, while Senate Republicans have responded with their own $568 billion infrastructure proposal, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). President Biden will later meet with Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) to also discuss his infrastructure plan.

Last Friday (May 7), the Biden Administration announced $21.6 billion will be made available in emergency rental assistance to help prevent evictions related to COVID-19. This announcement came after Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court in D.C. ruled that the CDC’s eviction moratorium is unconstitutional.

Separately, a cyber-attack was orchestrated against the Colonial Pipeline on Friday (May 7). The pipeline delivers 45% of the East Coast’s fuel and spans from Houston to the Port of New York and New Jersey. This ransomware attack forced the company to halt its pipeline operations, and fuel shortages are expected in the Northeast.

This comes amidst growing concern and Congressional conversations regarding the security of America’s energy sector and the risk of cyber-attacks. In response, President Biden and the Department of Transportation issued an emergency waiver of regulations limiting the distances vehicular fuel can be transported.

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.