Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 18, 2021

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 18, 2021

The Administration

Although Congress temporarily extended the debt limit through December 3, 2021, some experts believe the actual deadline will be much later. Flexible spending and collection from coronavirus relief, tax revenues, and a potential boost to the Highway Trust Fund through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan (should it pass) will impact when Congress passes the next extension, but it is still anticipated to occur in early December to avoid a default.

The President may see his domestic agenda – largely comprised of the infrastructure and reconciliation bills – take clearer shape by the end of this month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has set an end-of-October deadline to break internal party gridlock on the reconciliation tax-and-spend plan which aligns with the House’s self-imposed October 31st deadline. However, experts believe the time to pass these bills will be in December when members will want to quickly conclude legislative business before the holiday recess.

The House

The House will conduct votes on numerous bills this week, including H.R. 2119 that would reauthorize $270 million in annual grants to prevent domestic violence and support domestic violence survivors. It will also consider workplace accommodations for nursing mothers in H.R. 3110, including allowing private nursing locations and reasonable break times.

Additionally, the House will consider several bills regarding national security and data privacy, including a bill that would require rental car companies report customers’ suspicious activity to prevent terrorism, and another that would allow the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to supervise federal agencies’ use of AI for counterterrorism.

The House has numerous hearings scheduled this week:

  • The House Small Business Committee will discuss global supply chains and small business trade challenges.
  • The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will host a joint hearing between the Subcommittees on Investigations and Oversight and Energy on how to improve the Office of Nuclear Energy.
  • The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress will consider ways to modernize congressional support agencies to meet Congress’ needs.

The Senate

The Senate will host multiple hearings this week:

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will evaluate the federal response to the impact of PFAS chemicals on the environment.
  • The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will give an international policy update, specifically focusing on the Treasury Department’s sanctions and policy review.
  • There will be multiple confirmation hearings this week, including consideration by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of R. Nicholas Burns for U.S. Ambassador to China and Rahm Emanual for U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

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.