Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of April 17, 2023

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of April 17, 2023

The House

House Members return to D.C. this week following a two-week recess for Easter and Passover. Lawmakers are hitting the ground running ahead of the next recess in June with a slate of floor votes on various measures.

Three bills that will be taken up on expedited procedures include those condemning Russia for taking down a U.S. drone, and combating foreign surveillance both at home and abroad following increased scrutiny of foreign-owned telecommunications services and spy balloons.

House lawmakers will also vote on a bill overturning a D.C. law prohibiting police officers’ use of chokeholds and tear gas. They may also vote to reinstate its repeal of the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States rule after President Biden vetoed Congress’ repeal of the measure.

Several committee hearings are also scheduled for the week:

  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • The House Appropriations Committee will hold several hearings throughout the week examining several Biden Administration FY24 budget requests, including USAID, the Education Department, and the Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • The House Armed Services Committee will examine U.S. military posture and national security challenges in the Indo-Pacific Region

The Senate

Senators also return to D.C. this week following a two-week recess, in addition to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) following their health-related absences. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is still absent from the Chamber, but Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working to name a temporary replacement for the Senator’s spot on the Judiciary Committee.

Lawmakers will hold a cloture vote today on the nomination of Radha Iyengar Plumb to be a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, after which a final confirmation vote could take place Tuesday. Members could also hold a cloture vote on Amy Lefkowitz Solomon’s nomination to be an Assistant Attorney General.

Legislatively, Senators may take up the Fire Grants and Safety Act this week to reauthorize various firefighter programs after Leader Schumer filed cloture on the bill before the two-week recess. However, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has threatened to block the measure if his proposed amendments are also not considered.

The Senate will also hold a number of committee hearings this week:

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on clean vehicles
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will discuss the impacts of AI and machine learning on cybersecurity
  • The Senate Agriculture Committee will discuss SNAP and other nutrition assistance under the proposed Farm Bill