Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of February 7, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of February 7, 2022

Updates on Government Spending, Russia Sanctions, and Jobs

The House and Senate are both in session this week as the February 18 government funding deadline approaches. Both chambers are negotiating an omnibus spending package and need to finalize multiple measures, although the House is planning on passing another continuing resolution this week to last through March as lawmakers finalize the full spending package.

This week, Senators are working on sanctions against Russia to deter its aggression towards Ukraine. Such legislation has bipartisan support, and it will likely also include aid for Ukraine.

The Senate will also host numerous hearings this week:

  • The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will host a second confirmation hearing for Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will markup the bipartisan Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act which limits large tech companies’ legal immunity for certain third-party content on their platforms.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will examine the impacts and ethical issues arising from drone strikes.

The House will consider two pieces of legislation that (1) bans agreements in employment contracts requiring arbitration of or prohibiting class action lawsuits in sexual assault claims and (2) imposes sanctions on foreign actors who carry out human rights violation against the LGBTQ+ community. The House could also consider six measures under suspension of the rules, including S. 583 to allow federal agencies to share best practices surrounding procurement innovation and small business contracting.

The House will also host multiple hearings this week:

  • The House Oversight and Reform Committee will examine big oil’s climate pledges.
  • The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hear proposals for WRDA 2022.
  • The House Select Committee on Economic and Fairness in Growth will discuss how infrastructure can bolster inclusive economic growth.

The Administration

President Biden is touting the release of January’s job numbers, showing an increase of 467,000 last month despite the uptick in Omicron cases. These numbers far surpassed expectations.