Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 11, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 11, 2022

The House

The House returns from its two-week Independence Day recess, leaving it with only two full working weeks before its month-long August recess.

Lawmakers are set to take up a number of bills this week, including those drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Such bills would codify the right to an abortion and aim to protect women from state restrictions on interstate travel to receive an abortion.

Other bills that will be considered under suspension of the rules include:

  • A bill creating an AMBER alert-style warning system for active shooters.
  • The $839.3 billion FY23 National Defense Authorization Act.
  • A bill calling on the President to prioritize the implementation of programs to bolster economic development in the Caribbean.
  • A bill creating an interagency 5G technology working group to bolster American leadership in the field.

The House will also hold a number of hearings this week:

  • The House Oversight and Reform Committee will address the impacts of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing examining the state of the aviation industry.
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will discuss strategies to build an affordable and resilient supply chain in the food industry.

Starting next week and throughout July, lawmakers will address annual government funding bills that have been marked up by their respective appropriations committees.

The Senate 

The Senate also returns this week following its Independence Day recess. It will use this week to finalize a number of nominations, which will be teed up remotely by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) due to his recent positive COVID-19 test. Nomination votes include Michael Barr to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision, Steven Dettelbach to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Ashish Vazirani for the Defense Department’s deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness.

Democrats are also pushing to finalize a new framework for the President’s stalled reconciliation package after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) withdrew his support it last December. A revised package, which was once set at over $6 trillion, is now a proposed $1 trillion, half of which would be for new spending while the other would be for deficit-cutting.

Democrats hope to pass a bill before their recess starts on August 8. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened that he will derail an unrelated China competition bill, which both parties are also hoping to pass before the recess, if Democrats move forward with this new reconciliation bill.

Meanwhile, the Senate will also hold a number of hearings this week:

  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the Bureau of Industry and Security regarding export controls.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will discuss ways to lower soaring energy prices.
  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hear testimony from Federal Transit Administration leadership on its implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Administration 

President Biden has a busy week ahead of him as he grapples with crises at home and abroad. He’ll open the week with a White House event celebrating the enactment of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a compromise gun reform bill signed in the wake of recent mass shootings including in Uvalde, Texas.

The President will also travel to Saudi Arabia this week to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The meeting has been heavily criticized both by opponents of the Crown Prince and of the President’s energy policy, believing Biden will ask the foreign leader to ramp up oil production as global energy prices soar.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also confirmed over the weekend that President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will speak in the coming weeks. The conversation is likely to center around China’s diplomatic support of Russia amidst its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.