Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 18, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 18, 2022

The House

The House returns this week to take up six FY23 appropriations bills, which have been dubbed the “minibus.” It includes the Agriculture, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs and Transportation-HUD bills. These bills generally reflect the 14% non-defense increases sought by President Biden. However, they will likely need to be pared back to pass in the evenly divided Senate.

Beyond the appropriation measures, the House will take up a number of bills under suspension of the rules, including:

  • A bill allowing the Interior Department to study portions of Florida’s Kissimmee River to be potentially designated as part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  • A bill expressing the House’s support for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

The House is also set to hold a number of committee hearings:

  • The House Judiciary Committee will consider Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-RI) legislation  to ban assault weapons.
  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee will mark up the bipartisan American Data Privacy Protection Act.

The Senate

Senators return to D.C. this week with another setback in their pre-August recess agenda after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that he would oppose Democrats’ attempts to pass new climate change spending and tax hikes in a revived reconciliation package.

Instead, Sen. Manchin signaled his support for a stripped-down reconciliation bill that caps drug costs for seniors and extends Affordable Care Act subsidies set to expire this year – a compromise for which President Biden also announced his support. The Senate Parliamentarian will review the new proposal this week to determine whether it complies with the Senate’s reconciliation rules.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will also invoke cloture on a long-awaited China competition bill, which is set to include $52 billion in incentives and tax credits for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

The Senate will also take up nominations this week, including for Colorado district court nominee Nina Wang and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Michelle Childs. The chamber may also take up the nomination of Nancy Maldonado to be a district court judge in Illinois.

The Senate will also hold several hearings this week:

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss the Highland Park, Illinois, July 4 mass shooting, and how such shootings affect communities and the economy.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will mark up legislation approving Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO.

The Administration

President Biden returned from his Saudi Arabia trip this past weekend. While a State Department official said he was confident that the meeting would result in more oil production in the region and lower energy costs, Saudi ministers stated that any such decision would be market-driven and made in accordance with the OPEC+ coalition.

While the Administration is hoping to shore up international oil production, it continues to face growing domestic challenges in the economy and the courts. Late last week, the consumer price index reached a record 9.1%, and a Tennessee federal judge blocked the Administration’s LGBTQ rules providing equal access to bathrooms in schools and workplaces.