Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 25, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of July 25, 2022

The House 

This week marks the House’s last full working week before its month-long August recess. The Chamber will aim to pass a number of bills in that time, including:

  • A bill to create the National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program and aid environmental justice communities.
  • A bill authorizing grant programs supporting certain South Asian communities through heart-disease research and awareness.
  • A bill restoring pension benefits for certain Delphi Corps. retirees.
  • A bill banning the illegal trafficking of big cats under the 1981 Lacey Act.
  • A bill permanently extending COVID-19-era Medicare adjustments regarding telehealth.

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

  • The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hear testimony from heads of gun manufacturers following a string of recent mass shootings.
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will markup the Environmental Justice for All Act.

The Senate

The Senate is also wrapping up its July agenda ahead of the August recess. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hopes to clear a stripped-down version of its China competition bill to promote domestic semiconductor manufacturing through $52 billion worth of incentives.

The Chamber is also poised to take up bills authorizing national waterway projects and expanding healthcare benefits to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. A vote on the burn pit legislation comes after Leader Schumer made a procedural move to align it with the House’s version, which he hopes to pass following a vote on the semiconductor bill. A vote on the waterway bill – the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 – is also likely to occur after Senators from both parties agreed on a compromise that can earn 60 votes and clear a filibuster.

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

  • The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will markup legislation relating to children’s online privacy and social media platforms’ liability. It will also vote on the re-nomination of TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
  • The Senate Judiciary Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism Subcommittee will hold a hearing to consider federally decriminalizing cannabis.

The Administration 

President Biden is keeping a light schedule this week following his COVID-19 infection last week. His doctors say he is making a steady recovery, and he is set to speak virtually at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Conference today.

The President’s COVID-19 infection comes as his Administration determines whether to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox following the World Health Organization’s similar move last week. Currently, the U.S. has over 2,800 confirmed infections, but Administration officials assure that it “can be contained.” Meanwhile, lawmakers have complained to the President about stalled monkeypox vaccine orders.