Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of May 23, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of May 23, 2022

The Administration

President Biden is in Tokyo today meeting with Japanese leaders as part of his first Asia visit as President. He began that visit in Seoul last week, where he signed a $40 billion Ukrainian aid bill that provides both military and humanitarian aid to the country in the midst of the Russian invasion.

While on his visit, President Biden and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts reaffirmed their commitments to bolster security operations in the Indo Pacific Region to counter growing aggression by the Chinese military.

The President also acknowledged the growing concern over the spread of monkeypox, which has made its way to Massachusetts and New York. However, the President stated he does not believe it will reach the level of COVID.

Domestically, the President announced that he will renominate Richard Glick to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission once his five-year term expires at the end of June. Glick was originally nominated by then-President Trump. Both Glick and the Commission have faced increased scrutiny as the world moves away from Russian-based energy and aims to secure other sources.

Finally, a Louisiana-based federal judge blocked the Administration last week from going forward with its scheduled repeal of Title 42, which aimed to stop the spread of COVID by allowing for authorities to quickly remove migrants from the border. The expiration was set for today. The action was brought by several state Republican attorneys general. The Administration’s plans to end the policy previously held up an unrelated COVID funding measure in the Senate where it is still pending.

The Senate

The Senate is in this week to take up several judicial and executive branch nominations, including for the Federal Elections Commission. It will also take up a vote on the House-passed domestic terrorism legislation drafted in the wake of the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will also seek unanimous consent to advance a $28 million emergency funding measure for the FDA to tackle the ongoing baby formula shortage, but that request will likely fail.

The Senate will also hold several hearings this week:

  • The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will take up legislation to improve federal coordination on spectrum policy.
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will mark up several bills, including those concerning strategic planning for federal electric vehicle fleet battery management and cybersecurity information sharing between Congress and the Department of Homeland Security.

The House

The House is out both this week and next week for its Memorial Day recess. However, Members will hold a number of hearings this week:

  • The House Budget Committee will hear testimony from Congressional Budget Office Director Phillip Swagel on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hear testimony from Abbott President Chris Calamari, along with FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, on the ongoing national baby formula shortage.