Congress’ Lame Duck Session Begins
Lawmakers return to Washington this week for the first time in over a month following the midterm elections where Democrats held their Senate majority. While votes are still being counted and a Georgia Senate runoff is set for December 6th, Congress still has a slammed agenda to grapple with this week and further into the lame duck session.
In the House, lawmakers are set to take up 29 bills under expedited procedures this week, including:
- Several VA-themed bills naming healthcare facilities, authorizing R&D programs, mandating cybersecurity reviews, etc.
- A bill requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify financial and contact information of major third-party sellers whose sales exceed certain thresholds.
- A bill generally preventing federal agencies from reducing assistance to smaller cities due to new statistical designations.
- A bill requiring FEMA to cover upgrade costs of tribal emergency operation centers.
House members are also resuming committee hearings:
- The House Oversight’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee will hold a hearing on reforms in state and federal cannabis law.
- The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on ensuring accountability of depository institutions.
- The House Foreign Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on Russia’s global influence.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is temporarily pulling the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act from the floor to focus on judicial nominations this week. However, there are reports that the Chamber will vote on the bipartisan, House-passed same-sex marriage bill this week.
In the meantime, the Chamber will hold numerous committee hearings:
- The Senate Banking Committee will hold an oversight hearing of financial regulators
- The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the rural development and energy program provisions of the FY23 farm bill.
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing examining local perspectives of implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law.
President Joe Biden continues his trip in Indonesia for the G20 summit where he has since met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking the first meeting between the countries’ two leaders since the start of the pandemic. The meeting comes at a time when Xi has expanded China’s global influence while President Biden aims to shore up domestic chips manufacturing.