Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 18, 2023

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 18, 2023

The House:

House lawmakers return to Washington this week with a stopgap funding proposal from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his leadership team to keep the government open past the September 30th deadline to allow more time to negotiate a full funding package.

The stopgap would last through October 31st and would make an across-the-board cut of roughly 8% to most non-defense programs. It also includes several policy riders dealing with border security, including for patrol officers, wall construction, and asylum seekers. However, Speaker McCarthy will have to contend with tight margins in the House, as several Member absences and retirements leave him with only four votes to spare.

Another concern in appropriations negotiations is whether to include additional funding for Ukraine’s war with Russia. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to Washington this week to implore lawmakers to pass more funding, but some Members have opposed doing so either as a standalone bill or combined with a government funding vehicle.

The House will also take up several bills under expedited procedures, including a series of Veteran-related bills dealing with educational benefits, appeals processes, and family care. Other bills concern healthcare pricing, gas trade restrictions, federal lands and duck hunting, and protections for Native American children.

  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold hearings examining rural broadband and the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s healthcare components
  • The House Judiciary Committee will discuss IP and strategic competition with China

The Senate:

Senators also return to Washington this week with votes planned on spending bills and nominees.

Specifically, lawmakers will hold floor votes on the following FY24 appropriations bills: Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD.

They will also set up a final vote on Vernon Oliver’s nomination as U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut.

Finally, Senators will participate in several committee hearings including the following;

  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will discuss advanced technologies’ potential threats to national security.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the FY24 proposed budget for the Federal Communications Commission
  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will examine the macroeconomic effects of post-pandemic childcare

The Administration

President Joe Biden is in New York this week where he will attend a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. He will also host two campaign events in the City with First Lady Jill Biden.

When he returns to DC, the President will host Ukrainian President Zelenskyy at the White House as the leader seeks new funding to support its fight against Russia.