Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of December 5, 2022

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of December 5, 2022

The House

The House returns this week to begin the final month of the 117th Congress and plan for the 118th. House Republicans will begin the formal process this week to select next Congress’ committee chairs who will set the tone for the party’s legislative priorities.

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also announced that he will establish a new bipartisan select committee on China to examine the country’s influence in supply chains and critical sectors.

Meanwhile, the House is set to take up a number of bills this week, most notably the compromise annual defense reauthorization and the bill protecting same-sex and interracial marriages – both passed out of the Senate.

The defense reauthorization will be considered as an amendment to the biennial Water Resources Development Act (already passed by Congress) in order to expedite the process. The measure provides an additional $45 billion in national security funding above President Joe Biden’s request, which will fund 11 new Navy ships but will not expand selective service registration to women.

Other bills the House will take up this week include a bill to remove per-country caps on employment-based green cards while increasing the cap for family-based green cards. Another immigration-related bill would ease green card access and a pathway to citizenship for certain non-citizen U.S. military veterans.

The Senate

All eyes are on Georgia this week for the runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker (R-GA). While Democrats will continue to be in the majority next year regardless of the outcome, a win for Sen. Warnock would break the party’s current 50-50 split and thereby provide it with more influence on the floor and in the committees.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats will hold their leadership elections this week where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is set to nominate Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) as Senate president pro tempore, making her third in line for the presidency.

The remaining leadership structure is expected to remain intact, but Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) has yet to announce whether he’ll stay on as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

This week, Senators will take up a number of judicial nominations at both the district and appellate court levels. Lawmakers will also receive a classified briefing on the war in Ukraine, and hold a committee hearing in the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee regarding the 2023 farm bill.

The Administration

The President will host the Congressional Ball on Monday evening at the White House.