Senate. The Senate this week will continue to consider nominations. Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) was sworn in today to replace Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
House. The House will spend most of the week considering a dozen non-controversial measures under suspension of the rules. Members will also take up legislation that would prevent drawdowns from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until agencies provide a plan for increasing federal land open to oil and gas leasing. The bill, which may not make it to the President’s desk given Administration concerns with the measure, is notable because it will be considered under a modified open amendment process. Members who wish to offer amendments must submit them into the Congressional Record at least one day prior to consideration, which could begin on Wednesday.
House Committees. On Sunday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries notified his colleagues that an agreement had been reached with the Republican leadership on the ratios for House committees. Under the agreement, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will decrease proportionally by two seats on both sides of the aisle; the Education and the Workforce Committee will decrease by four seats each; and the Oversight and Accountability Committee will add a seat on both sides.
Jeffries does not expect any returning Democratic members to lose their committee seats, with the exception of the Ways and Means Committee. The ratio agreement announced last week for Ways and Means provides for 18 Democratic seats. Consequently, Democratic Reps. Jimmy Gomez (Calif.), Steven Horsford (Nev.), and Stacey Plaskett (V.I.) will lose their seats on the panel. Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) will give up his Ways and Means seat but retain his committee seniority while he serves as ranking member of the Budget Committee.
Debt Limit. Now that the debt limit has been reached and Treasury is employing extraordinary measures to stay under the limit, there is increased focus on a limitation that Congress created in 1917. The most recent Congressional Research Service report on the topic, from November, can be found here.
Committee Action of Note
Tuesday, Jan. 24