Congress. The Senate is the only chamber conducting business this week and at the end of the week will join the House in recess until Feb. 27. On Wednesday, Defense Department officials will provide Senators with a classified briefing that will focus on how the U.S. military stacks up against China and the latest on the surveillance balloon. The briefing will also cover the unidentified objects shot down more recently.
At the committee level, there is a full range of hearings scheduled. The Senate Commerce Committee will be particularly busy, starting with a Tuesday hearing on the nomination of Gigi Sohn to the Federal Communications Commission. Over the following two days the panel will not only examine what happened when the nation’s air traffic system shut down in January but will then shift gears and look at the role pharmacy benefit managers play in drug pricing. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will focus on workforce shortages in the health care industry, and the Agriculture Committee will continue its hearings on the 2023 farm bill with an examination of nutrition programs. The Senate Banking Committee will hear testimony on the crypto crash and the potential risks to the broader financial system.
CBO Projections. On Feb. 15, the Congressional Budget Office will release two reports of interest – The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2023 to 2033 and the latest version of Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, describing the current debt situation and CBO’s expectation about when the Treasury will no longer be able to pay its obligations fully if the debt limit is not raised.
Committee Action of Note