House. The House will have a short work week with the last votes expected no later than 11 a.m. on Wednesday. This will allow Democrats to travel to Baltimore for their issues conference that will kick off Wednesday evening with an address by President Biden. (The House Republican retreat is scheduled for March 20-21.)
On Tuesday, the House plans to take up a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a law that gives lawmakers 60 legislative working days to oppose administration rules once the rules are finalized. In this case, the House is voting on a resolution to disapprove a Labor Department rule that allows retirement plan managers to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment criteria as long as they are in the best financial interest of plan participants. Only a simple majority is needed in both chambers to pass a CRA resolution. However, two-thirds majorities in both chambers would be needed to override a presidential veto.
Senate. The Senate version of the CRA resolution may also be voted on this week. The resolution has the support of all 49 Republicans as well as Democrat Joe Manchin (W.Va.). While Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.), the resolution’s sponsor, has been trying to convince at least one more Democratic Senator to support the measure, that 51st vote may be unnecessary if not all Democrats are present for the vote. Democratic Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey have been out for medical reasons. Should the resolution be approved in both chambers, President Biden is expected to veto it.
The Senate started off the week today with Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) delivering the annual reading of George Washington’s Farewell Address. President Washington did not publicly deliver his farewell message; rather, it was a written statement that first appeared on September 19, 1796, in the Philadelphia Daily American Advertiser and then in papers around the country. On Thursday, attention will turn from the nation’s first president to the 46th president as President Biden will be on Capitol Hill for a special Senate Democratic Caucus lunch.
Committee Action. House committees will be busy this week, marking up legislation dealing with data privacy and energy policy, and holding multiple hearings focused on China. On Tuesday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will mark up nine energy bills at the same time that the House Financial Services Committee is marking up 14 bills, including the Data Privacy Act and several bills dealing with China. At 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Cannon Caucus Room, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party will hold its first hearing, “The Chinese Communist Party’s Threat to America.”
Committee Action of Note
Full House. With the Feb. 21 election of Democrat Jennifer McClellan to fill the seat of the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D) in Virginia’s 4th district, there are now 435 members in the House – 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats. However, that number will change again on June 1, when Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will resign to become president of the Rhode Island Foundation. According to Rhode Island's election law, the state's governor has the authority to call for a special election, but he may not do so until there is actually a vacancy.