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Legislative Update

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

  • Tuesday, February 28
    • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearings to examine the conflict in Ukraine
    • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing: Advancing National Security and Foreign Policy Through Sanctions, Export Controls, and Other Economic Tools
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: “The Equal Rights Amendment: How Congress Can Recognize Ratification and Enshrine Equality in Our Constitution”
    • House Science, Space and Technology Committee Hearing: “United States, China and the Fight for Global Leadership: Building a U.S. National Science and Technology Strategy”
    • House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing: “Combatting the General Challenge of CCP Aggression”
    • House Homeland Security Hearing: "Every State is a Border State: Examining Secretary Mayorkas’ Border Crisis"
    • House Intelligence Select Committee Hearing: Open Panel with Think Tank Leaders
    • House Financial Services Committee Markup
    • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Markup to consider a joint resolution to overturn the Biden Administration’s new waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a bill to promote the development of energy infrastructure and ensure water quality under Clean Water Act Section 401, and other measures
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Energy Grid Security Markup
    • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the “Transparency and Production of American Energy Act of 2023” and H.R. 209: “Permitting for Mining Needs Act of 2023”
    • House Appropriations Committee Hearing on Ukraine Oversight
    • House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Roundtable on “Preparing for the Future By Learning From the Past: Examining COVID Policy Decisions”
    • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the “Building United States Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews Act of 2023”
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Markup
  • Wednesday, March 1
    • Senate Environment and Public Works hearing to examine the nomination of Joseph Goffman to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
    • Senate Budget Committee Hearing to examine climate change and the economic risks to coastal communities
    • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing to examine Farm Bill 2023, focusing on conservation and forestry programs
    • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing to examine the nomination of Phillip A. Washington to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing to examine the Department of Justice
    • House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing: “Promoting U.S. Innovation and Individual Liberty through a National Standard for Data Privacy”
    • House Judiciary Committee Hearing: “The Fentanyl Crisis in America: Inaction is No Longer an Option”
  • Thursday, February 16
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to examine community health centers

Political Update

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.

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