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Legislative Update

Senate. Senators will continue to consider nominations and will join with House members on Tuesday to hear the President’s State of the Union message at 9 p.m. ET. On Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans will hold separate retreats to discuss their plans for the 118th Congress.

House. The rules package that House Republicans put forth at the beginning of the Congress provides that “the Speaker may recognize a Member for the reading of the Constitution on any legislative day through February 28, 2023.” Tuesday will be that day. The first time that the Constitution was read aloud on the House floor was in 2011; the most recent reading was on January 7, 2017, when Members took one hour and eight minutes to complete the reading. Among the bills on the legislative agenda is a measure to terminate the requirement that foreign travelers entering the U.S. show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The House will be in session until Thursday afternoon and then will recess for two weeks, until Feb. 27.

Committee Action of Note

  • Tuesday, February 7
  • o House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing: “FAA Reauthorization: Enhancing America’s Gold Standard in Aviation Safety”
  • o House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “Combatting the Economic Threat from China”
  • o House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing: “On The Front Lines of the Border Crisis: A Hearing with Chief Patrol Agents”
  • o House Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing: “Unleashing American Energy, Lowering Energy Costs, and Strengthening Supply Chains"
  • o House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce markup of five bills: H.R. 813, H.R. 752, H.R. 750, H.R. 784, H.R. 742
  • Wednesday, February 8
  • o House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing: “Stakeholder Perspectives on the Impacts of the Biden Administration's Waters of the United States”
  • o House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing: “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story”
  • o House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets hearing: “Sophistication or Discrimination: How the Accredited Investor Definition Unfairly Limits Investment Access for the Non-wealthy and the Need for Reform”
  • o House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy hearing: “Revamping and Revitalizing Banking in the 21st Century”
  • o House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets hearing: “Empowering Entrepreneurs: Removing Barriers to Capital Access for Small Businesses”
  • o House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Oversight and Investigations and Health joint hearing: “The Federal Response to COVID-19”
  • o House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing: “Liftoff: Unleashing Innovation in Satellite Communications Technologies”
  • o House Ways and Means Committee hearing: “The Greatest Theft of Taxpayer Dollars: Unchecked Unemployment Fraud”
  • o Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to consider nominations and legislation dealing with drug pricing, access to generics and biosimilars, etc.
  • o Senate Banking Committee hearing: “The State of Housing 2023”
  • o Senate Commerce Committee hearing: “Strengthening Airline Operations and Consumer Protections”
  • Thursday, February 9
  • o House Natural Resources Committee hearing: “Dependence on Foreign Adversaries: America’s Critical Minerals Crisis”
  • o House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing “on the Weaponization of the Federal Government”
  • o Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to examine global security challenges and strategy
  • o Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing: “Evaluating U.S.-China Policy in the Era of Strategic Competition”
  • o Senate Agriculture Committee hearing: "Farm Bill 2023: Commodity Programs, Crop Insurance, and Credit"

Political Update

Presidential Primaries. On Saturday, the Democratic National Committee approved a new presidential primary calendar for 2024, but there may be logistical challenges to implementing the new schedule. The new calendar calls for Democratic primaries in South Carolina on Feb. 3, in New Hampshire and Nevada on Feb. 6, in Georgia on Feb. 13, and in Michigan on Feb. 27.

Opposition from New Hampshire officials is just one of the hurdles standing in the way of implementation. A state law from the 1970s requires New Hampshire to host the first presidential primary one week before any state, and state Democrats have said they will hold their contest first regardless of the DNC’s decision. In Georgia, the Republican Secretary of State says he doesn’t plan to schedule the Democratic primary on a separate day from the Republican primary.

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