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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate will continue to consider nominations. Any nomination that might be supported only by Democrats will have to wait until Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) returns to the Senate. Lujan, who suffered a stroke on Jan. 27, is expected to return in four to six weeks. Republican Senators Mitt Romney (Utah) and John Hoeven (N.D.) were in quarantine last week after testing positive for Covid but are now back for floor votes, as shown on the website that lists quarantine information for all Members of Congress.

House. As early as Tuesday, the House could vote on a continuing resolution (CR) that will extend government funding through March 11. The House will not be in session Thursday and Friday and then is not scheduled to be in session for floor votes until the week of Feb. 28.

Appropriations. The CR will give Democrats and Republicans more time to work out the top-line spending numbers that are needed to write the 12 FY 2022 appropriations bills. The “four corners” of the Congressional appropriations committees – Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Kay Granger (R-Tex.) – are continuing to meet to forge an agreement on the numbers as well as which policy riders might be added to an omnibus spending bill.

The debate over top-line numbers centers on the Republicans’ request for parity in spending increases. Democrats have proposed to increase defense spending by 5% and non-defense spending by 13%. Republicans believe the increases should be the same in both categories.

Committee Action of Note:

  • Monday, February 7:
    • House Rules Committee Meeting: H.R. 3076—Postal Service Reform Act of 2021; H.R. 6617—Further Additional Extending Government Funding Act.
  • Tuesday, February 8:
    • House Oversight and Reform Committee Hearing: Fueling the Climate Crisis: Examining Big Oil's Climate Pledges.
    • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets’ Report on Stablecoins.
    • Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine lessons learned from COVID-19, focusing on highlighting innovations, maximizing inclusive practices, and overcoming barriers to employment for people with disabilities.
    • Senate Finance Committee Hearing to examine protecting youth mental health, focusing on an advisory and call to action.
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing: ARPA-H: The Next Frontier of Biomedical Research.
    • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Stakeholder Priorities.
  • Wednesday, February 9:
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks Hearing to examine the implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act.
    • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing to examine S.2373, to reestablish United States global leadership in nuclear energy, revitalize domestic nuclear energy supply chain infrastructure, support the licensing of advanced nuclear technologies, and improve the regulation of nuclear energy, and S.1290, to assist communities affected by stranded nuclear waste.
    • House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth Hearing: Connecting Americans to Prosperity: How Infrastructure Can Bolster Inclusive Economic Growth.
    • Joint Economic Committee Hearing to examine building a better labor market, focusing on empowering older workers for a stronger economy.
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Hearing to examine the role that community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions serve in supporting communities.
    • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Business Meeting to consider the nominations of Shalanda Young to be Director and Nani Coloretti to be Deputy Director, both of the Office of Management and Budget, and Dimitri Kusnezov to be Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security.
  • Thursday, February 10:
    • Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing to examine improving care experiences for people with both Medicare and Medicaid.
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges in using clean hydrogen in the transportation, utility, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Hearing to examine the health care workforce shortage, focusing on recruiting, revitalizing and diversifying.

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