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Legislative Update

White House. President Biden will travel to Brussels on Wednesday, and on Thursday will attend a NATO summit, a G-7 meeting, and a European Council Summit on Russia’s war in Ukraine. On Friday, he will fly to Warsaw, Poland, where he will meet with the Polish president on Saturday.

House. The House is in recess this week. Republicans will be in Ponte Vedra, Fla. for their issues conference Wednesday through Friday.

Senate. The Senate this week will go through the necessary steps to convene a conference committee to work out differences between the Senate’s USICA bill and the House’s COMPETES Act. The Senate will take up the House bill, replace its language with the USICA bill, pass the amended bill, send it back to the House, and ask to go to conference with the House. This will allow the Senate, as well as the House, to appoint conferees on the legislation that is designed to strengthen U.S. competitiveness with China and provide $52 billion in funding for production of semiconductor chips.

The Senate could also take up legislation the House passed last week to suspend permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. Yet to be determined is whether the trade relations bill will be considered in tandem with a House-passed bill banning Russian energy imports.

FY 2023 Spending. The March 28 release of the President’s budget proposal will kick off the FY 2023 budget process, which, once again, will not follow the rulebook. Various committees will hold hearings to question Administration witnesses on the President’s proposal, but that may be the end of the discussion.

As has often been the case in recent years, Congress will once again fail to pass a budget resolution. In this instance, Democrats do not want to act because Congressional approval of an FY 2023 budget resolution would turn off the reconciliation privileges of the bill formerly known as Build Back Better. Even without a budget resolution, appropriators can move forward on their spending bills, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is optimistically hoping the House can pass as many FY 2023 appropriations bills as possible in June.

On March 18, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) announced that the committee will again be soliciting Community Project Funding requests for the FY 2023 cycle. House Members can submit their requests to the panel from April 4 through the end of the month. More specific instructions will be provided in Dear Colleagues from each of the subcommittee chairs, including eligible accounts and the required information to accompany such requests, as well as any updated guidelines.

Committee Action of Note:

  • Monday, March 21:
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to examine the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Tuesday, March 22:
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to examine the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine child care and preschool, focusing on cutting costs for working families.
    • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Executive Session to consider several pieces of legislation, including (among others):
      • S. 3014, Next Generation Telecommunications Act
      • S. 3262, FREIGHT Act
      • S. 3296, TSA Reaching Across Nationalities, Societies, and Languages to Advance Traveler Education Act
      • S. 3434, Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act
      • S. 3580, Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022
      • S. 3662, Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Act
      • S. 3664, Right Whale Coexistence Act of 2022
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing to examine building a resilient economy, focusing on shoring up supply.
  • Wednesday, March 23:
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to examine the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing to examine promoting American energy security by facilitating investments and innovation in climate solutions.
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine strengthening federal mental health and substance use disorder programs, focusing on opportunities, challenges, and emerging issues.
    • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hearing to examine developing next generation technology for innovation.
    • Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities Hearing to examine strategic competition and security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Thursday, March 24:
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to examine the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Political Update

Alaska Special Election. A new election system approved by Alaska voters in 2020 will be used for the first time in the special election to replace Rep. Don Young (R), who died on March 18. All candidates, regardless of party, will appear on the same primary ballot, and voters will vote for one candidate. The four candidates who receive the most votes will be on the ballot for the special general election. In that election, Alaskans will rank the four candidates. If one candidate is the first choice of more than 50% of the voters, that candidate wins. If not, there is a lengthy process for determining the winner.

The primary date, which will be set by the Governor, will be between May 17 and June 16. If the primary were to be on June 16, the special general election would be Aug. 16, the same date as the regular statewide primary election.


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