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Legislative Update

House. This week the House will vote on legislation that would relax Securities and Exchange Commission registration and disclosure requirements and make other changes to allow more individuals to invest in private companies. The measure (H.R. 2799) was approved last April by the Financial Services Committee on a party-line vote. On Thursday, House and Senate members will gather in the House chamber to hear the President’s State of the Union message at 9 p.m. EST.

On Wednesday, the House is expected to approve the six-bill package of appropriations measures that was released Sunday night. The six bills – Agriculture/FDA, Military Construction/VA, Energy and Water, Transportation/HUD, Interior and Environment, and Commerce/Justice/Science – have a deadline for action of March 8 under the Continuing Resolution that lawmakers approved last week. The remaining six have a deadline of March 22. The House vote will be under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass.

Senate. While the Senate is expected to give final approval to the six appropriations measures before Friday’s deadline, it will take more floor time than in the House given procedural hurdles in the upper chamber. In addition to passing the appropriations package, the Senate is expected to clear legislation approved by the House on Feb. 29 that would extend the authorization for FAA programs through May 10. The current deadline is March 8. As for the long-term, five-year FAA reauthorization, the Senate Commerce Committee passed its version Feb. 8. The next step is likely to be an unofficial conference between Senate and House lawmakers to draft a compromise with the version that the House approved July 20, 2023. This compromise version is what would go to the floor for Senate approval and then to the House.

Still another bill on this week’s agenda would reauthorize and expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which is set to expire in May. RECA is a compensation program for Americans who were unknowingly exposed to radiation during the Manhattan Project and Cold War testing programs.

Committee Action of Note

Tuesday, March 5

  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup of various measures, including S.2367, to improve border security through regular assessments and evaluations of the Checkpoint Program Management Office and effective training of U.S. Border Patrol agents regarding drug seizures
  • House Rules Committee meeting to formulate rules on H.R. 2799, “Expanding Access to Capital Act of 2023” and H.R. 7511, “Laken Riley Act”

Wednesday, March 6

  • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Hearing: “National Transportation Safety Board Investigations Report”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing: “Examining Extended Producer Responsibility Policies for Consumer Packaging”
  • House Agriculture Committee Hearing to receive testimony from Rostin Behnam, Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “The Federal Reserve’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report” with Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Hearing to review H.R. 7408, “America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act”
  • House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Meeting: “The Chinese Communist Party’s Malign Influence at the United Nations”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs Hearing: “Advancing Tribal Self-Determination: Examining Bureau of Indian Affairs’ 638 Contracting”
  • House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Hearing "Examining the White House’s Role in Pandemic Preparedness and Response."

Thursday, March 7

  • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing: “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress,” with Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell
  • House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party Hearing: “Growing Stakes: The Bioeconomy and American National Security”
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of a bill recommending that the House of Representatives find Antony Blinken, Secretary, U.S. Department of State, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Hearing: “Politicized Financial Regulation and its Impact on Consumer Credit and Community Development”
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing: “Department of Transportation Discretionary Grants: Stakeholder Perspectives”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: “Monetizing Nature and Locking up Public Land: The Implications of Biden’s Strategy for Natural Capital Accounting”
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Hearing: “Presidential Power to Secure the Border”
  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Hearing: “OECD Pillar 1: Ensuring the Biden Administration Puts Americans First”

Political Update

Super Tuesday. Fifteen states are holding presidential primaries or caucuses tomorrow. Five of those states will also be holding congressional primaries – Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas. The only member vs. member House primary pits two Alabama Republicans against each other thanks to redistricting. Reps. Jerry Carl and Barry Moore are vying for the GOP nomination in a new district that is expected to go Republican in November.

In the primary race for the California Senate seat held by the late Dianne Feinstein and now by Laphonza Butler, the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is expected to win one of the top two spots. The battle for the other spot is among Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee and Republican Steve Garvey. In Texas, Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who is serving her 15th term, is facing a stiff challenge from Amanda Edwards, a former Houston councilwoman.

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