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Legislative Update

House. The House is in recess this week after voting on Saturday to pass four measures – aid for Ukraine, 311-112-1; aid for Israel and humanitarian aid for Gaza, 366-58; aid for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific countries, 385-34-1; and a sidecar package that includes provisions forcing the Chinese owners of TikTok to sell the app or have it banned in the U.S., 360-58.

The measures were cleared for floor consideration after all four Democrats on the Rules Committee, in a very rare move, voted for the rule to provide a majority when three Republicans – Reps. Chip Roy (Tex.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), and Ralph Norman (S.C.) – opposed it. Democrats in the full House then supplied the necessary votes to approve the rule, 316-94, after 55 Republicans voted no. Following passage of the four individual bills, the House then packaged them into one measure for Senate consideration.

Senate. Like the House, the Senate was scheduled to be in recess this week for Passover. However, Senators will return Tuesday to take up the four-bill package, beginning with a cloture vote to limit debate. If the cloture vote garners more than 60 votes, as expected, debate is limited to 30 hours. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping that Senators will agree to shorten the debate time if they are allowed to offer a handful of amendments, which will likely be defeated. If Senators can reach an agreement on procedures, the measure could be approved and sent to the President as soon as Tuesday, and the Senate would then be in recess until next week.

Facing an April 19 deadline for action, the Senate voted 60-34 not long after midnight early Saturday morning, April 20, to reauthorize for two years the electronic surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). President Biden signed the measure Saturday afternoon.

Political Update

April 23 Primaries. Voters in Pennsylvania will go to the polls on Tuesday to choose party nominees for House and Senate races.

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