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Legislative Update

Senate. On Wednesday, House Republican impeachment managers will walk to the Senate to formally present the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that were approved by the House on Feb. 13. Senators will then be sworn in Thursday as jurors in the impeachment trial. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not announced what will happen next, but he could move to immediately dismiss the case. A simple majority vote would be needed to approve the motion.

As for other Senate action, Schumer outlined his future plans in a Dear Colleague letter on April 5. In addition to confirming nominees, the Senate is looking to approve funds to help reopen the Port of Baltimore and rebuild the Key Bridge, expand the Child Tax Credit, address rail safety, ensure Internet affordability, and reauthorize FAA programs.

House. The House is planning to vote this week on legislation that would revise and reauthorize electronic surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Before lawmakers vote on passage, the proposal must first clear consideration by the Rules Committee on Tuesday and a vote by the full House to approve the rule. The deadline for Congressional action is April 19.

House Committees. The House Republican Steering Committee will meet on Tuesday to decide who should replace Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) as chair of the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is considered the favorite to take the gavel from Granger, who announced on March 22 that she was stepping aside. In an April 3 letter to his GOP colleagues, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) asked that the Steering Committee vote be delayed until Republicans can “define a clear direction” for correcting the “fundamentally flawed” appropriations process. The Steering Committee vote, however, has not been re-scheduled, and the full Republican Conference is planning to vote Wednesday to confirm the Steering Committee’s choice.

If Cole is chosen to chair Appropriations, it will trigger other changes, not only at Appropriations but also at the Rules Committee. Cole currently chairs the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, and House Republican Conference Rules provide that a full committee chair cannot serve as a subcommittee chair. The full committee chair usually recommends to the Steering Committee that the current cardinals (subcommittee chairs) be allowed to serve as chairs of the subcommittees of their choice in order of seniority, provided they are not term-limited after six years as the top Republican on a subcommittee. Cole also chairs the Rules Committee so there will be a change there as well. The chair is chosen by the Speaker, and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) is reportedly Speaker Mike Johnson’s choice. Burgess is retiring after this session.

Committee Action of Note

Monday, April 8

  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Field Hearing: “Biden’s LNG Export Ban: How Rush-to-Green Politics Hurts Local Communities and U.S. Energy Security”

Tuesday, April 9

  • Senate Appropriations FY 2025 Budget Hearings:
    • Subcommittee on Defense Hearing: “FY 2025 Request for the Air Force and Space Force
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: “FY 2025 Request for the USAID”
  • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing: FY 2025 Request for the Department of Defense and Future Years Defense Program
  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on pending measures, including:
    • Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act
    • H.R. 529, Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act
    • H. Res 1112, Denouncing the Biden administration’s immigration policies

Wednesday, April 10

  • Senate Appropriations FY 2025 Budget Hearings:
    • Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: Request for the U.S. Forest Service
    • Subcommittee on Homeland Security: Request for the Department of Homeland Security
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing: “Examining the State of Air Quality Monitoring Technology”
  • Senate Budget Committee Hearing: “Sunny Places for Shady People: Offshore Tax Evasion by the Wealthy and Corporations”
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power Hearing to examine the Federal and Non-Federal Role of Assessing Cyber Threats to and Vulnerabilities of Critical Water Infrastructure in our Energy Sector
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Hearing: “Improving Export Controls Enforcement”
  • House Appropriations Subcommittees Hearings on FY 2025 Budget:
    • Request for the United States Navy and Marine Corps
    • Request for the United States Army
    • Request for U.S. Cyber Command and Cyber Operations
    • Request for the Department of Homeland Security
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Hearing: “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Part III – IP Protection for AI-Assisted Inventions and Creative Works”
  • House Homeland Security Committee markup on various measures, including H.R. 7832, “Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act”
  • House Small Business Committee Hearing: “Tax Day: Exploring the Adverse Effects of High Taxes and a Complex Tax Code”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Hearing: “The National Wildlife Refuge System at Risk: Impacts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposed BIDEH Rule”

Thursday, April 11

  • Senate Finance Committee Hearing: “Bolstering Chronic Care through Medicare Physician Payment”
  • House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations Hearing: “A Review of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise’s Posture and Capabilities in Strategic Competition and in Synchronizing Intelligence Efforts to Counter the People’s Republic of China”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Hearing: “Oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration”
  • House Ways and Means Committee Hearing: “Expanding on the Success of the 2017 Tax Relief to Help Hardworking Americans”

Friday, April 12

  • House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Hearing: “FY 2025 Budget Request for Missile Defense and Missile Defeat Programs”

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