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Legislative Update

Senate. With approval last week of both a one-week and a five-year FAA reauthorization bill, the Senate has no major legislative proposals on its schedule and will return to consideration of nominations this week.

House. The short-term FAA bill passed by both the House and Senate gives lawmakers until May 17 to act on the five-year bill that cleared the Senate on Thursday. The House is expected to take up the measure Tuesday under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. Also on the House schedule are various measures related to law enforcement to mark National Police Week. Last week, the House voted 359-43 to table the effort by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to remove Rep. Mike Johnson as Speaker.

FY 2025 Appropriations. When President Biden and then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated a deal in June 2023 to suspend the debt limit for two years, they set discretionary spending levels for both FY 2024 and 2025. For FY 2025, the deal allows for a 1% increase in both defense and non-defense spending levels. Biden and McCarthy also agreed to a side deal that was not included in legislation providing for an additional $69 billion in spending above the caps for FY 2024 and $69.69 billion in FY 2025.

As House Republicans begin the FY 2025 appropriations process, they appear to be moving forward to craft spending measures that adhere to the defense and non-defense caps but without extra money from the side deal. House Appropriations Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is hoping to provide spending targets this week or next to his subcommittee chairs, with the goal of marking up individual bills later this month or in early June and passing all 12 out of the full committee before the August recess.

The Senate is not on a similar path. Not only are Senate Democrats more likely to include the extra side deal spending, but there is a potential disagreement over the caps. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others believe that more defense spending above the cap is warranted. Democrats counter that any increase in defense spending would have to be matched by an equal increase in non-defense spending. There is no expectation that both chambers will agree on FY 2025 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, necessitating passage of a continuing resolution to keep government programs funded.

Committee Action of Note

Monday, May 13

  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands Field Hearing in Hayward, Wisconsin: “Improving Access and Opportunities for Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Recreation on America’s Federal Lands”

Tuesday, May 14

  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on various measures, including:
    • H. Res. 1210 – Condemning the Biden border crisis and the tremendous burdens law enforcement officers face as a result;
    • H.R. 7530 – DC CRIMES Act of 2024; and
    • The “Israel Security Assistance Support Act”

Wednesday, May 15

  • Senate Appropriations FY25 Budget Hearings:
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development: Request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: Request for the Department of Commerce with Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce
  • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense: “A Review of Select Department of Defense Acquisition Programs”
  • Senate Budget Committee Hearing: “Budgeting the Storm: Climate Change and the Costs to National Security”
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: “The Future of Arms Control and Deterrence”
  • Senate Rules and Administration Committee markup of 3 measures, including:
    • S. 2770 – to prohibit the distribution of materially deceptive AI-generated audio or visual media relating to candidates for Federal office; and
    • S. 3897 – to require the Election Assistance Commission to develop voluntary guidelines for the administration of elections that address the use and risks of artificial intelligence technologies
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup of 11 measures, including:
    • S. 4066 – Federal Improvement in Technology (FIT) Procurement Act;
    • S. 3015 – Telework Reform Act of 2023; and
    • Cross Border Aerial Law Enforcement Operations Act
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Briefing: “An Update on Foreign Threats to the 2024 Elections”
  • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing to receive testimony on Army Modernization in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY25 and the Future Years Defense Program
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government: FY 2025 Budget Request for the Federal Trade Commission
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing: “Reviewing and Examining the Francis Scott Key Bridge Federal Response”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Hearing: “FY 2025 Environmental Protection Agency Budget” with Michael Regan, Administrator, EPA
  • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “Oversight of Prudential Regulators” with Michael Barr, Vice Chairman for Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Martin Gruenberg, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and Michael Hsu, Acting Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • House Small Business Committee Hearing: “Under the Microscope: Reviewing Key SBA Programs with Associate Administrator Frost”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup of various measures, including:
    • H.R. 8333 – the BIOSECURE Act;
    • H.R. 5255 – the Federal Cybersecurity Vulnerability Reduction Act of 2023; and
    • H.R. 8334 – the Grant Integrity and Border Security Act
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands Hearing: “Examining the President’s FY 2025 Budget Request for the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Meeting: “FY 2025 National Telecommunications and Information Administration Budget”
  • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security Hearing: “An Examination of the Transportation Security Administration’s FY 2025 Budget”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation Hearing: “Red Alert: Countering the Cyberthreat from China”

Thursday, May 16

  • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing to receive testimony on the posture of the Navy in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY25 and the Future Years Defense Program
  • Senate Finance Committee Hearing: “Rural Health Care: Supporting Lives and Improving Communities”
  • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing: “Oversight of U.S. Financial Regulators: Accountability and Financial Stability” with Michael Barr, Vice Chairman for Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Martin Gruenberg, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and Michael Hsu, Acting Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to examine the President’s Budget Request for the U.S. Forest Service for FY25
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee markup of 14 measures, including:
    • S. 275 – Rural Broadband Protection Act of 2023;
    • S. 4207 – Spectrum and National Security Act;
    • S. 1956 – Invent Here, Make Here Act of 2023; and
    • Nomination of Samuel Slater to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: “Modernization and Management: Building a Department to Address 21st Century Challenges”
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government: FY 2025 Budget Request for the Federal Communications Commission” with Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman, FCC
  • House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party Hearing: “All Roads Lead to Beijing? The CCP’s Global Development Offensive”
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of 11 measures, including:
    • H.R. 8315 – To amend the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 to prevent foreign adversaries from exploiting United States artificial intelligence and other enabling technologies, and for other purposes;
    • To impose sanctions with respect to economic or industrial espionage by foreign adversarial companies, and for other purposes; and
    • H.R. 8152 – To amend the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 to provide for control of remote access of items, and for other purposes
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing: “Oversight and Examination of the National Science Foundation’s Priorities for 2025 and Beyond”
  • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing: “Examining the Council on Environmental Quality FY 25 Budget Request and Related Policy Matters”
  • House Administration Committee Hearing: “American Confidence in Elections: Preventing Noncitizen Voting and Other Foreign Interference”

Political Update

Tuesday Primaries. Voters will go to the polls Tuesday in Maryland, West Virginia, and Nebraska to choose party nominees for the House and Senate. In Maryland, the most competitive race pits Rep. David Trone against Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks as they battle for the Democratic nomination to succeed Senator Ben Cardin (D). The winner is expected to face former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in November. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice is favored to win the Republican nomination over Rep. Alex Mooney in the race to succeed Senator Joe Manchin (D). In Nebraska, incumbents are expected to prevail in their party primaries.

N.J. Special Election. Eleven Democrats and one Republican have submitted petitions to run in the July 16 special primary election to succeed the late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D). The winners of the party primaries will face each other in a special general election on Sept. 18 to fill the 11th District seat until January 2025. Payne was the only Democratic candidate on the regular June 4 primary ballot, and it will be up to Democratic Party Committee members in the district to choose his replacement for the November general election ballot. Their choice could, but doesn’t have to, be the same nominee as the winner of the July 16 Democratic primary.

www.psw-inc.com


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