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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate will continue to consider nominations.

House. This is National Police Week, and the House is scheduled to take up several bills related to law enforcement.

Debt Limit. Staff for Congressional leaders met over the weekend in an ongoing effort to negotiate the parameters of a debt ceiling deal, and the leaders themselves will meet Tuesday with the President. There is no expectation that a deal will be announced following tomorrow’s meeting. Whether there will be an agreement this month could depend not only on the progress of the talks but on an update from the Treasury Department next week on when the government will no longer have the funds necessary to pay its bills.

In a letter this afternoon, Treasury Secretary Yellen affirmed that, even with more current data available, “we still estimate that Treasury will likely no longer be able to satisfy all of the government’s obligations if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by early June, and potentially as early as June 1….The actual date Treasury exhausts extraordinary measures could be a number of days or weeks later than these estimates. I will provide an additional update to Congress next week as more information becomes available.”

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that “there is a significant risk that at some point in the first two weeks of June, the government will no longer be able to pay all of its obligations.” Last Tuesday, May 9, the Bipartisan Policy Center released its latest debt limit analysis, projecting that “Treasury will most likely have insufficient cash to meet all its financial obligations sometime between early June and early August 2023.”

CBO (and others) have noted that “if the Treasury’s cash and extraordinary measures are sufficient to finance the government until June 15, expected quarterly tax receipts and additional extraordinary measures will probably allow the government to continue financing operations through at least the end of July.” But no one knows yet whether the government will have funds to get to June 15. Still one other uncertainty in the mix is the Congressional calendar. The Senate is scheduled to be in recess next week and the House the following week. Both recesses may be in jeopardy.

FY 2024 Appropriations. The debt limit talks have put a hold on action in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where committee leaders are now waiting to see the outcome of the debt limit negotiations before scheduling markups of the FY 2024 bills. However, two House subcommittees will move forward on Wednesday with markups of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs bill and the Legislative Branch bill.

Tax Package. House Republicans are putting together a package of tax proposals that could be unveiled as soon as this week and marked up next week in the Ways and Means Committee. Or not. It’s possible that the debt limit talks could delay that timeline. The package will reportedly address three tax changes mandated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, dealing with the tax treatment of R&D spending, business interest deduction, and depreciation of certain business assets. Among other things, the proposal is also expected to address an accounting rule that has increased the tax liability for auto dealers experiencing inventory shortages caused by supply chain issues with semiconductor chips.

Committee Action of Note

Monday, May 15

  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on H.R. 2494 – POLICE Act of 2023; H.R. 3091 – Federal Law Enforcement Office Service Weapon Purchase Act; H. Con. Res. 40 – Expressing support for local law enforcement officers and condemning efforts to defund or dismantle local law enforcement agencies

Tuesday, May 16

  • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing: “Examining the Failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank”
  • Senate Finance Committee Hearing: “House Republican Supplemental IRS Funding Cuts: Analyzing the Impact on Federal Law Enforcement and the Federal Deficit”
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: “What Comes Next for U.S. Policy Towards Russia?”
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing: “A Review of the President’s Fiscal Year 24 Budget Request: Investing in US Security, Competitiveness, and the Path Ahead for the U.S.-China Relationship”
  • Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness Hearing: “Economic Cooperation for a Stronger and More Resilient Western Hemisphere”
  • Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Hearing: “The Impacts of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship and Default on America’s Small Businesses”
  • House Agriculture Subcommittee on Forestry Hearing: “To Review the National Forest System: Supporting Forest Health and Confronting the Wildfire Crisis”
  • House Ways and Means Committee Hearing: “Health Care Price Transparency: A Patient’s Right to Know”
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: “The Next Fifty Years of the Clean Water Act: Examining the Law and Infrastructure Project Completion”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security Markup: H.R. 1042, The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act; H.R. 1640, Save Our Gas Stoves Act; and H.R. 3277, Energy Emergency Leadership Act
  • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “Oversight of Prudential Regulators”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands Hearing: “Examining the Challenges Facing Forest Management, Wildfire Suppression, and Wildland Firefighters Ahead of the 2023 Wildfire Year”

Wednesday, May 17

  • Senate Budget Committee Hearing: “The Rich Get Richer, Deficits Get Bigger: How Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Corporations Drive the National Debt”
  • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security Hearing: “A Crisis in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care: Closing Gaps in Access by Bringing Care and Prevention to Communities”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing: “Federal Actions to Improve Project Reviews for Cleaner and Stronger Economy”
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Hearing: “Examining Health Care Denials and Delays in Medicare Advantage”
  • Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care Hearing: “Improving Health Care Access in Rural Communities: Obstacles and Opportunities”
  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Hearing: “Rural Broadband: Connecting our Communities to the Digital Economy”
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Hearing: “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Part I – Interoperability of AI and Copyright Law”
  • House Financial Services Joint Subcommittees on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy and Oversight and Investigations Hearing: “Continued Oversight Over Regional Bank Failures”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Hearing: “Driving Bad Policy: Examining EPA’s Tailpipe Emissions Rules and the Realities of a Rapid Electric Vehicle Transition”
  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Hearing: “Why Health Care is Unaffordable: Anticompetitive and Consolidated Markets”
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing: “The State of American Influence in 2023: Great Power Competition and Persistent Crises in an Era of Budget Constraints”
  • House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party Hearing: “Leveling the Playing Field: How to Counter the CCP’s Economic Aggression”
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Markup of FY 2024 Appropriations
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch Markup of FY 2024 Appropriations

Thursday, May 18

  • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing: “Oversight of Financial Regulators: Financial Stability, Supervision, and Consumer Protection in the Wake of Recent Bank Failures”
  • Senate Finance Committee Hearing: “Tax Incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act: Jobs and Investment in Energy Communities”
  • House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Hearing: “Standing United Against the People Republic of China’s Economic Aggression and Predatory Practices”

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