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Legislative Update

House. The House plans to vote this week on legislation that would give the President the power to issue an emergency declaration that would, according to its sponsors, make it “unlawful to increase gasoline and home energy fuel prices in an excessive or exploitative manner.” If the measure passes in the House, it will not gain the support of 60 Senators. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has advised members that the House is also planning to vote on two measures to address the shortage of infant formula. The first measure, to be considered under suspension of the rules, would loosen the restrictions on what type of formula can be purchased through the WIC (Women, Infant and Children) program. About 50 percent of formula sold nationwide is purchased with WIC benefits. The second is an emergency supplemental appropriation bill that is being drafted and would reportedly provide funds to purchase formula available from Chile, Mexico, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Tuesday. Floor votes on Thursday will be the last votes until the House reconvenes June 7. Committee workdays are scheduled for next Tuesday through Thursday, and then both chambers will be out of session the week of May 30 for the Memorial Day recess.

Senate. Senate leaders in both parties had hoped that there would be unanimous consent last week for the Senate to vote on the House-passed bill providing $40 billion in additional aid for Ukraine. However, because of an objection from Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the Senate will instead go through the cloture process and vote on the measure this week, likely on Wednesday. The Senate will also continue to consider nominations, none of which are expected to need a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) posted a statement Sunday night saying he was in the hospital recovering from “a minor stroke” and would remain under observation for the next few days. Van Hollen added that he hoped to return to work in the Senate later this week. In late April, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had to postpone two confirmation votes when the Democratic ranks were depleted by the absence of two Senators (and the Vice President) who tested positive for Covid. All 50 Democrats and the Vice President were healthy last week, clearing the way for the confirmations of Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board and Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission. The votes for both nominees were 50-50, with Vice President Harris breaking the ties. The Senate last week also confirmed Jay Powell to a second term as Fed chairman and Philip Jefferson as a member of the Fed board.

Committee Action of Note:

  • Tuesday, May 17:
    • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Hearing: "Creating a More Resilient Nation: Stakeholder Perspectives."
    • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Hearing: “Examining Potential Reforms of Emergency Powers.”
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the National Institutes of Health.
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Defense Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Air Force and Space Force.
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to examine ways to strengthen the energy and mineral partnership between the U.S. and Canada to address energy security and climate objectives.
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change Hearing: "The Fiscal Year 2023 EPA Budget."
    • House Financial Services Committee Markup: H.R. 4395, the Payment Choice Act of 2022; H.R. 5912, the Close the ILC Loophole Act; H.R. 7003, the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act; H.R. 7002, the Strengthening Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector Act of 2022; H.R. 7196, the Flexibility in Addressing Rural Homelessness Act; H.R. 7716, the Coordinating Substance Use and Homelessness Care Act of 2022; H.R. 7732, the Strengthening the Office of Investor Advocate; H.R. 7733, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act; and H.R. 7734, the Timely Delivery of Bank Secrecy Acts Reports Act.
    • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Markup: H.R. 7569, the “Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Act of 2022”; H.R. 7361, the “National Weather Service Communications Improvement Act”; H.R. 7289, the “Federal PFAS Research Evaluation Act” ; H.R. 7180, the “Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID-19 Cognitive Research Act.”
    • House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Hearing: “Underpaid, Overworked, and Underappreciated: How the Pandemic Economy Disproportionately Harmed Low-Wage Women Workers.”
    • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing: “Preparing for Take-Off: Examining Efforts to Address Climate Change at U.S. Airports.”
    • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Hearing: “Reviving Competition, Part 6: Rebuilding America’s Economic Leadership and Combatting Corporate Profiteering.”
    • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Hearing: “Strengthening Social Security’s Customer Service.”
  • Wednesday, May 18:
    • House Energy and Commerce Committee Markup of various bills, including H.R. 7667, the FDA Amendments of 2022; H.R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022; and H.R. 5585, the ARPA-H Act.
    • House Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Revoking Your Rights: The Ongoing Crisis in Abortion Care Access.”
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
    • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Hearing: “Taxpayer Fairness Across the IRS.”
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Transportation Security Administration.”
    • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Markup: “Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. ____, the "Water Resources Development Act of 2022", and other matters cleared for consideration.”
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Hearing to examine addressing climate change with energy-efficient and resilient housing.
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine cybersecurity in the health and education sectors.
    • House Education and Labor Committee Markup: “H.R. 604, the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act (RRASA); H.R. 7701, the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act; H.R. 5407, the Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act; H.R. 6493, the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act of 2022; H.R. _____ – Mental Health Matters Act, or a related measure, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify, review, and implement effective interventions in Head Start programs, and for other purposes."
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Internal Revenue Service.”
    • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Hearing: “Examining DHS’s Efforts to Combat the Opioid Epidemic.”
    • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Hearing: “Climate Smart from Farm to Fork: Building an Affordable and Resilient Food Supply Chain.”
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for military construction and family housing.
  • Thursday, May 19:
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Food and Drug Administration.”
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of the Interior.
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing to examine the nominations of Michael Barr to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Jaime Lizarraga, and Mark Uyeda, both to be a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Friday, May 20:
    • House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology Field Hearing: “Building a Workforce to Navigate the Electric Vehicle Future.”

Political Update

Tuesday Primaries. Five states – Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon, Idaho, and Kentucky – will be holding primaries on Tuesday. In Pennsylvania, three Republicans are battling for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey – Mehmet Oz, David McCormick, and Kathy Barnette. On the Democratic side, the top two contenders are Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Rep. Conor Lamb. Fetterman, who is the front-runner, announced Sunday that he had suffered a stroke on Friday but was on his “way to a full recovery.”

In North Carolina, the race for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Senator Richard Burr is between Rep. Ted Budd and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Cheri Beasley is expected to win the Democratic nomination. The 11th Congressional District race pits Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) against six Republican challengers. If no candidate receives more than 30% of the vote, there will be a runoff on July 26. In Oregon, seven-term moderate Rep. Kurt Schrader (D) is facing a stiff challenge from progressive candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

House Vacancies. With the May 10 resignation of Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), the party breakdown in the House is now 221 Democrats/208 Republicans, but that will change again this month when Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) gives up his House seat to become New York’s lieutenant governor.


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