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Legislative Update

House. The House is in recess this week.

Senate. In preparation for a House-Senate conference committee on the China competition bill, the Senate on Tuesday and Wednesday will vote on 28 Motions to Instruct, eight from Democrats and 20 from Republicans. The adoption of a specific motion is designed to reinforce the Senate’s position in negotiations with the House, but the motions are non-binding. Also on this week’s schedule are various nominations. However, it appears that Covid will once again throw a monkey wrench into Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plans.

Last week, Schumer had hoped the Senate would confirm Lisa Cook as a Federal Reserve Board Governor and Alvaro Bedoya as a Federal Trade Commissioner. The vote tallies were expected to be 50-50, with Vice President Harris breaking the ties. However, with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), as well as Vice President Harris, testing positive last week for Covid, Schumer didn’t have the votes for confirmation. On Sunday, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said he, too, has tested positive and is quarantining, so once again Schumer is without a majority if all Republicans oppose the nominees. At the end of the week, a group of Senators will travel to Salt Lake City for Friday’s funeral for former Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Jan. 6 Committee. The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot has tentatively scheduled eight public hearings next month. The first hearing, on June 9, will be in prime-time for evening viewing.

FY 2023 Appropriations. The chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees met last Thursday to discuss top-line spending numbers for FY 2023. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said she hopes an agreement on the defense and non-defense numbers can be reached “within the next couple of weeks.” House subcommittees are planning to mark up their bills June 13-22.

Committee Action of Note:

  • Tuesday, May 3:
    • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing to examine the posture of the Department of the Air Force in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2023 and the Future Years Defense Program.
    • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Hearing to examine connecting workers and communities, focusing on preparing and supporting the broadband workforce.
    • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of Transportation.
  • Wednesday, May 4:
    • 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 Department of Health and Human Services.
    • 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 Forest Service.
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of Energy.
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to examine excessive swipe fees and barriers to competition in the credit and debit card systems.
    • Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight Hearing to examine laws and enforcement governing the political activities of tax-exempt entities.
    • Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law Hearing to examine platform transparency, focusing on understanding the impact of social media.
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Hearing to examine overdraft fees and their effects on working families.
  • Thursday, May 5:
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing to examine student loan servicers and their impact on workers.
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of Energy.
    • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Hearing to examine ensuring fairness and transparency in the market for prescription drugs.
    • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing to examine securing and ensuring order on the Southwest border.
    • Senate Budget Committee Hearing to examine whether taxpayer dollars should go to companies that violate labor laws.

Political Update

May 3 Primaries. Voters will go to the polls Tuesday in Ohio and Indiana. In Ohio, the race for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Senator Rob Portman (R) is the most expensive primary in the state’s history, with GOP candidates and outside groups spending $69.8 million.


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