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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate is in recess.

House. This week the House will take up two resolutions under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove Biden Administration rules. One resolution would block the Administration’s student debt relief plan and nullify the pause on federal student loan payments and interest. The other would overturn an EPA rule that established new emission standards for heavy-duty trucks, a rule that the Senate voted 50-49 on April 26 to disapprove. The President is expected to veto both resolutions if they reach his desk. The House could also try to override the President’s May 16 veto of a CRA resolution that would repeal the Administration’s two-year suspension of tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian countries. However, the tally is likely to be short of the two-thirds needed to override the veto.

Debt Limit. Negotiations to address the debt limit are continuing between the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s team, with the President and the Speaker scheduled to meet this evening. The negotiators are continuing to operate under the assumption that Congress needs to act before June 1. Treasury Secretary Yellen said Sunday that while there is still uncertainty about the exact date that Treasury will be unable to pay its bills, “the odds of reaching June 15 while being able to pay all of our bills is quite low.”

An analysis released May 18 by the Bipartisan Policy Center looks at daily cash flows in June. On June 1, for example, the government will pay out an estimated $101 billion (including payments for Medicare providers, military pay, civil service retirement, and veterans benefits) while taking in $26 billion in revenue. On June 2, the government is scheduled to spend an estimated $40 billion, including $25 billion in Social Security benefits, while taking in $18 billion.

FY 2024 Appropriations. One of the biggest sticking points in the debt limit talks is how much the government should spend in coming years. Even though that question has yet to be resolved, the House Appropriations Committee is moving ahead to mark up the FY 2024 spending bills. This week the committee plans to vote on the spending allocations [known as 302(b) allocations] for the four bills that are scheduled for full committee action this week following subcommittee approval last week. On Tuesday, the full committee will mark up the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs bill as well as the Legislative Branch measure. On Wednesday, the committee will act on the Agriculture/FDA and Homeland Security bills.

Committee Action of Note

Monday, May 22

  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on H.R. 467 – HALT Fentanyl Act; S.J. Res. 11 relating to “Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards”; and H.J. Res. 45 relating to “Waivers and Modifications of Federal Student Loans”

Tuesday, May 23

  • House Oversight and Accountability Committee Hearing: “The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Prescription Drug Markets Part I: Self-Interest or Health Care?”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing: “Oversight and Reauthorization of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration”
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Hearing: “The Biden Border Crisis: Part III”
  • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “FHFA Oversight: Protecting Homeowners and Taxpayers”
  • House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Hearing: “Protecting Employees’ Rights: Ensuring Fair Elections at the NLRB”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: “Growing the Domestic Energy Sector Supply Chain and Manufacturing Base: Are Federal Efforts Working?”
  • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Hearing: “A Security Sprint: Assessing the U.S. Homeland’s Vulnerabilities to Chinese Community Party Aggression”

Wednesday, May 24

  • House Budget Committee Hearing: “Reigniting American Growth and Prosperity Series: Removing the Burdens of Government Overreach”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Hearing: “Consumer Choice on the Backburner: Examining the Biden Administration’s Regulatory Assault on Americans’ Gas Stoves”
  • House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development Hearing: “Breaking the System Part II: Examining the Implications of Biden’s Student Loan Policies for Students and Taxpayers”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services Hearing: “A Failure of Supervision: Bank Failures and the San Francisco Federal Reserve”
  • House Administration Subcommittee on Elections Hearing: “American Confidence in Elections: Ensuring Every Eligible American has the Opportunity to Vote – and for their Vote to Count According to Law”

Thursday, May 25

  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Hearing: “Modernizing Customs Policies to Protect American Workers and Secure Supply Chains”
  • House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions Hearing: “International Financial Institutions in an Era of Great Power Competition”

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