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Legislative Update

House. No floor votes will be held this week, but various committees will hold hearings Tuesday through Thursday. Both the House and Senate are out of session next week for the Memorial Day recess.

Senate. The Senate will continue to consider nominations this week and could also take procedural votes on three House-passed measures that may not have enough support to overcome Republican opposition. The bills would provide $28 million in emergency funding for the FDA to address the baby formula shortage; set up federal domestic terrorism offices; and address high gasoline prices.

USICA/COMPETES. As negotiators begin their work to find a compromise between the Senate’s USICA legislation and the House’s COMPETES measure, the resulting legislation is now being referred to as the Bipartisan Innovation Act. A timeline sketched out by House and Senate leaders envisions a final conference report emerging by June 21. Many observers believe this may be an overly optimistic schedule to resolve differences between the two measures that are designed to boost U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Capitol Tours. The Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) will reopen for tour access on Monday, May 30, and tour groups will no longer have to enter via the Longworth House Office Building. Beginning on the 30th, guide-led and staff-led tours will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, the CVC gift shops and cafeteria will reopen to tour guests. Beginning May 25, the public can reserve tours directly through the CVC website.

Committee Action of Note:

  • Tuesday, May 24:
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Forest Service.
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing: Strengthening our Communications Networks: Legislation to Connect and Protect.
    • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Hearing: Climate Smart from Farm to Fork: Building an Affordable and Resilient Food Supply Chain.
    • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion Hearing: Diversity Includes Disability: Exploring Inequities in Financial Services for Persons with Disabilities, Including Those Newly Disabled Due to Long-Term COVID.
  • Wednesday, May 25:
    • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing to examine the nomination of Joseph Goffman to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • 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 Department of the Interior.
    • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Executive Session to consider several pieces of legislation including S. 4217 Transportation Fuel Market Transparency Act, S. 4246 Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization Act, among others.
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: Formula Safety and Supply: Protecting the Health of America's Babies.
    • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Hearing: Reauthorization and Reform of the National Flood Insurance Program.
    • House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Hearing: Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Hearing: The Infant Formula Crisis.
    • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Hearing to examine the Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service.
    • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power Legislative Hearing on various bills.
    • Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Hearing: Supply Chain Resiliency: Alleviating Backlogs and Strengthening Long-Term Security.
  • Thursday, May 26:
    • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Legislative Hearing to Protect Consumers and Strengthen the Economy.
    • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Examining the Benefits and Risks of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency.
    • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: Manufactured Housing: Supporting America’s Largest Unsubsidized Affordable Housing Stock.

Political Update

Tuesday’s Elections. Voters will head to the polls in five states, with primaries in Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas; runoffs in Texas; and a special election primary in Minnesota.

Georgia. Former football star Herschel Walker is leading the GOP Senate primary race, but the five other candidates are hoping to hold him to less than 50% of the vote, forcing a June 21 runoff between the top two vote-getters. The winner of the GOP race will likely face Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, who does not have a serious primary challenge.

On the House side, redistricting has created a newly redrawn 7th District outside Atlanta and forced two incumbents, Democratic Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux, to face each other. In the 13th District, House Agriculture Chairman David Scott (D) is facing a challenge from his left. In the 14th District, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) has five primary opponents and is hoping to avoid a runoff.

The Republican primary for governor has also drawn national attention, pitting incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp against former Senator David Perdue, with Kemp leading comfortably in the latest polls. The winner will face Stacey Abrams, who lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial race.

Alabama. In the race to replace retiring Republican Senator Richard Shelby, the GOP primary is expected to go to a runoff. The leading candidates are Katie Boyd Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff and the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama; Mike Durant, an aerospace company owner; and Rep. Mo Brooks. If no candidate garners more than 50% of the vote, the runoff will be on June 21. The winner is expected to keep the seat in the Republican column.

Arkansas. Republican Senator John Boozman leads his challengers, including former NFL player Jake Bequette, but if no candidate secures over 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff on June 21. In the governor’s race, former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to win the Republican nod and the general election in November.

Texas Primary Runoffs. After the March 1 primaries, runoffs were needed in several Congressional races. The race that has drawn the most attention is in the 28th District, which runs from San Antonio to the Mexican border. The Democratic runoff pits centrist Rep. Henry Cuellar against progressive Jessica Cisneros, an immigration attorney. Another race of note is taking place about 300 miles to the north, in the 30th District of the Dallas area. In the Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), progressive State Rep. Jasmine Crockett and centrist Jane Hope Hamilton will face each other.

Minnesota Special Election. Tuesday’s special election primary in the 1st Congressional District will choose the party candidates for an Aug. 9 election to replace Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died in February. On the Republican side, the top three candidates include Jennifer Carnahan, Hagedorn’s widow and former state chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota; state Rep. Jeremy Munson; and former state Rep. Brad Finstad. On the Democratic side, the party has endorsed former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger, but he is competing against University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, among others.

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