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’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.