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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate will continue to consider nominations. On Tuesday, Senators will have a classified briefing from defense and intelligence officials to, as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put it in a July 9 letter to his colleagues, “learn how we’re using and investing in AI [Artificial Intelligence] to protect our national security and learn what our adversaries are doing in AI.” Schumer added that in the coming months the Senate will begin hosting top AI experts in a series of AI Insight Forums.

House. The House and Senate are both scheduled to recess for the summer on July 28 (although that date could slip into early August, particularly in the Senate). This week, the House will spend Wednesday through Friday debating and voting on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Some 1,500 amendments have been filed, and the Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to pare that number down to several hundred.

Next week, the House is tentatively planning to take up a five-year reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration programs. Some observers believe Republicans could attach a tax package to the FAA bill. The tax legislation, which the Ways and Means Committee approved June 13, includes provisions to retroactively restore more favorable tax treatment for R&D expenses, business interest deduction, and bonus depreciation while extending that treatment through 2025. To partially offset the bill’s cost, the measure would repeal or modify certain clean energy tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act. Even though the FAA measure has bipartisan backing, the tax package was approved in committee without Democratic support.

There is also speculation that the House could vote this month on a short-term continuing resolution to provide government funding when the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Since none of the FY 2024 spending bills will be enacted by then, a CR will be needed to avoid a government shutdown.

FY 2024 Appropriations Bills. Work is continuing in both chambers on the individual appropriations bills for the new fiscal year. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will bypass subcommittee action and mark up three spending bills on Thursday – Legislative Branch, Commerce/Justice/Science, and Financial Services/General Government. Before the recess, the committee marked up the Agriculture/FDA and Military Construction/VA measures. The House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, has passed six bills out of the full committee and is awaiting action on two more that have cleared their subcommittees.

ESG Week. The House Financial Services Committee this week will devote four hearings to examining investing practices that take into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. On Wednesday, the full committee will start the action, followed by subcommittee hearings on Thursday and Friday dealing with the proxy voting process, the role of the proxy advisory industry, and the impact of ESG on insurance and housing costs. A roadmap to the committee’s interests was provided in an interim report released June 23 by the panel’s ESG Working Group.

In related action, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on July 6 sent letters to a number of asset managers, including BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, warning that they are “potentially violating U.S. antitrust laws by entering into agreements to ‘decarbonize’…assets under management and reduce emissions to net zero – with potentially harmful effects on Americans’ freedom and economic well-being.”

Committee Action of Note

Tuesday, July 11

  • Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing to consider the nomination of General Charles Q. Brown to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing: “Accelerating Breakthroughs: How the Special Diabetes Program is Creating Hope for those Living with Type 1 Diabetes”
  • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security Hearing: “Superbugs: The Impact of Antimicrobial Resistance on Modern Medicine”
  • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Hearing: “Exploiting the American Dream: How Abusive Land Contracts Prey on Vulnerable Homebuyers”
  • House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Hearing: “Investigating the Proximal Origin of a Cover Up”

Wednesday, July 12

  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee consideration of nominations to the FCC and NTSB
  • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy Hearing: “Bank Mergers and the Economic Impacts of Consolidation”
  • Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Hearing: “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property – Part II: Copyright”
  • Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight Hearing: “Assessing 25 Years of the Child Tax Credit (1997-2022)”
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Hearing: “Enhancing Fire Weather Prediction and Coordination”
  • House Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” with FBI Director Christopher Wray
  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Work and Welfare Hearing: “Where is all the Welfare Money Going? Reclaiming TANF Non-Assistance Dollars to Lift Americans Out of Poverty”
  • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement Hearing: “Protecting the U.S. Homeland: Fighting the Flow of Fentanyl from the Southwest Border”
  • House Financial Services Committee Hearing: “Protecting Investor Interests: Examining Environmental and Social Policy in Financial Regulation”

Thursday, July 13

  • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets Hearing: “Reforming the Proxy Process to Safeguard Investor Interests”
  • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: “Oversight of the Proxy Advisory Industry”
  • House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology Hearing: “Future of FEMA: Agency Perspectives with Administrator Criswell”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittees on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs and the Federal Workforce Joint Hearing: “Beyond the Budget: Addressing Financial Accountability in the Department of Defense”
  • House Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission” with FTC Chair Lina Khan
  • House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability Hearing: “The State Department’s Climate Agenda: A Budget Overview by the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate”
  • House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development: “Exposing the Dangers of the Influence of Foreign Adversaries on College Campuses”
  • House Small Business Committee Hearing: “Stolen Taxpayer Funds: Reviewing the SBA and OIF Reports of Fraud in Pandemic Lending Programs”
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Hearing: “The Consequences of Criminal Aliens on U.S. Communities”
  • House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party Hearing: “Risky Business: Growing Peril for American Companies in China”
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Markup to consider the FY 2024 appropriations for Legislative Branch, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Financial Services and General Government
  • (Tentative) House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Markup of the Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act reauthorization

Friday, July 14

  • House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Hearing: “How Mandates Like ESG Distort Markets and Drive Up Costs for Insurance and Housing”

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