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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate this week will continue to consider amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). On Wednesday, Senators are invited to attend the third in a series of artificial intelligence briefings convened by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. According to Leader Schumer, Senators “will hear from federal researchers and developers about where AI is headed in the years to come and how it will continue to change our world.” Absent from the Senate this week will be Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who announced Sunday night that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

While the Senate is scheduled to adjourn at the end of the week until September 5, there have been rumors that Leader Schumer might keep the Senate in session next week to address the hold that Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has placed on the promotion of hundreds of military officials. There are no indications, though, that Tuberville will relent on his opposition to a Defense Department policy that pays travel expenses for service members who need to go out of state to obtain an abortion.

House. There has also been talk that the House might stay in an extra week as well, but that appears to be just talk as lawmakers are eager to begin their summer recess on July 28. On this week’s schedule is at least one FY 2024 appropriations bill and possibly a second as well. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to consider proposed amendments to the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs bill on Tuesday and amendments to the Agriculture/FDA measure on Wednesday.

House leadership hopes both measures can clear the floor this week, but they will have to pass with close to 100% Republican support given Democratic opposition. A number of House Republicans want even deeper spending cuts, while some moderate Republicans worry that certain spending reductions may harm their constituents. (The Biden Administration’s statements of opposition to the two bills can be found here and here.)

FY 2024 Appropriations. Two other appropriations bills have yet to be scheduled for consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee – Labor/HHS/Education and Commerce/Justice/Science – despite subcommittee approval on July 14. Meanwhile on the Senate side, the Appropriations Committee on Thursday plans to mark up the last four of the 12 spending bills – Defense, Interior/Environment, Labor/HHS/Education, and Homeland Security. Last Thursday, Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced that they would introduce a supplemental appropriations bill to add $13.7 billion in emergency funding above the caps set in the debt limit deal. The additional money was designated as $8 billion for defense and $5.7 billion for non-defense spread across four bills.

Committee Action of Note

Tuesday, July 25

  • Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law Hearing: “Oversight of A.I.: Principles for Regulation”
  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on H.R. 4366 – Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

Wednesday, July 26

  • House Rules Committee Meeting to formulate a rule on H.R. 4368 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
  • Senate Budget Committee Hearing: “Beyond the Breaking Point: The Fiscal Consequences of Climate Change on Infrastructure”
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing “To Examine the Opportunity for Congress to Reform the Process for Permitting Electric Transmission Lines, Pipelines, and Energy Production on Federal Lands”
  • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Hearing: “Taking Account of Fees and Tactics Impacting Americans’ Wallets”
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: “U.S. Economic Security: Addressing Economic Coercion and Increasing Competitiveness”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing: “Improving Capacity for Critical Mineral Recovery through Electronic Waste Recycling and Reuse”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety Hearing: “Cleaner Trains: Opportunities for Reducing Emissions from America’s Rail Network”
  • House Financial Services Committee markup of various measures
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Meeting: “Stopping the Exploitation of Migrant Children: Oversight of HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement”
  • House Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “with Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Hearing: “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency”
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Hearing: “Self-Driving Vehicle Legislative Framework: Enhancing Safety, Improving Lives and Mobility, and Beating China”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation Hearing: “Getting Nowhere: DoD’s Failure to Replace the Defense Travel System”
  • House Homeland Security Subcommittees on Border Security and Enforcement, and Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Joint Hearing: “The Real Cost of an Open Border: How Americans are Paying the Price”
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: “The Future of Subsurface Science and Technology in the United States”
  • House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party Hearing: “Commanding Heights: Ensuring U.S. Leadership in the Critical and Emerging Technologies of the 21st Century”
  • House Ways and Means Committee Markup of healthcare legislation, H.R. 4822 and H.R. 3284

Thursday, July 27

  • Senate Appropriations Full Committee Markup:
    • Defense Appropriations Act
    • Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
    • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
    • Homeland Security Appropriations Act
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight Hearing: “Solutions for Single-Use Waste: Expanding Refill and Reuse Infrastructure”
  • Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Markup of various measures
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Markup of various measures
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance Hearing: “Oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing: “Safeguarding American Jobs and Economic Growth: Examining the Future of the Offshore Leasing Program”
  • House Oversight and Accountability Committee Hearing: “Oversight and Reauthorization of the Office of National Drug Control Policy”
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Hearing to review various measures
  • House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Hearing: “Because I Said So: Examining the Science and Impact of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates”
  • House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Hearing: “Illicit IT: Bankrolling Kim Jong Un”
  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Hearing: “The Employee Retention Tax Credit Experience: Confusion, Delays, and Fraud”
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Hearing: “Review of the Recapitalization of the U.S. Coast Guard Surface, Air, IT and Shoreside Assets”

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