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Legislative Update

House. The House is in recess today and tomorrow, leaving only three days for legislative work before Members leave at the end of the week until Nov. 14. The #1 item on the agenda is passage of a continuing resolution to keep the government open after Sept. 30. The CR is expected to run through Dec. 16.

While the House waits for the Senate to pass the CR, Members will vote on various bills under suspension of the rules as well as Senate-passed legislation providing a three-year reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The House may also consider legislation that would expand requirements and restrictions on stock ownership by members of Congress. The proposal would reportedly apply restrictions to spouses and dependent children of lawmakers and senior government officials. On Sept. 23, Speaker Nancy Pelosi extended proxy voting, which was scheduled to expire Sept. 26, until Nov. 10.

Senate. The Senate is in recess until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. When the Senate reconvenes, the first order of business will be a roll call vote on whether to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to a House bill (H.R. 6833) that will be the vehicle for the continuing resolution. The language of the CR has not yet been released, but it is expected to include additional aid for Ukraine, disaster relief, a five-year reauthorization of FDA user fees, and the proposal that Senator Manchin released last week to streamline the process for federal approval of permits for energy infrastructure projects.

It’s unclear whether opponents of the permitting reform measure will mount an effort to show their hand and defeat the cloture motion or the subsequent vote on the motion to proceed or will wait for votes later in the process. Once the Senate does proceed to the House bill, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to offer an amendment to strip the existing language from the bill and insert the text of the continuing resolution. As it stands now, the opposition to the permitting proposal appears strong enough to block the CR from attaining the 60 votes needed for passage.

While it is unknown exactly how the permitting reform impasse will play out, all sides agree that Congress will pass a CR before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and the government will not shut down. Like the House, the Senate will recess at the end of the week. However, Senators will return on Oct. 11 and take up the National Defense Authorization Act.

Committee Action of Note

Wednesday, September 28

  • House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol Hearing
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing “Stakeholder Views on the Brownfields Program Reauthorization”
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing “Keeping the Pressure on Russia and Its Enablers: Examining the Reach of and Next Steps for U.S. Sanctions”
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearing “FAA Reauthorization: Integrating New Entrants into the National Airspace System”

Thursday, September 29

  • House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Hearing “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Title XII – Department Operations and Outreach”
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing “Investing in our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure and Workers: Why it Matters”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing “S.3571, Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2022”
  • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing “Examining Outbound Investment”
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing to Consider Nominations, including Richard Revesz to be Administrator, OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing “Managing the Risks of Artificial Intelligence”
  • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Hearing “A Big Climate Deal: Lowering Costs, Creating Jobs, and Reducing Pollution with the Inflation Reduction Act”

Friday, September 30

  • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing: “Puerto Rico’s Post-Disaster Reconstruction & Power Grid Development”

Political Update

Early Voting. Voters can now cast their votes for the mid-term elections in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, and Wyoming. On Thursday, early voting begins in Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota.

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