Both the House and Senate are in session this week

The House will meet this week to consider the $839.3 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which has garnered over 1,000 amendments and will likely take multiple days to process in the Rules Committee and on the House floor. There was bipartisan agreement to increase the bill by $37 billion to address concerns about inflation and Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. 

The conference committee that was formed to resolve differences in the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521), which aims to boost manufacturing and technological innovation to better compete economically with China, is on hold at the direction of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) because Democrats are attempting to move forward with their budget reconciliation package. The Administration and industry stakeholders have continued calling for swift passage of the legislation.

Despite his COVID-19 diagnosis and isolation this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working to enact a budget reconciliation deal this summer to address high prescription drug prices, climate change, and energy production. He has had extensive conversations with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who with Senator Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ) was one of the key barriers to the Democrats’ ambitious spending package earlier this year. 

Administration

President Biden will travel to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week for his first trip to the Middle East as President. He is expected to focus on Israel’s fast-strengthening ties with Arab countries and an emerging Arab-Israeli military partnership to combat threats from Iran. In Saudi Arabia, Biden will work to strengthen a strategic partnership that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, including encouraging the country to increase oil production. President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia has drawn criticism due to its history of human rights abuses, including evidence that suggests Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden has stated that he will discuss human rights issues with the Crown Prince. 

House Side

On Tuesday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.

  • H.Res. 1168 – Reaffirming the economic partnership between the United States and the Caribbean nations and recognizing the need to strengthen trade and investment between the United States and the Caribbean nations, our “Third Border,” as amended (Rep. Plaskett – Ways and Means).
  • H.R. 7337 – Access for Veterans to Records Act of 2022, as amended (Rep. Carolyn Maloney – Oversight and Reform). The bill would authorize the National Archives and Records Administration to receive an additional $60 million to address a backlog in requests for veterans’ military personnel records.
  • H.R. 7535 – Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, as amended (Rep. Khanna – Oversight and Reform). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance requiring federal agencies to maintain an inventory of vulnerable cryptography systems and to develop a plan for adopting standards to counter encryption risks from quantum computers.
  • H.R. 7331 – Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act, as amended (Rep. Kilmer – Oversight and Reform). The legislation would require the Government Accountability Office to identify in its annual report to Congress additional oversight actions that could help federal agencies carry out the GAO’s priority recommendations that haven’t been implemented.
  • H.R. 521 – First Responder Fair RETIRE Act, as amended (Rep. Connolly – Oversight and Reform). The bill would permit federal law enforcement officers and other first responders who are injured in the line of duty before their retirement age to receive their full benefits.
  • H.R. 3544 – Computers for Veterans and Students Act of 2022, as amended (Rep. Spanberger – Oversight and Reform). The legislation would authorize the General Services Administration to transfer surplus computer and other technology equipment to nonprofit refurbishers for repair and distribution to schools, veterans, seniors, and others.

Wednesday – Friday, the House will meet for legislative business and to consider additional bills under suspension.

  • Bills expected under a rule
    • H.R. 6538 – Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022 (Rep. Cicilline – Judiciary), which would require the Justice Department to coordinate an alert system to notify communities of nearby active shooters. The measure would authorize $2 million in fiscal 2023 for the department to work with state and local agencies on active shooter alerts.
    • H.R. 7900 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (Rep. Adam Smith – Armed Services). The spending package would authorize around $839.3 billion for defense programs at the Pentagon, Energy Department, and other agencies.
    • H.R. 8296 – Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (Rep. Chu – Energy and Commerce). The measure would specify that health care providers have the right to provide abortion services without limitations and bar restrictions that have been included in various state laws.
    • H.R. 8297 – Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022 (Rep. Fletcher – Energy and Commerce). The bill would prohibit efforts to enforce state laws preventing anyone from obtaining, providing, or facilitating abortion access across state lines.
  • Bills under suspension
    • H.R. 7174 – National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022, as amended (Rep. Slotkin – Homeland Security). The bill would reauthorize the National Computer Forensics Institute for another 10 years. 
    • H.R. 5274 – PREVENT ACT of 2021 (Rep. David Joyce – Homeland Security). The legislation would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to issue its personnel containment devices to prevent secondary exposure to fentanyl and other potentially lethal substances and provide training on their use.
    • H.R. 1934 – Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. McCaul – Foreign Affairs). The bill would require the President to establish an interagency working group to enhance U.S. leadership at international standards-setting bodies for the fifth (5G) and future generations of wireless telecommunications and infrastructure.
    • H.Con.Res. 59 – Condemning the October 25, 2021, military coup in Sudan and standing with the people of Sudan (Rep. Meeks – Foreign Affairs).
    • H.Res. 720 – Calling for stability and the cessation of violence and condemning ISIS-affiliated terrorist activity in northern Mozambique, including the Cabo Delgado Province (Rep. Sara Jacobs – Foreign Affairs).
    • H.Con.Res. 45 – Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the execution-style murders of U.S. citizens Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi in the Republic of Serbia in July 1999 (Rep. Zeldin – Foreign Affairs).
    • H.Res. 892 – Calling on the government of the Republic of Rwanda to release Paul Rusesabagina on humanitarian grounds (Rep. Castro – Foreign Affairs).

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture, or limit debate, on the nomination of Ashish Vazirani to be the Defense Department’s deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness. Cloture motions are also pending on the nominations of Steve Dettelbach to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Michael Barr to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also indicated that votes are possible this week on the confirmation of Bernadette Meehan to be ambassador to Chile and Cathy Ann Harris to be chair of the Merit Systems Protection Board. However, the absence of Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Schumer will require Republican cooperation to advance nominations.

Further, the Senate is still working to reconcile differences in bipartisan legislation that was passed by both chambers that would extend health care coverage to veterans who developed diseases related to toxic exposure during military service overseas. 

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