Look Ahead December 13, 2021

Look Ahead to the Week of December 13: Waiting on the Senate

Both the House and Senate will be in session this week.

Last week, the House and Senate passed legislation to facilitate an increase in the debt ceiling, which has teed up a vote for final passage this week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reached an agreement to combine one-time Senate rule changes to allow for a simple majority vote on the debt ceiling with legislation needed to avert cuts to Medicare.

Further, the House passed a revised version of H.R. 4350, the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was negotiated by a group of House and Senate bipartisan members. The bill increases defense spending by 5%, provides a 2.7% increase in basic military pay, and creates a commission to study the U.S. military’s involvement in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, among other provisions. The legislation is expected to pass the upper chamber this week, though some Republicans still have concerns about whether they will receive votes on amendments. 

The Senate will continue internal discussions on consideration of the Build Back Better Act, the Democrats’ $1.75 trillion tax and spending package. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has maintained concerns over the cost of the legislation, and it is likely that additional nonbudget provisions may be struck this week in order to meet Senate requirements under budget reconciliation and the ongoing “Byrd Bath” with the parliamentarian. It is becoming increasingly likely that the legislation slips into early 2022. 

Administration

On Monday, President Biden will hear from Administration officials on the federal response to Friday night’s tornadoes, which tore across several states, killing more than 70 people in Kentucky. Biden has approved an emergency declaration in Kentucky, mobilizing federal assistance efforts for 15 counties.

House Side

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House – depending on Senate action related to the debt limit – will meet for legislative business.

  • Consideration of legislation related to the debt limit
  • Consideration of a Resolution Recommending that the House of Representatives Find Mark Randall Meadows in Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol
  • Bills expected under a rule
    • H.R. 5665 – Combating International Islamophobia Act (Rep. Omar – Foreign Affairs). The legislation would create a special envoy position within the State Department to monitor and combat global Islamophobia. The special envoy would lead a new Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia that would monitor and address Islamophobia overseas.

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate will resume debate on the nomination of Samantha D. Elliott to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. The chamber will also vote on confirmation of the nomination of Lucy Haeran Koh to be a judge for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Schumer has filed cloture on Jennifer Sung to be a judge for the Ninth Circuit.

The Senate will likely act early this week on legislation to increase the debt limit using the expedited procedures under a bill (S. 610) cleared last week and signed by the President. They will also resume work on the compromise NDAA (S. 1605).

If you have questions about this Look Ahead or other legislative and public policy matters, please contact your Alston & Bird attorney or one of our team members, listed here.

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