Look Ahead August 1, 2022

Look Ahead to the Week of August 1: The Senate’s Schedule Stays Busy

The House has left for August recess, but the Senate remains in session.

Senate Democrats will attempt to pass their budget reconciliation package after a massive breakthrough last week, when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) reached a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on specifics of the legislation. The proposal would raise an estimated $739 billion, with the revenues going to fund climate and health initiatives, as well as to reduce the budget deficit. They are still waiting to hear from Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on what can be included in reconciliation to ensure it meets required parameters. Furthermore, the agreement still has the potential to change, including a promise from Schumer to include provisions addressing the high costs of insulin. Democrats will also need all 50 members of their caucus, plus Vice President Kamala Harris, to secure passage of the legislation. They have been hampered in recent weeks due to Senators testing positive for COVID-19. 

Senate Democrats will also vote again on legislation to provide expanded health benefits to veterans who have been exposed to toxic burn pits during wartime. The legislation had previously received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, but Republican Senators came together last week to oppose the legislation due to concerns of discretionary spending limits provided in the bill. Schumer has indicated he will allow an amendment vote from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), which would restrict the amount of spending that could be shifted from discretionary to mandatory under the legislation. 

Additionally, the Senate will continue negotiations on a resolution expressing support for Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Approving the bids for the two countries remains popular in Congress, but passage of the legislation has been delayed due to concerns from a few Republicans over further expanding NATO. 

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate will vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Elizabeth Hanes to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The upper chamber is also expected to vote this week on a resolution – backed by all 50 Republican Senators – that would strike down changes to the nation’s environmental permitting laws enacted by the Biden Administration in April.
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