Both the House and Senate will return this week after taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Congress will begin a final push in the lame duck session with a packed schedule to complete before the new year.
House Democrats will meet on Wednesday for their leadership elections. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be stepping down and Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is set to take her place, ushering in a new generation of party leaders. Senate Democrats plan to elect their new leadership team next week.
Bicameral, bipartisan negotiations will continue on spending levels for a 12-bill omnibus appropriations package. The current continuing resolution (CR) that is funding the government expires on December 16, and lawmakers must determine whether to pass a long-term spending bill or another CR. Additional funding to support Ukraine will also likely be included in the funding bill, although the topline number has yet to be decided. The Biden Administration has asked for $37.7 billion in additional aid. Congress must also settle on an annual defense spending total, which would be included in an omnibus package and a must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). There has been talk of combining the two packages together, although that remains to be seen.
The Senate also plans to hold a vote of final passage on a bill to protect same-sex marriage and send it back to the House. Before Thanksgiving, 62 Senators voted to advance the bill. However, a lack of unanimous agreement to speed up consideration caused a procedural delay that will drag into this week.
President Biden will speak at the White House Tribal Nations Summit on Wednesday. On Thursday, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
On Tuesday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.
- H.R. 8876 – Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022, as amended (Rep. Danny Davis – Ways and Means). The bill would reauthorize and fund through fiscal year 2027 the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
- H.R. 2521 – DOULA for VA Act of 2022, as amended (Rep. Lawrence – Veterans’ Affairs). The bill would require the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to study the feasibility of providing doula services for veterans.
- H.R. 4601 – Commitment to Veteran Support and Outreach Act, as amended (Rep. Mike Levin – Veterans’ Affairs). The legislation would authorize the VA to provide grants to state and tribal governments for outreach and assistance to veterans and their families.
- H.R. 4772 – Mark O’Brien VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act, as amended (Rep. Mike Levin – Veterans’ Affairs). The bill would permit the VA to automatically reenroll eligible veterans for a clothing allowance.
- H.R. 5943 – To designate the outpatient clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Greenville, South Carolina, as the “Lance Corporal Dana Cornell Darnell VA Clinic,” as amended (Rep. Timmons – Veterans’ Affairs).
- H.R. 7158 – Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act, as amended (Rep. Clay Higgins – Veterans’ Affairs). The bill would authorize the VA to pay for veterans with severe service-related disabilities to receive care in medical foster homes that meet department standards.
- S. 231 – PFAS Act (Sen. Peters – Science, Space, and Technology). The legislation would require the Homeland Security Department to develop guidance and curriculum for firefighters and other emergency response personnel to prevent exposure to and the release of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as forever chemicals.
- S. 4003 – Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act of 2022 (Sen. Cornyn – Judiciary). The legislation would provide additional resources to state and local law enforcement to train officers on de-escalation tactics, alternatives to use of force, and responding to mental or behavioral health crises.
- House Amendment to S. 3846 – Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act of 2022 (Sen. Cornyn – Judiciary). The measure would permit state and local recipients of Justice Department mental health grants to use the funds for additional purposes, including to develop suicide prevention programs for incarcerated individuals, provide case management services to released offenders, and offer 24/7 response capability for mental health calls.
- S. 3115 – POWER 2.0 Act (Sen. Sullivan – Judiciary). The bill would make permanent a requirement for federal judges to work with local organizations to promote pro bono legal services for survivors of domestic violence.
- H.R. 5455 – Terry Technical Correction Act, as amended (Rep. Jackson-Lee – Judiciary). The bill would permit individuals who were sentenced for a crack cocaine offense, including those convicted of the lowest level crack offenses, to apply for a retroactive sentencing reduction.
- H.R. 4134 – Keeping Girls in School Act, as amended (Rep. Frankel – Foreign Affairs). The bill would permit the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to enter into agreements to support girls’ increased access to high-quality secondary education in other countries.
- H.Res. 922 – Condemning the use of hunger as a weapon of war and recognizing the effect of conflict on global food security and famine (Rep. Sara Jacobs – Foreign Affairs).
- H.Res. 744 – Condemning the government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as amended (Rep. Deutch – Foreign Affairs).
- H.R. 4785 – Uyghur Policy Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Young Kim – Foreign Affairs). The bill would create a special coordinator position at the State Department to oversee government initiatives concerning Uyghurs and other minority groups in China’s Xinjiang region.
Wednesday – Friday, the House will meet for legislative business and to consider two bills under suspension.
- Bills expected under a rule
- H.R. 3372 – One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act of 2021 (Rep. Bass – Judiciary). The bill would authorize the Justice Department to issue grants to establish community resource centers for formerly incarcerated individuals. Specifically, the measure would authorize $10 million annually over five years for the department to create a community reentry center grant program, and $1.5 million annually to create grants for reentry services hotlines.
- H.R. 6878 – Pregnant Women in Custody Act (Rep. Bass – Judiciary). The bill would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons to ensure that appropriate pregnancy and childbirth services and programs are provided to women in its custody.
On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 8404, legislation to protect same-sex marriage. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has also indicated the upper chamber may consider procedural votes on the district judge nominations of Anne Nardacci of New York and Camille Vélez-Rivé of Puerto Rico later this week.