Look Ahead January 23, 2023

Look Ahead to the Week of January 23: Getting Things in Order for the 118th Congress

Both the House and Senate will return this week. 

Senate Democrats will continue to prioritize confirming judicial and administration nominees, and President Biden is expected to submit more nominees on Monday that could be taken up for consideration in the coming weeks and months. Additionally, the upper chamber will formally welcome its newest member, Senator-designate Pete Ricketts (R-NE), who was chosen by the state’s governor to replace former Senator Ben Sasse (R- NE). 

Further, both chambers are still working to finalize their rosters for committees, which may be completed by this week in the House. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has stated that the ratios of Republicans and Democrats for the House committees have been determined, which will allow the Steering Committee to assign members to their committee spots.

The White House is also planning to welcome members of Congress on Tuesday, including a bipartisan reception for freshman lawmakers. Separately, President Biden will sit down with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Jeffries. Although House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will not be present for that meeting, Biden has publicly stated that he plans to meet with him soon to discuss the debt limit, which has quickly become a hot-button issue in Washington. Biden has clarified that he has no plans to negotiate on the debt ceiling, while House Republicans are attempting to use it as a bargaining chip to secure substantial future social spending cuts. 

Over the weekend, President Biden’s lawyers invited the Federal Bureau of Investigation to search his Wilmington, Delaware home, where they discovered additional documents with classified markings. This is the third tranche of documents discovered and has led to a special counsel investigation. 

Also over the weekend, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, announced that he will leave his position in the coming weeks. Jeff Zients, who led the Administration’s COVID-19 response, is expected to take over for Klain. 

House Side

Tuesday – Friday, the House is scheduled to meet for legislative business and to consider multiple bills under suspension. 

  • Bills expected under a rule
    • H.R. 21 – Strategic Production Response Act (Rep. Rodgers – Energy and Commerce). The measure would limit the Energy Department’s ability to draw down petroleum in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until it develops a plan to increase the percentage of federal lands leased for oil and gas production.
  • Bills expected under suspension of the rules
    • H.R. 159 – Chance to Compete Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Foxx – Oversight and Accountability). The bill would permit the federal government to use skills-based assessments and expert-based resume reviews to evaluate candidates when hiring for the competitive service.
    • H.R. 300 – Settlement Agreement Information Database Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Palmer – Oversight and Accountability). The bill would require the text of settlement agreements involving federal agencies to be posted online.
    • H.Con.Res. 7 – Commending the bravery, courage, and resolve of the women and men of Iran demonstrating in more than 133 cities and risking their safety to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses (Rep. Tenney – Foreign Affairs). 
    • H.R. 255 – Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act (Rep. González-Colón – Transportation and Infrastructure). The measure would require FEMA to convene a working group to study how to streamline the process for conducting initial damage assessments following emergencies and disasters.
    • H.R. 259 – Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act (Rep. González-Colón – Transportation and Infrastructure). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Treasury Department and the heads of each covered federal agency, to establish a subpage on USAspending.gov that would publish information on the total amount of disaster assistance they provided at the end of each calendar quarter.
    • H.R. 388 – Securities and Exchange Commission Real Estate Leasing Authority Revocation Act (Rep. Norton – Transportation and Infrastructure). The legislation would prohibit the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from independently leasing general purpose office space.
    • H.R. 346 – NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Stauber – Transportation and Infrastructure). The bill would require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish a task force to examine the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system.
    • H.R. 290 – Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act of 2023 (Rep. Lucas – Science, Space, and Technology). The legislation would require the Commerce Department to make a determination for a license application for private sector entities to operate private remote sensing space systems within 60 days of receiving it.
    • H.R. 342 – Cost-Share Accountability Act of 2023 (Rep. Obernolte – Science, Space, and Technology). The measure would require the Energy Department to report to Congress at least quarterly on the use of its authority to reduce or eliminate cost-sharing requirements to carry out research, development, and demonstration projects.
    • H.R. 400 – Investing in Main Street Act of 2023 (Rep. Chu – Small Business). The bill would permit certain financial institutions to invest more capital in small business investment companies. 
    • H.R. 399 – Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2023 (Rep. Luetkemeyer – Small Business). The bill would require the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to represent small businesses internationally in regulatory and trade initiatives.
    • H.R. __ – Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act of 2023 (Rep. Burchett – Small Business). The legislation would require the Small Business Administration to include additional information on its microloan program, including default rates and average loan size, in an annual report to Congress.

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Brendan Owens to be an assistant secretary of defense at the Department for Energy, Installations, and Environment. Other nominees that are most likely to receive floor consideration later in the week are those advanced by the Armed Services Committee in the 117th Congress and resubmitted by the White House earlier this month.

Media Contact
Alex Wolfe
Communications Director

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