The House is in session. The Senate is in recess until January 23.
After a week of disarray and contentious negotiations, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) finally secured enough votes to become Speaker of the House late Friday night, after losing 14 previous votes, something not seen since 1855. A group of Freedom Caucus members consistently prevented McCarthy from the speakership in order to extract key concessions and policy goals, including that a single member could force a vote of no confidence to oust the Speaker.
The House will now formally meet on Monday to vote on a package of rules that will govern the House for the next two years. The package would eliminate proxy voting and remote committee proceedings spurred by the pandemic, rename some House committees, adopt budget procedures aimed at restricting mandatory spending increases, and repeal collective bargaining rules adopted last year. Speaker McCarthy also agreed to hold fiscal year 2024 government funding at their fiscal 2022 levels, which would equate to a 7% cut in defense spending. That has concerned some of the mainstream GOP members, who believe McCarthy gave away too much power during negotiations, which could lead to an intraconference battle on the rules package this week.
The House is also scheduled to vote on a bill on Monday that would rescind any unobligated funds provided to the Internal Revenue Service that were allocated through the Democrats’ spending package from last year by using the budget reconciliation process.
Additionally, senior GOP lawmakers are scheduled to meet this week to discuss assignments for House committees, including chair positions. McCarthy pledged to add Freedom Caucus members to the Rules Committee, which is another area that has frustrated mainstream GOP members.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden visited the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, as immigration remains one of the most contentious issues in the country. He will travel to Mexico on Monday to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a summit aimed in part at easing tensions over migration and drug smuggling. On Friday, Biden will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the White House. He will then travel to Atlanta on Sunday speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Tuesday – Thursday, the House is scheduled to meet for legislative business, after a rules package has been enacted.
- Bills expected under a rule
- H.Res.11 would create a House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party to investigate the status of the CCP’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.
- H.Res.12 would establish the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government as part of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the role of the Executive Branch in collecting information on U.S. citizens, including from the private sector and nonprofit organizations.
- H.R. 22 would bar the Energy Department from drawing down and selling petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to any entity owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese Communist Party or for export to China.
- H.R. 27 would require any state and local district attorney’s or prosecutor’s offices that serve a jurisdiction of 380,000 or more persons to annually report to the Justice Department on murder, rape, and other covered offenses.
- H.Con.Res.4 would express congressional support for the nation’s law enforcement agencies and reject the “misguided and dangerous efforts to defund and dismantle” them.
- H.R. 26 would require health care practitioners to provide medical care to a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion procedure equivalent to the care received by a newborn delivered at the same gestational age.
- H.Con.Res.3 would condemn the recent attacks of vandalism, violence, and destruction “against pro-life facilities, groups, and churches.” It would also require the Biden Administration to use all appropriate law enforcement authorities to protect such groups.