There has been growing concern over incursions into U.S. airspace since a Chinese balloon – linked to a spying program – was shot down off the coast of South Carolina last week. Since then, the U.S. military has shot down four additional unidentified objects. China has also begun issuing claims against the Biden Administration, including that the United States has sent balloons over its own territory more than 10 times since the start of 2022. Further, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement that Congress needs to examine why the U.S. military and intelligence services failed to know until only recently about China’s aerial surveillance activities.
Additionally, Senate committees are officially organized and have scheduled a busy week, including a slate of hearings on President Biden’s pending nominees: the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Danny Werfel to be the IRS commissioner, the Commerce Committee will consider for a third time the nomination of Gigi Sohn to serve on the FCC, and the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on additional judicial nominees. The Commerce Committee will also hold a hearing on pharmacy benefit managers and the need for greater accountability and transparency.
The Congressional Budget Office will release “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2023 to 2033” and “Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, February 2023,” at 2 p.m. EST on February 15.
President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 is also scheduled to be released on March 9.
On Tuesday, President Biden will give a keynote address to the National Association of Counties. Then on Wednesday, he will travel to Maryland to present on his Administration’s economic agenda.
On Monday, the Senate will vote on the confirmation of Cindy K. Chung for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and whether to invoke cloture on Gina R. Mendez-Miro’s nomination for the District of Puerto Rico. Three other cloture motions were filed before the chamber recessed for the weekend.