Both the House and Senate are in session this week after intense negotiations to raise the debt limit. President Joe Biden signed into law the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Saturday. The deal suspends the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025 and imposes discretionary spending caps for the next two fiscal years. Biden will use the agreement as further leverage in his reelection campaign. It is widely acknowledged that Biden exceeded expectations during the negotiations by mitigating further Republican cuts to social program benefits and reducing government spending far less than House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Republicans had initially demanded.
Congress will look to move past the debt limit fight. Both chambers plan to be in session for three weeks before a recess spanning the last week of June and the first week of July. This week, House Republicans are slated to advance bills that would cut back executive branch authority by requiring that new major rules proposed by federal agencies be approved by both the House and Senate before going into effect. After that, the House will take up legislation to block an Energy Department rule that Republicans say would impact the availability of gas stoves. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), meanwhile, has lined up votes in the upper chamber on long-stalled Biden nominees.
Key appropriators will try to strike a bipartisan agreement on top-line allocations for each of the 12 annual funding bills in the coming weeks. The Fiscal Responsibility Act set spending caps of $886.3 billion for defense spending and $703.7 billion for nondefense spending. However, significant questions remain about the implementation of the debt limit and what would occur if Congress cannot reach an agreement on any of the 12 appropriations bills and opts instead to pass a continuing resolution for a single bill. Some fear this could result in a sequester on the appropriations bills that have passed.
On Monday, President Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark at the White House. The President will then welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LVII win.
On Monday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.
- Bills expected under suspension of the rules.
- H.R. 835 – Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act, as amended (Rep. Hill – Financial Services). The bill would permit more individuals to invest in private securities offerings as “accredited investors” based on education or job experience.
- H.R. 1579 – Accredited Investor Definition Review Act, as amended (Rep. Huizenga – Financial Services). The bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regularly update the list of credentials that an individual can use to qualify as an accredited investor.
- H.R. 2608 – To amend the federal securities laws to specify the periods for which financial statements are required to be provided by an emerging growth company, as amended (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services).
- H.R. 2610 – To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to specify certain registration statement contents for emerging growth companies and to permit issuers to file draft registration statements with the SEC for confidential review, as amended (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services).
- H.R. 2593 – National Senior Investor Initiative Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Gottheimer – Financial Services). The legislation would establish an SEC task force on older investors, which would examine challenges encountered by investors older than 65 and identify areas in which senior investors could benefit from regulations or rules.
- H.R. 2793 – Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Wagner – Financial Services). The legislation would codify an SEC rule allowing more companies to “test the waters” with potential investors to gauge interest in a public offering.
- H.R. 2812 – Middle Market IPO Cost Act, as amended (Rep. Himes – Financial Services). The bill would require the Government Accountability Office, in consultation with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, to study the costs for smaller companies to go public, including fees and compliance, and report its findings and recommendations to Congress.
- H. Con. Res. 43 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby (Rep. Hoyer – Transportation and Infrastructure).
Tuesday – Thursday, the House is scheduled to meet for legislative business.
- Bills expected under a rule.
- H.R. 1615 – Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act (Rep. Armstrong – Energy and Commerce). The measure would bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to ban gas stoves as a hazardous product.
- H.R. 1640 – Save Our Gas Stoves Act (Rep. Lesko – Energy and Commerce). The legislation would prohibit the Energy Department from finalizing its proposed rule expanding energy efficiency regulations on gas stoves.
- H.R. 288 – Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2023 (Rep. Fitzgerald – Judiciary). The legislation would direct the courts to conduct their own interpretation of laws when reviewing administrative actions without deferring to the agencies’ legal conclusions.
- H.R. 277 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2023 (Rep. Cammack – Judiciary). The measure would require Congress to approve major administration rules, including those with an annual cost of $100 million or more, before they take effect.
On Tuesday, the Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of David Crane to be undersecretary of energy. Schumer has also teed up votes on Dale Ho to be district judge for the Southern District of New York and Dilawar Syed to be deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration.