2022-06-27 DC Download

Following the quick passage of a gun violence prevention bill last week, Senators are home for the July 4th recess. House lawmakers are finishing up committee work before they also break for the holiday next week, with appropriators marking up the last of the twelve government funding bills. While back in their districts, lawmakers in both chambers are likely to focus heavily on the Supreme Court’s Friday decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.  

Table of Contents:

  • Progressive Playbook 
  • House
  • Senate
  • Issues to Watch
  • Key Dates
  • What We’re Reading

Progressive Playbook

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

All people, whoever we are or wherever we live, deserve to be able to make the best personal healthcare decisions for ourselves and our families. The decision of when and if to become a parent is one of the most important any of us will make in life. For decades, far-right groups and politicians have tried to demonize people who seek abortion care, eliminate access to healthcare providers, and restrict and outright ban abortion, even as they attack access to contraception, sex education, and policies that help parents and children. We must come together to ensure that everyone, whoever we are or wherever we live, has the freedom to decide if, when, and how to become a parent or grow our families.

FAST FACTS

  • The powerful few create roadblocks to prevent people, especially people of color, fromgetting the care they need, including access to abortion care.
  • Reproductive healthcare must be made accessible to everyone, no matter where we live, who we work for or how much money we earn. We must ensure that everyone – including people with low incomes, trans people, LGBTQ+ people, and Black, Indigenous and other people of color – have control over decisions about their reproductive health. 
  • Reproductive healthcare – including abortion care – is an essential service, now and always.

House

House Floor

The House is focusing on committee work this week and will return to Washington on Tuesday, July 12 for votes.

House Committee Highlights

A full list of this week’s hearings and markups can be found here. Notable hearings and markups include: 

Monday Hearings

Examining the 2022 National Drug Control Strategy and the Federal Response to the Overdose Crisis (Oversight & Reform)

Tuesday Hearings

Protecting America’s Seniors: Oversight of Private Sector Medicare Advantage Plans (Energy & Commerce)

Where Have All the Houses Gone? Private Equity, Single Family Rentals, and America’s Neighborhoods (Financial Services)

Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Bureau of Indian Education (Natural Resources and Education & Labor)

Markup of FY 2023 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills (Appropriations)

Wednesday Hearings

Privacy in the Age of Biometrics (Science, Space, & Technology)

Investing in Public Health: Legislation to Support Patients, Workers, and Research (Energy & Commerce)

Boom and Bust: Inequality, Homeownership, and the Long-Term Impacts of the Hot Housing Market (Financial Services)

International Efforts to Encourage a Sustainable Blue Economy (Foreign Affairs)

Markup of FY 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs and Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills (Appropriations)

Thursday Hearings

No Time to Waste: Solutions for America’s Broken Recycling System (Energy & Commerce)

Markup of FY 2023 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills and Revised Report on the Suballocation of Budget Allocations for FY 2023 (Appropriations)

Senate

The Senate is out of session and will return to Washington on Monday, July 11 for votes. 

Issues to Watch

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

On Friday, the Supreme Court voted to uphold a 15-week Mississippi abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating nearly 50 years of constitutional protection for the right to abortion care. At the time of this publication, nine states have abortion bans in effect. Twenty-six states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion, a decision that may affect as many as 36 million individuals of reproductive age. While the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act to safeguard abortion access last September by a 218-211 vote, an effort to advance the bill in the Senate failed last month. In a concurring opinion to the Dobbs decision, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the Court to revisit additional landmark cases that protect the right to obtain contraception, the right to same-sex intimacy, and the right to same-sex marriage, signaling that the Court could act to strike down additional constitutional rights.  

January 6th Committee Public Hearings

Last week, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol held two public hearings focused on former President Trump’s campaign to pressure Justice Department officials and state-level officials to overturn the 2020 election results. While the hearings were expected to conclude last week, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS-02), Chair of the Select Committee, announced an additional hearing scheduled for tomorrow at 1PM ET, and the possibility of additional hearings following significant new evidence, including footage from a documentarian who had access to the former president and his family before and after Jan. 6. Additionally, Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL-05), who was subpoenaed by the Committee in May, has stated that he is willing to testify. The Select Committee is expected to release an extensive report on its findings later this year. 

FY 2023 Appropriations and NDAA

House Appropriators this week are wrapping up markups for the twelve government funding bills before heading out for recess. The Appropriations Committee approved a $761 billion defense bill, which is $32.2 billion more than the FY2022 enacted amount. Notably, at the same time, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved a defense authorization package of nearly $840 billion for fiscal year 2023. This doesn’t include nearly $11 billion in defense authorizations outside HASC jurisdiction. The HASC amount increased the defense topline by $37 billion. Additionally, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) added $45 billion to President Biden’s FY2023 budget request, which brought the SASC topline to $847 billion. While there is no concrete timetable to pass all appropriations bills through both chambers and send them to the president’s desk, the House aims to pass their versions sometime in July. Fiscal year 2023 starts on October 1, 2022. 

SCOTUS Decisions

This morning, the Supreme Court announced decisions in three cases, including in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, in which the Court decided that the public school district violated free speech and free exercise rights when it barred a coach from praying on the field after football games. This follows decisions from the Court last week in a number of major cases. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, for example, the Court struck down a New York gun law that requires gun owners to show “proper cause” in order to receive concealed-carry licenses.. There are still four cases pending before the Supreme Court ends its term. Other notable cases on which there may soon be decisions include: 

  • Biden v. Texas: The Court will decide whether the Biden administration must continue to enforce Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which requires asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while they await a hearing in U.S. immigration court.
  • West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency: The Court will consider whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in virtually any industry, so long as it considers cost, non-air impacts, and energy requirements.

The Supreme Court typically releases opinions on Monday and some Wednesday mornings. You can find them here

Key Dates

June: Immigrant Heritage Month

June: LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June: National Gun Violence Awareness Month

June 27 – July 8: Senate is out of session

June 28: The Economics of Abortion

July 1 – 11: House is out of session

July 4: Independence Day

July 16 – 24: Latino Conservation Week

July 30 – Sept. 5: August Recess

What We’re Reading

The Road to Equality: Bills to Protect the LGBTQ+ Community (PCAF)

Neoliberalism Is Dying. What Comes Next? (Washington Monthly)

Prices, Profits, and Power: An Analysis of 2021 Firm-Level Markups (Roosevelt Institute)

Don’t Blame Bail Reform for Gun Violence (Center for American Progress)

In the U.S. and around the world, inflation is high and getting higher (Pew Research Center)

Gig Labor Is Impoverishing Workers (Jacobin)

The SEC did a sensible thing on climate change. A right-wing campaign is trying to kill it. (Vox)

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About mekorganic

I have been a Peace and Social Justice Advocate most all of my adult life. In 2022, I am again running for U.S. Congress in CA under the Green Party. This Blog and website are meant to be a progressive educational site, an alternative to corporate media and the two dominate political parties. Your comments and participation are most appreciated. (Click photo) .............................................. Paid for by Michael Kerr for Congress with Peace and Justice C00803577
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