Congress is two weeks away from the month-long August recess. House appropriators this week are advancing numerous fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills. At the same time, the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6th Attack on the Capitol is holding its 8th public hearing set to focus on former President Trump’s dereliction of duty that day. On the other side of the Capitol, Senators continue to move towards both a possible reconciliation bill and a bill to bolster chip manufacturing in the U.S.
Table of Contents:
- Progressive Playbook
- Issues to Watch
- Key Dates
- What We’re Reading
CLIMATE AND CLEAN, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Whether we are Black or White, Latino or Asian, newcomer or Indigenous, we all want our families to grow up healthy, happy and safe for generations to come. But for too long, fossil fuel CEOs and corrupt politicians have divided and distracted us with lies while they pollute our air and poison our water. They exploit their workers, while dumping toxins into Black, brown and low-income neighborhoods. By coming together, we can heal the damage done to all of our communities, and power our future with locally produced renewable energy that creates millions of good union jobs in the process.
- Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the top 5 oil corporations have spent well over a combined $1 billion on attacking climate science, lobbying, and misleading climate-related branding.
- From PVC to lead to hazardous waste, exposure to dirty air, poisoned water and industrial contamination is sickening and killing Indigenous communities, communities of color, and poor communities. For example, tribal lands are 4% of U.S. lands but nearly 25% of Superfund sites.
- A majority of Americans see at least some local effects of climate change like drought, wildfires or sea level rise. From 2017-2021, the total cost of U.S. climate-related disasters exceeded $742 billion.
The House will vote on ten suspension bills from the Committees on Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs. Suspension bills require a ⅔ majority to pass. For a list of all suspension bills being considered, click here.
The House will also consider the following bills, subject to rules:
H.R. 8294 – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2023 (Rep. DeLauro – Appropriations): The bill combines six annual spending bills into one “minibus” appropriations bill, with a total topline figure of around $560 billion. The minibus would provide the large increases sought by President Joe Biden in his budget request, which proposed a 14% overall increase for nondefense programs.
- Press Release and Summaries (Appropriations)
H.R. 8373 – Right to Contraception Act (Rep. Manning – Energy and Commerce): The bill would make law the right for people to obtain contraceptives and for health care providers to provide contraceptives. The bill would also protect a range of contraceptive methods, devices, and medications used to prevent pregnancy, including but not limited to oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and intrauterine devices.
- Press Release (Rep. Manning)
House Committee Highlights
A full list of this week’s hearings and markups can be found here. Notable hearings and markups include:
Supporting Underserved Communities in Emergency Management (Homeland Security)
Understanding and Addressing Long COVID and Its Health and Economic Consequences (Coronavirus Crisis)
Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Transportation & Infrastructure)
The History and Continued Contributions of Tribal Colleges and Universities (Education & Labor)
Roe Reversal: The Impacts of Taking Away the Constitutional Right to an Abortion (Energy & Commerce)
Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (Financial Services)
On the January 6th Investigation (Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol)
H.R. 4521 – United States Innovation and Competition Act (Rep. Johnson): The Senate this week is expected to consider a procedural vote on a China competition bill that would include $52 billion in incentives and an investment-tax credit to attract chip companies to the US, along with money for training and wireless technology. The package is expected to be narrower than initially envisioned, as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to stonewall more comprehensive legislation while Senate Democrats pursue a reconciliation bill.
The Senate this week has teed up votes on the following nominees:
- Nina Nin-Yuen Wang to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado
- Nancy L. Maldonado to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
Senate Committee Highlights
A full list of this week’s Senate committee hearings, including confirmation hearings, can be found here. Notable committee hearings include:
Addressing Weapons of Mass Destruction and Health Security Threats to the Homeland (Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs)
Opportunities and Challenges in Addressing Homelessness (Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs)
Fairness in Financial Services: Racism and Discrimination in Banking (Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs)
Global Food Security Crisis and The U.S. Response (Foreign Relations)
The Economic Toll of Gun Violence: How Our Nation Bears the Costs (Joint Economic Committee)
Issues to Watch
Last week, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would not presently support a reconciliation bill that contains the climate, energy, or tax provisions sought by President Biden, citing the June inflation figures. Instead, he is willing to support a bill that allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and extends Obamacare subsidies for two years. While the timeline remains unclear, the Senate might be able to move forward with a bill as early as next week once the legislative text to lower prescription drug prices is approved by the Senate Parliamentarian. If this happens, the bill would undergo a week-long “vote-a-rama,” where Senators will attempt to amend the bill before a final Senate vote. The House, which is expected to break on July 29 for the August recess, will then have to pass the same bill. The reconciliation instructions are set to expire at the end of this fiscal year, making September 30 the hard deadline for any reconciliation bill.
January 6th Committee Public Hearings
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol is continuing their public hearings this week. On Thursday, the Committee is expected to focus on the timeline from when the attack on the Capitol began to when former President Donald Trump told his supporters to leave the complex. This hearing will be the eighth in the series so far, but the Committee will continue its investigation until the release of their report expected this fall.
- January 6 committee’s investigation stirs up fresh revelations ahead of last planned hearing (CNN)
- Panel: Hearing to show Trump’s Jan. 6 ‘dereliction of duty’ (AP News)
- Jan. 6 panel expects to get Secret Service texts by Tuesday, says new witnesses will appear in next hearing (NBC News)
- The January 6th Hearings: Criminal Evidence Tracker Seventh Edition (Just Security)
Staffers from eight different congressional offices are expected to file petitions with the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights to form unions today. This follows the successful passage of H. Res. 1096 in May, which grants congressional staff the right to organize and bargain collectively with protections. It is important to note that only House staffers will have the ability to unionize with protections from retaliation. The Senate would have to pass their own resolution allowing Senate staff the same protection.
July 16 – 24: Latino Conservation Week
July 30 – Sept. 5: House is out of session
August 8 – Sept. 5: Senate is out of session
August 12: House Remote Voting expires
What We’re Reading
The growing housing supply shortage has created a housing affordability crisis (Economic Policy Institute)
Three Ways the American Rescue Plan Changed Economic Policymaking (Roosevelt Institute)
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