What to Know in Washington: Congress Returns in Marathon Stretch
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Congress returns this week for a marathon stretch with lawmakers aiming to make headway on a range of legislation including addressing freight rail accidents, transgender athletes, firefighter assistance and war powers authorization.
The work period leading up to the July 4 break will give leaders a chance to whittle down their wish lists before delving into what is likely to be a divisive and time-consuming debate over raising the debt limit, which Republicans want linked to federal program cuts. One or both chambers will be in session each week from now until the two-week break begins in late June.
Leaders in both chambers are still confronting obstacles. Senate Democrats face the continued absence of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), whose lack of presence on the Judiciary Committee has held up key judicial confirmations. Feinstein has agreed to be replaced on the panel, but that would require the approval of a number of Republicans.
Related: Feinstein Needs to Decide Her Future in Senate, Klobuchar Says
House Republicans are struggling to bridge the ideological divide in their conference over a budget and other issues such as immigration.
But leaders hope there are areas where they can fashion some bipartisan or unified party support and ease tensions before the difficult negotiations ahead on debt limit and spending bills.
Related: Tax Day Cash Will Indicate Just How Close the US Is to Default
The pace may pick up in the Senate as a number of lawmakers who have been sidelined with injuries or illnesses will be returning to the chamber. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who sustained a concussion and a fractured rib from a fall last month at a GOP fundraiser, said he will be back. Democratic Sen. John Fetterman (Pa.) also plans to be on Capitol Hill after being treated for depression. Read more from Zach C. Cohen.
- Meanwhile, the new IRS plan for how it will spend $80 billion it got in the tax-and-climate law will likely be the topic du jour among congressional taxwriters when they return this week, but there won’t be much time to digest it before the debt ceiling fight and reauthorization bills steal the spotlight. Read more
BGOV Hill Watch: Debt Deadline Nears as Congress Eyes Small Wins
The linked presentation highlights the 2023 congressional calendar, key dates and deadlines to watch, the outlook for action on major legislative items, and top targets for oversight.
- The Senate meets at 3 p.m. for a procedural vote on the nomination of Radha Iyengar Plumb to be a deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment.
- House lawmakers return at 2 p.m. to debate three suspension bills related to US security in telecommunications, airspace and drones.
- The president has no public events scheduled today.
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On the Fundraising Front
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Thomas, Trump, Fox Face Probes, Pressure
Justice Thomas Reported Income From Defunct Firm, WaPo Says
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reported income from a real estate firm founded by his wife and her family, even after the company ceased to exist, The Washington Post said.
- Meanwhile, two Democratic lawmakers call on the Judicial Conference to refer Thomas to the US Attorney General for potential violations of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 for failing to disclose luxury trips, gifts and property sales linked to a Republican donor. Read more
- Thomas intends to amend his financial disclosure forms to reflect the 2014 real estate deal he made with the GOP donor, CNN reports. Read more.
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Trump Attorney Compelled to Testify Recuses from Mar-a-Lago Work
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Intel Leak Fallout & More Foreign Affairs
Congress Asks Who Can See US Secrets After Junior Airman Charged
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Solar Tariff Delay Repeal Bill Slated for House Panel Vote
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Rubio Pressures US Regulators as China Erodes Audit Independence
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China Tensions High on Agenda as G-7 Diplomats Meet in Japan
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Power Grid Project Costs Worry Swing-Vote Energy Commissioner
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Federal Agencies Face Constitutional Fights After High Court Loss
The US Supreme Court’s decision allowing the FTC and SEC’s in-house litigation defendants to sue the regulators is the latest dent in the continued attenuation of federal agencies’ enforcement powers.
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