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The House floor has been a scene of Republican paralysis recently as disgruntled fiscal conservatives stalled votes until they secured spending agreements from GOP leadership.
But that stand-off belied the flurry of activity off the floor as committees chaired by loyalists to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have been steadily making headway on substantive legislation.
Leaders of key House panels are advancing measures with the potential to reshape the nation’s military, air travel, food programs, and tax code in contrast to the handful of the partisan messaging bills that conservatives temporarily blocked last week.
That legislation being shaped with little fanfare and with the input of a broad range of the GOP conference could set the stage for bipartisan deals with the Senate that can be signed by President Joe Biden. Republican leaders prefer to focus on this legislative progress, rather than the more public spats with the hardliners.
“It’s business as usual,” said House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).
It remains to be seen how many of committees’ bills would fall prey to the same GOP schisms that have accompanied the debate over spending bills. House Republicans who relented Tuesday on their blockade of GOP bills demurred on whether the truce would last.
But agreements hashed out by McCarthy have allowed chairs he helped install earlier this year move their individual priorities forward.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said he was satisfied with the pace of committee work, some of which required broader agreement on funding levels for the next fiscal year before they could be written.
McCarthy’s deal with Biden suspending the debt limit until 2025 expanded some work requirements on food programs, which takes some contentious items off the plate of lawmakers looking to pass another five-year farm programs authorization. The House Armed Services subcommittees are also meeting this week to mark up their portions of the annual military policy bill.
Additionally, ratcheting tensions with Russia and China have increased lawmakers’ interest in getting the National Defense Authorization Act over the finish line. Federal aviation regulation is also moving apace with expected committee approval today of bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize the FAA in a bid to alleviate increasingly common flight disruptions. Read the full story from Zach C. Cohen.
- The president will deliver remarks at 7:55 p.m. at the League of Conservation Voters’ annual Capital Dinner at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
- At 1:45 p.m., Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will deliver a briefing.
- The House is back at noon to vote on bills to curtail regulations with economic effects and on gas stoves.
- The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees.
Battles Over Nominations
Top White House advisers have assembled a nightly “war room” in recent weeks to discuss how to get Biden’s choice for labor secretary through the Senate as the nomination languishes.
Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) is promising to delay confirmation of Justice Department nominees in retaliation for the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump.
California state Judge Hernán D. Vera was confirmed to the federal trial court that includes Los Angeles after a 21-month wait.
More Action From the Hill
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on military weapons want to use the annual defense policy bill to replenish US military stockpiles drawn down by the Ukraine war.
Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee cleared a trio of GOP tax bills Tuesday night without any support from Democrats, who cast the legislation as a giveaway to rich companies and individuals.
House GOP lawmakers are trying to lock down Alabama as the site for Space Command’s permanent headquarters in a pair of measures moving forward this week.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers want more changes to energy permitting processes after the debt ceiling compromise (Public Law 118-5), which included provisions aimed at streamlining environmental reviews and fast-tracking completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Key House Democrats are pulling their support for legislation to renew federal pandemic preparation programs unless it includes provisions to alleviate drug shortages.
Politics, Probes, and 2024
Trump urged prosecutors to drop the charges against him and insisted on his innocence in his first public remarks following his arraignment in federal court over mishandling classified materials.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris offered a rallying cry to Black voters during a Juneteenth celebration at the White House, listing their administration’s achievements and urging supporters to fight efforts to roll back those gains.
The White House signaled it may challenge a finding that Jean-Pierre violated a federal law that prohibits government officials from making political statements while on the job when she referred to “mega MAGA Republicans” during a press briefing.
What Else We’re Reading
Biden released his latest regulatory to-do list Tuesday, outlining plans to address climate change, health policies, and more.
Biden discussed democracy, trade and climate change on Tuesday with Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou at the White House in an unannounced visit by one of Latin America’s last centrist leaders.
The government’s regulatory guidance for AI should be risk-based to ensure the technology is reliable and secure, a bipartisan coalition of 23 state attorneys general told the Biden administration Tuesday.
Health care, energy, communications, and other critical-infrastructure sectors could see new reporting requirements for cyber incidents and ransomware payments by September 2025, according to the federal government’s spring regulatory agenda.
Security concerns, legacy platforms, and siloed agency operations are blunting government aspirations to centralize disparate federal identification mechanisms into a single system, according to officials from a government watchdog and the Justice Department.
Russia has resumed sending oil to sanctions-hit North Korea for the first time since 2020, deepening cooperation between the two nations that the US claims also includes sending arms from Pyongyang to help the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
An Oklahoma school board decision last week to approve the first publicly funded religious charter school is expected to tee up a legal challenge that could get to the Supreme Court as early as next term. Central to that litigation is whether charter schools are public or private, a question the Supreme Court has already been asked to answer in a case pending before the justices.
Privacy advocates are pushing California to be the first to crack down on a controversial investigative tool used by police that compels technology companies to turn over geolocation or search data to find suspects.
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