Weekly Legislative Update

May 30, 2023

Congressional Outlook

The Senate is in session this week. The House scrapped part of its recess plans and will be in session to vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2023 on Wednesday. Today, the House Rules Committee has begun its proceedings to pass a rule for the negotiated deal to raise the federal debt limit, a first step necessary to get the bill to the House floor for consideration. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen identified Sunday, June 5 as the date the federal government will run out of borrowing authority.

 

On Saturday, after months of political posturing, President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) announced that they had agreed to negotiated terms lifting the $31.4 trillion debt limit for two years through January 1, 2025, including spending caps for Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 and 2025. Both President Biden and Speaker McCarthy expect the deal to avert a US government default to pass.

 

The highlights from the 99 pages of legislative text for the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2023 (H.R. 3746), which the Congressional Budget Office gave a preliminary score of $2.1 trillion in savings over the six-year lifetime of the agreement, includes the following:

  • $1.59 trillion discretionary spending limit cap for FY 2024, a decrease from $1.7 trillion in FY 2023;
  • $886 billion for defense spending;
  • $637 billion for non-defense programs;
  • $121 billion for veteran’s medical care;
  • Leaves all Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act provisions in place;
  • Rescinds $28 billion in unspent COVID funding;
  • Redirects $20 billion from the IRS to other agencies;
  • Raises the age from 49 to 54 for work requirements those receiving food stamps;
  • Includes provisions to expedite energy infrastructure projects by altering NEPA processes;

 

A successful vote in the House Rules Committee today will set up a Wednesday evening vote in the House. Several House Republicans have already expressed their opposition to the bill. The Republican Conference will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the bill. The vote in the Senate will more than likely stretch into the weekend with news that Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is considering an attempt to slow passage of the bill down due to discomfort with some aspects with the bill. Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), in an effort to satisfy concerns from fellow Senate Democrats, may have to allow an amendment process.

 

In the House, lawmakers will also vote on six measures under suspension of the rules, including the Small Entity Update Act (H.R. 2792), which would require the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to study its current definition of “small entity” under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and revise its rules based on the results of the study.  The Senate will consider Darrel James Papillion’s nomination to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

 

For the remainder of the week, in addition to the vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act the Senate will hold several hearings, including an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “Water Affordability and Small System Assistance.” 

Bills and Regulations of Interest to You

Bill

Title

Sponsors

Background

H.R. 3507 & S. 1688

Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6) & Sen. Todd Young (R-IN)

Reduces barriers to increasing home construction, including outdated zoning, slow permitting, and discriminatory land use policies

H.R. 3675

Western Water Accelerated Revenue Repayment Act

Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3)

Permanently authorize a provision that allows agriculture and municipal water users to prepay what they owe to the federal government

H.R. 3480

Restore the Partnership Act

Gerry Connolly (D-Va.-11)

Restores the balance of federalism and strengthen the intergovernmental partnership by establishing a “Commission on Intergovernmental Relations of the United States” (the Commission) at the federal level.

H.R. 3673

Biden Time Act of 2023

Gerry Connolly (D-Va.-11)

Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5)

Rescinds unspent COVID relief funding from the American Rescue Plan of 2021 as well as unspent IRS funding from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Agency

Title

Proposed Regulation

Comment Deadline

FAA

Noise Policy Review

The FAA is reviewing our noise policy as part of our ongoing commitment to address aircraft noise.

July 31, 2023

EPA

Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution

Reduces plastic waste and other post-consumer materials in waterways and oceans, as directed by Congress in section 301 of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act.

June 16, 2023

EPA

Recycling Infrastructure & Market Opportunities

Develops an interactive map of recycling markets visually presenting data estimates.

June 26, 2023

FEMA

Community Disaster Resilience Zones and the National Risk Index

FEMA is reviewing the input on implementation of Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act of 2022 for potential improvements to FEMA’s resilience zones.

July 25, 2023

Week in Review

Negotiators reach debt limit agreement in principle


What's in the debt ceiling deal struck by Biden and McCarthy?