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  • Writer's pictureMichael McAuliff

What Are They Doing To Us, on July 13?

Yes, Congress is still trying to do plenty to us, like restrict the CDC’s emergency powers and put more control in the hands of politicians. That’s down in the list of hearings, in the Energy and Commerce Committee markup.

On The Floor:

The Senate is in at 10, with votes at 11:30 to confirm Kalpana Kotagal to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (who needed Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote yesterday), and to invoke cloture on David M. Uhlmann to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. If Uhlmann gets cloture, a confirmation vote would likely come later in the day. The Senate votes at 1:45 to invoke cloture on Rachel Bloomekatz to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit.

The House is in at 10, still on the NDAA, with a new rule on the floor to consider another 80 amendments. Although the White House came out for the bill, House Democrats are recommending their members vote against because of the ongoing changes. And since wI focus on New York, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (in an unusual move for her office) put out a release yesterday on 10 amendments she has, including a number that would shed light on of the United States’ least democratic actions in Latin America going back to the 1960s. Votes are scheduled for 1:30, 5 and 10 pm.

At The Mics

11:45 - Sen. Klobuchar on prescription drug prices. Senate Swamp.

1:30 - Rep. Issa introduces The HERO Act. House Triangle.

3:30 - Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Crenshaw to Host Press Conference on Psychedelics in NDAA. House Triangle.

6 - Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Gallagher & Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi hold press conference with U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel. H-120A, Capitol.

In The Hearing Rooms 10 am and 5 pm -- Appropriations has the Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Services and General Government Bill, in 2359 Rayburn, with the stream here. the Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies markup of the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill in 2358-C Rayburn, with the Youtube stream here.

10:15 - The Committee on Education and the Workforce has “Exposing the Dangers of the Influence of Foreign Adversaries on College Campuses,” in 2175 Rayburn. Watch here.

10 - The Committee on Energy and Commerce has a whole bunch of bills. Plenty are bipartisan, but there's also a trio of them that stem from conservative anger at the response to Covid, that would almost certainly complicate the efforts of the CDC in a future health emergency, and make the CDC somewhat more political by subjecting the director to Senate confirmation. I'll just leave the committee descriptions here:

H.R. 4529, the Public Health Guidance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2023

  • The bill, introduced by Chair Rodgers (R-WA), would establish public participation requirements prior to finalization or implementation of guidance developed, issued, and disseminated by the CDC.

  • The bill would also clarify CDC guidance is nonbinding and does not have the force or effect of the law. Text.

H.R. 4381, the Public Health Emergency Congressional Review Act

• The bill, introduced by Rep. Murphy (R-NC) and Rep. Guthrie (R-KY), would establish a Congressional review process, similar to that established under the National Emergency Act, in which, not later than six months after a declared Public Health Emergency (PHE), Congress may meet and vote on whether to terminate the PHE.

H.R. 3813, the CDC Leadership Accountability Act of 2023

• The bill, introduced by Rep. Guthrie (R-KY), would require any Director of the CDC appointed by the President on or after June 1, 2023, to be confirmed by the Senate.

10 and 2 -- Financial Services subcommittees are looking at "Reforming the Proxy Process to Safeguard Investor Interests," at 10 in 2128 Rayburn, and then they have "Oversight of the Proxy Advisory Industry," livestreams here and here.

10 - John Kerry puts in an appearance at House Foreign Affairs to testify on "The State Department’s Climate Agenda: A Budget Overview by the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate." HVC-210, Capitol. Foreign Affairs members tend to be more measured than some of their colleagues on higher profile committees, and generally more bipartisan, but I'd expect to see some attention-grabbing with Kerry in the hot seat. His testimony is here. Watch it here.

At 2, they have "Examining Fiscal Year 2024 Budget for South and Central Asian Affairs." Watch here.

10 - House Homeland Security has an important one with "Future of FEMA: Agency Perspectives with Administrator Criswell," 310 Cannon. Watch here.

3 - The House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over elections, is marking up, “H.R. XX, American Confidence in Elections Act.” How often will we hear about voter fraud, which is vanishingly small in the actual world? 1310 Longworth. Watch here.

10 - The House Judiciary Committee has Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, for oversight. Watch. 2141 Rayburn.

3 - Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement has a highly partisan offering in the afternoon dubbed “The Consequences of Criminal Aliens on U.S. Communities.” Just to give you a sense, one witness, John Fabbricatore, is billed as a former Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations. That is true, so he clearly has relevant experience, but he is also a board member of this newly formed non-profit that bills its mission as supporting ICE. It is founded by RJ Hauman, who spent about a decade doing lobbying and communications for FAIR, the immigration-restriction group that the Southern Poverty Law Center put on its hate list. It's in 2141 Rayburn, or watch online.

10 and 2 - Natural Subcommittee has markups in the on federal lands bills, in the morning, mostly dealing with monuments and parks. These things really should get more scrutiny, though I don't see much here at a glance. But that's the problem. Stream here. In the afternoon hearing, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, hearing looks at H.R. 4374 , the “Energy Opportunities for All Act.” You can guess the partisan tilt to this one, but it's worth being aware that bills like this can get support from the Joe Manchins of the world, and find their way into omnibus measures. Watch here. Both are in 1324 Longworth.

10 - Oversight has "Beyond the Budget: Addressing Financial Accountability in the Department of Defense.” No one has really been able to address this ever, including Congress. Can they now, with divided government? 2154 Rayburn. Watch here.

10 - The Science Committee looks at “Continuing U.S. Leadership in Commercial Space at Home and Abroad.” Whew. Here's a topic ripe for investigation for all sorts of issues from revolving door jobs to what taxpayers fork over to private companies. 2318 Rayburn. Watch here.

2 - The Small Business Committee delves back into the problematic pandemic loan programs. There's lots of fodder for bipartisan complaints, not to mention Republican accusations that Dems are to blame and Democrats who could point out lawmakers on the other side getting loans. The hearing is entitled, “Stolen Taxpayer Funds: Reviewing the SBA and OIG Reports of Fraud in Pandemic Lending Programs. 2360 Rayburn. Watch here.

10 - Transportation and Infrastructure's subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, is looking at “When the Lights Are On but No One’s Home: An Examination of Federal Office Space Utilization.” 2167 Rayburn. Watch it here.

2 - Later the subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hears from folks at the EPA, NOAA, the CDC and others for a “Review of Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request: Agency Perspectives (Part II).” 2167 Rayburn. A lot of the testimony is posted here.

1 - Veteran's Affairs is "Reviewing the Digital G.I. Bill Program,” 1 p.m., 360 Cannon. Stream here.

7 pm - The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party has an evening shindig entitled, “Risky Business: Growing Peril for American Companies in China.” 390 Cannon. Watch here.

10 - Senate Finance hasAssessing 25 Years of the Child Tax Credit (1997-2022)” with experts including two from the American Enterprise Institute." A useful history lesson.

10 - Senate Judiciary keeps up the nominations pace, with Loren L. AliKhan, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; Susan K. DeClercq, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; Julia K. Munley, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Vernon D. Oliver, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut, and Tara K. McGrath, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of California.

Also on the schedule is the Supreme Court Ethics, Transparency, and Recusal Act of 2023, S. 359, though Chairman Dick Durbin gave a speech on the Senate floor yesterday -- after the news about lawyers Venmo-ing money to Clarence Thomas's assistant -- that the markup of the SCERT Act would be on July 20. You can review the speech here, and for the hearing, watch here.

10 - Senate Commerce has oversight of the Coast Guard, with Adm. Linda Fagan, Commandant of the Coast Guard, and Heath Jones, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. One thing that could come up here is the issue of sexual misconduct at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. SEn. Chris Murphy is not on the committee, but he sent a letter to the commandant recently demanding accountability for decades of problems. Watch here.

10:30 - Senate Foreign Affairs meets on nominations and legislation. Most of their hearings do not stream, but you can at least see the agenda and nominees here, including reauthorizations of the State Department and the Peace Corps, as well as measures aimed at China, and more.

11 - Senate Approps marks up the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. These are big deals, and I wish I had time to dig in. Watch here.

At a time to be determined (??), Veterans Affairs considers the nomination of Tanya Bradsher to be Deputy Secretary. Watch here.


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