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  • Writer's pictureMichael McAuliff

What Are They Doing To Us Today, July 17?

With the Senate out, and the House returning at noon, Congress is doing less than usual, but really, there's seldom a time when nothing is going on. They just don't publicize it so constituents can see.

But, from what we can see, the main action today will be the House Rules Committee meeting to set up votes on the major FAA bill, and a somewhat petty piece of legislation that targets, primarily, New York Mayor Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul over the idea of housing migrants in school buildings.

On The Floor

The House will be in at noon, with legislative business beginning at 2, and voting at 6:30. They have four bills on the suspension calendar. (Suspension bills are generally non-controversial items that get considered on an expedited basis, with no amendments, and need a two-thirds majority to pass.)

The first bill on that list is a bill that would become law, since Sen. James Lankford got it passed unanimously in the Senate. This one could be a true public service. It's called the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act of 2023. And it's simple. It requires agencies to post a plain-language explanation of any proposed new rule, in 100 words or less. If you've ever read a proposed rule-making on the federal register, you know how it's often entirely inscrutable to the uninitiated.

Second is the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2023, which reauthorizes the FDA to collect fees from drug makers to fund its approval of their drugs. These drugs are not just for pets, of course. They are all the drugs that get fed to the livestock that make our food. Rep. Kathy McMorris Rodgers summed it up in a hearing in March.

Then we've got the Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2023, which would make the Commerce Department and others study "the ability of the United States to attract foreign direct investment and barriers to foreign trade faced by advanced technology firms in the United States." It's bipartisan, sponsored by Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.)

The Global Business Alliance, which represents a couple hundred international businesses with U.S. operations, is all for it.

Last, we've got the Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2023, which essentially tells the Commerce Department to do better in attracting direct foreign investment in building semiconductors in the United States, though it provides to extra funding.

At The Mics

4:15 - This isn't exactly a press conference, but Democratic members of the Oversight Committee are hosting a roundtable in Hill's visitor center on access to medication abortion and efforts to restrict abortion nationwide. Said ranking Dem Rep. Jamie Raskin: "This roundtable gives voice to the victims of the GOP’s post-Dobbs clampdown across America on reproductive health services and reproductive rights. As patients who have obtained abortion services in the past and a provider who is currently providing abortion care, panelists will share their personal, medical, professional, and family experiences with criminal anti-abortion laws and the new state-by-state machinery of anti-woman oppression."

It's streaming on Facebook.

In The Hearing Rooms

4 - The Rules Committee meets to pass the rule for considering the FAA reauthorization and Rep. Marc Molinaro's migrant bill.

The FAA legislation has a lot in it, here.

One interesting quirk is a bunch of attention to the system that allows folks to track planes across the country. I'm not an expert, but it seems Congress suddenly wants to shield the identities of those private jet-setters like Elon Musk who got so upset at having his plane tracked.

§ 44114. Privacy
“(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish and continuously improve a process by which, upon request of a private aircraft owner or operator, the Administrator blocks the registration number and other similar identifiable data or information, except for physical markings required by law, of the aircraft of the owner or operator from any public dissemination or display (except in furnished data or information made available to or from a Government agency pursuant to a government contract, subcontract, or agreement) for the noncommercial flights of the owner or operator."

Scroll for "ADS-B" entries for more.


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