Political strategies

Look Ahead: Next Congress working period – July 2022 | Mintz – ML Strategies

The next three weeks will be full of activity in Washington D.C., as the House of Representatives and Senate scramble to advance their legislative agendas to gain the support of their constituents ahead of the August recess and before the official start of the political “silly season”. the upcoming midterm elections in November. Here’s our latest update on what you can expect in Congress during the July working period.

National Defense Authorization Act

Health care

US Innovation and Competition Act

Building Back Better 2.0: Drug Prices and Clean Energy Investments

Privacy

National Defense Authorization Act

The House Armed Services Committee released its report on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The committee voted 42 to 17 to increase funding for the NDAA, specifically $37 billion more than the Biden administration detailed in its FY23 budget request for military programs. The NDAA will now be considered on the House floor during the week of July 11, putting the House on track to clear the measure before the August recess.

In the meantime, the Senate has issued a summary of their version of the NDAA, but did not share when the legislation will be debated in the Senate. The upper house’s version of the NDAA includes a $45 million increase in President Biden’s spending plan for this issue.

Health care

United States Supreme Court decision: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which officially overruled Roe v. Wade after 50 years – allowing states to implement their abortion policies without interference from the federal government.

Over the next few weeks of July and the months ahead, expect a flurry of activity on the Hill in response to the Dobbs decision. For example, House Democrats worked to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would essentially codify Roe v. Wade. However, this legislation did not pass the Senate, leaving members of Congress with limited options to deal with the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision. Democrats will likely pass another pass to the Women’s Health Protection Act in addition to pursuing other avenues. For example, in a 32-23 vote, the House Appropriations Committee recently adopted Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s proposal. Changing the Abortion Safe Harbor which was included in the House Appropriations Bill for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. The amendment would prevent the Justice Department from using funds to prosecute or investigate women who cross state lines for abortion services. Amendment by Congresswoman Barbara Lee was also passed, which would prompt the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure access to medical abortion.

Finally, several committees will hold hearings this week to discuss the impact of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

  1. Senate Judiciary Committee: “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision” (July 12 at 10:00 a.m.)
  2. House Oversight and Reform Committee: “The impact of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision on abortion rights and access nationwide” (July 13 at 9:30 a.m.)
  3. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: “Hearings to examine reproductive care in a post-Roe America, focusing on barriers, challenges, and threats to women’s health” (July 13 at 10:00 a.m.)
  4. House Judiciary Committee: “What’s Next: The Threat to Individual Freedoms in a Post-Roe World” (July 14 at 10:00 a.m.)

US Innovation and Competition Act

Both the House and Senate have passed their own versions of the legislation aimed at advancing American scientific innovation in the face of growing threats from China, and have formed a conference committee to reconcile the various differences between each version of the draft. law. The United States Competition and Innovation Act (USICA) (S.1260), would reverse some tariffs the Trump administration has imposed on China, while the America COMPETES Act (HR 4521), would re-authorize the trade adjustment assistance program. Both bills would renew the Generalized System of Preferences, but with different timelines, and advance the Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill. The two bills provide more than $50 billion in funding for semiconductor research and production to combat and address the shortage of computer chips. A number of legislative priorities are underway through the USICA/COMPETES process, including a potential reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs – which are due to expire at the end of September.

Democrats have expressed their desire to wrap up the conference committee and pass the bill before the August recess — but as of this writing, a deal has yet to be struck. In addition, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) recently threatened to oppose the effort (see section below) if Democrats continued to push forward a reconciliation package, leaving many d uncertainty about potential passage of USICA.

Building Back Better 2.0: Drug Prices and Clean Energy Investments

Congressional Democrats are still hoping to pass a version of the Build Back Better Act through the budget reconciliation process to bypass a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) have had ongoing conversations with each other to negotiate a slimmed down version of the legislation. For now, Senate Democrats appear poised to finalize a deal to cut prescription drug costs, as the Senate Majority Leader has submitted a text to the Senate Congressman that has the support of 50 senators. Democrats to ensure that the text respects the reconciliation rules of the upper house.

Tied to the Democratic reconciliation package, the climate and energy agenda of President Biden and congressional Democrats suffered a major blow with the recent Supreme Court ruling limiting the federal government’s regulatory authority over carbon emissions. President Biden has set a goal of halving emissions by 2030 and eliminating fossil fuel emissions by 2050. Threading the needle to meet at least some of their climate and energy goals depends on much of the outcome of ongoing talks between Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Manchin (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Despite reports of progress in the negotiations, the two senators actively sought to manage expectations of success. That said, many Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing to see a scaled-down climate and energy package — in the range of $300 billion to $350 billion — as early as this week so it can move forward before the midterm elections. If a compromise is reached, it will undoubtedly include support not only for clean energy sources like solar and wind, but also for fossil fuels. With the annual Congressional recess in August just three weeks away and the window for a reconciliation package closing on September 30, there is very little calendar time left, so any compromise will likely be made very quickly.

For more information on the status of the reconciliation package with regard to energy and sustainability, please Click here to see our recently posted review.

Privacy

The House Energy & Commerce Committee can pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation. Last month, committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation ranking member Roger Wicker circulated a draft discussion of the law US on data protection and privacy. The bill provides a comprehensive federal framework for how businesses can collect, store and use personal information. In doing so, the bill also prevails over state laws (with key exceptions) and provides a private right of action for enforcement (in addition to enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general). States).

Last month, before Congress adjourned for the July 4 recess, the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported on the bill, placing it before the full committee for consideration. While the subcommittee’s markup on U.S. data protection and privacy law was relatively uncontroversial, consideration of the bill by the full committee will likely involve more work with MPs considering numerous amendments.

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