Weekly Legislative Update
April 26, 2021
Congressional Outlook
The House is in recess this week (although House committees will be holding virtual hearings and markups), while the Senate is in session.

The Senate will vote on several Biden Administration nominees, including: Jason Miller to be Deputy Director for Management at the White House Office of Management and Budget; Janet McCabe to be Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and Colin Kahl to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The Senate will then begin consideration of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (S. 914), which authorizes the investment of more than $35 billion in water infrastructure projects across the country that “focus on upgrading our aging infrastructure, addressing the threat of climate change, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance for marginalized communities.” The bill includes nearly $30 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) and an additional $6 billion in grant funding over fiscal years 2022—2026.

The Senate will also vote this week on a resolution (S. J. Res. 14) under the Congressional Review Act to nullify a Trump Administration methane-emissions rule. The EPA rule, finalized in September 2020, ends limits on methane emissions from new oil and gas wells while removing additional curbs on leaks of smog-causing volatile organic compounds from gas transmission and storage equipment. Congressional Review Act legislation can’t be filibustered in the Senate, meaning that Democrats will need just 51 votes to pass the measure instead of 60.

Several Cabinet members this week will testify to relevant House and Senate committees and subcommittees to speak about President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget outline to Congress, including EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The Biden Administration and Senate Republicans will have staff-level conversations this week about the Senate GOP’s recent $568 billion counteroffer on infrastructure, as Democrats consider how much to compromise on President Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan. The House’s 58-member centrist Problem Solvers Caucus also released its own list of priorities for an infrastructure bill on Friday, though it was more focused on details both parties could agree on rather than on the size and scope. The outline does not mention an ideal price tag for the package. On pay-fors, the Problem Solvers’ proposal suggests an increase in the federal gas tax and a registration fee on electric and hybrid vehicles. The outline also calls on the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office to consider setting infrastructure funds outside the usual budget process.

At 9pm ET on Wednesday, President Biden will deliver his first joint address to Congress, held on his 99th day in office. Biden attended many joint addresses as a senator and then as vice president, but this will be his first as president. He will lay out the details of his next major legislative proposal, the roughly $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, focused on childcare and education, and touch on policing and health care policy, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) will deliver the GOP’s response to Biden’s address. Biden will then travel to Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday for a drive-in car rally to mark his 100th day in office.
Week in Review