Weekly Legislative Update
August 8, 2022
Congressional Outlook
The House returns Friday to take up the reconciliation package after Senate passage, and the Senate is in recess this week. The Legislative Update will return on Tuesday, September 6 when the Senate returns to Washington following the end of its summer recess.
On Sunday, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 by a vote of 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. The Senate’s passage of the $740 billion FY 2022 budget reconciliation bill, negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), features three main legislative items: tax reform, prescription drug changes, and energy and climate change investments. The bill underwent a “Byrd-bath” by the Senate Parliamentarian to ensure all the provisions in the package followed the Senate’s technical rules. Following a few procedural changes, consideration of 37 amendments, and more than 24 hours of debate, the Senate completed a “vote-a-rama” that lasted into Sunday afternoon. The package includes $369 billion in climate and clean energy policies, including incentives for renewable energy, hydrogen, nuclear and electric vehicles. The bill also has $60 billion for environmental justice programs. President Joe Biden said that he looks “forward to signing [the bill] into law.”
As the legislation heads to the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a press release, “the House will return and move swiftly to send this bill to the President’s desk — proudly building a healthier, cleaner, fairer future for all Americans.” With the House returning Friday, the legislation expects to sail through the lower chamber without any significant changes and head to President Biden’s desk for signature. Adding to the almost guarantee of passage is a statement of support from the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats that, during original Build Back Better Act discussions last fall, were critical to some of the finer details. Democrats can only lose four votes on the Inflation Reduction Act vote Friday. In addition to leaving isolation after a second COVID-19 test, President Biden will sign the CHIPS and PACT bills into law at events on Tuesday and Wednesday, and many expect the President to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law shortly after its expected passage in the House on Friday.
For the remainder of the week, the House will hold one hearing, a Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth field hearing in Seattle, Washington on “Lessons from Seattle: New Horizons for Workers’ Pay, Benefits, and Protections.” On Thursday, many House members will attend the funeral of the late Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and two of her staff members who were killed in a vehicle collision in Indiana last week. Over the next four weeks, several states will hold their primary elections, including Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, Florida, New York (House), Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Week in Review