Weekly Legislative Update
July 19, 2021
Congressional Outlook
The House and Senate are in session this week.

The House will consider 27 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act (H.R. 2931), which establishes an Energy Department program to promote physical security and cybersecurity of electric utilities; the Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act of 2021 (H.R. 1870) which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a training program for local law enforcement to respond to threats; and the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act (H.R. 3138), which requires DHS to award grants to help state and local governments address cyberthreats, authorized at $500 million annually for each of FYs 2022—2026.

For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act (H.R. 2668), which gives the Federal Trade Commission explicit authority to obtain monetary restitution for victims of consumer protection and antitrust violations; the PFAS Action Act of 2021 (H.R. 2467) which requires the Environmental Protection Agency to designate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous, makes the chemicals eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program, and establishes a PFAS Infrastructure Grant Program for affected community water systems to pay for capital costs associated with the implementation of eligible treatment technologies, authorized at $125 million for each of FYs 2022—2023 and $100 million for each of FYs 2024—2026; and the Allies Act of 2021 (H.R. 3985), which authorizes an additional 8,000 special immigrant visas for individuals from Afghanistan who helped U.S. military operations since 2001.

The Senate will vote on several executive and judicial nominations made by President Joe Biden, including: Tiffany Cunningham to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit; Kenneth Polite to be Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; and Jennifer Abruzzo to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. The Senate will also likely vote on the House-passed VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (H.R. 1652), which directs revenue from out-of-court settlements to the Crime Victims Fund.

With the August recess quickly approaching, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) set deadlines this week for the $1.2 trillion, eight-year Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which is currently being negotiated by a group of 22 senators (11 Democrats and 11 Republicans). He plans to file cloture on the legislative vehicle for the bill on Monday, with an initial procedural vote set to take place on Wednesday. However, numerous Senate Republicans working on the bill and their aides have already indicated that they will not agree to vote to advance consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure package until the legislative text has been finalized, making it unlikely that there will be 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. Schumer also said that July 21 would be the deadline “for the entire Senate Democratic Caucus to agree to move forward on the [FY 2022] budget resolution with reconciliation instructions” based on the $3.5 trillion outline announced last week for President Biden’s American Families and Jobs Plans

Week in Review