Weekly Legislative Update
March 15, 2021
Congressional Outlook
The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider 28 bills under suspension of the rules, including the PPP Extension Act of 2021 (H.R. 1799), which provides small businesses two additional months to seek loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), extending the application deadline from March 31 to May 31. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on a joint resolution (H. J. Res. 17) removing the June 30, 1982 deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1620) which reauthorizes the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and numerous grant programs operated by DOJ and HHS designed to prevent and respond to violent crimes for fiscal years 2022 through 2026; the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6), which provides conditional green cards and work authorizations to more than two million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who arrived as children if they meet criteria similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1603), which allows undocumented agricultural workers to qualify for a new temporary immigration status or permanent legal status and makes changes to the H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa program; and a bill (H.R. 1868) which exempts the enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2) from statutory PAYGO scorecards, preventing $381 billion in cuts to Medicare and other mandatory spending programs over the next five fiscal years.

The Senate will vote to confirm Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) to be the 54th Secretary of the Interior on Monday, followed by Isabella Guzman to be the 27th Administrator of the Small Business Administration; Katherine Tai to be the 19th U.S. Trade Representative; and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be the 25th Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The White House is mapping a multi-week campaign to sell the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11. The Biden Administration has broken each day this week into themes emphasizing different benefits of the law: on Monday, Biden is launching what he is branding the “Help Is Here” campaign with a speech at the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are headlining a launch event in Las Vegas, Nevada, and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Burlington, New Jersey to emphasize the impact of the bill on schools and students; Tuesday’s theme will be “help for small business,” with President Biden flying to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and the Vice President and Second Gentleman visiting Denver, Colorado; Wednesday is “help for schools,” featuring the First Lady in Concord, New Hampshire and the Second Gentleman in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Thursday is “help to stay in your home,” highlighting measures in the law to cover back rent, protect people against eviction and aid people experiencing homelessness; and Friday will focus on “help immediately with direct checks,” with Biden and Harris traveling to Atlanta, Georgia. Other Biden Administration officials, including Cabinet secretaries, will do regional and national interviews and events this week to further amplify the campaign.
Week in Review