Weekly Legislative Update
September 20, 2021
Congressional Outlook
The House and Senate are both in session this week.

The House will consider 15 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Senate-passed Consider Teachers Act of 2021 (S. 848), which requires that the Department of Education revise the service obligation for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program; and the Performance Enhancement Reform Act (H.R. 2617), which revises provisions regarding agency reporting of performance goals.

The Senate will vote on a couple of nominations made by President Joe Biden, including Margaret Strickland to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico and Veronica Rossman to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit. Several Senate committees will hold hearings for nominees, including: Moshin Syed to be Assistant Secretary of Government Affairs at the Department of Transportation; Jeffery Prieto to be General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Dilawar Syed to be Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing examining threats to the homeland 20 years after 9/11. During last Wednesday’s session of the Senate, the cloture motion in relation to the motion to proceed to the For the People Act of 2021 (S. 2093) was withdrawn. In its place, Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), introduced the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747)—the bill’s chances of overcoming the 60-vote filibuster remain slim.

For the remainder of the week, the House will consider the $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R. 4350), which is an annually authorized bill appropriating budget authority for the Department of Defense; the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 (H.R. 3755), which protects a women’s ability to determine the course of her pregnancy and a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services. The House and Senate have until September 30th to pass a short-term spending bill (i.e., Continuing Resolution [CR]). On Monday, there was news that the introduction of the CR could be delayed in the House until Tuesday, following disagreements over disaster funding levels, extenders, and news that the federal debt limit will be attached. The debt limit is an issue that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stood firm on his position that Democrats will need to solve the problem of raising the debt limit without the help of Senate Republicans. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers that action needs to be taken on the debt limit by “some time” in October when the use of “extraordinary measures” are exhausted.

On Sunday, the Senate parliamentarian blocked the Democrats’ push to include a pathway to citizenship to over 8 million DREAMERs in the budget reconciliation package. This marks a huge blow to the chances of immigration reform being enacted in the current 117th Congress, as the parliamentarian said the policy change “outweighs the budgetary impact of that change.” For now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is poised to stick with her promise of a vote on the $550 billion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), on Monday, September 27. House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said that both the budget reconciliation and bipartisan infrastructure bills could be held up until October.
Week in Review