The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will vote on 50 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Safe Communities Act of 2020
(H.R. 5780), which requires the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to provide additional information and support to state, local, and private sector entities to safeguard critical infrastructure; the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act
(H.R. 5823), which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to receive $400 million annually through FY 2025 to provide grants to state and local governments to address cybersecurity threats; and the Senate-passed America's Conservation Enhancement Act
(S. 3051), which authorizes more than $1 billion for federal wildlife and habitat conservation through FY 2025. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020
(H.R. 6270), which requires companies to disclose to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission whether their goods are sourced from or produced in China's Xinjiang region or in forced labor camps.
Last Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) directed several House committee chairs to draft a new coronavirus relief package representing a more scaled-down version of the $3.5 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) the House passed on May 15. The new package, which we expect to be released this week, is anticipated to cost between $2.2 trillion and $2.4 trillion and include many of the same provisions that are in the HEROES Act, including additional aid for state and local governments, expanded unemployment assistance, and more relief for businesses and hard-hit industries. Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both signaled that they remain committed to negotiating a compromise package. However, Speaker Pelosi indicated that the House would move forward with a vote on its own relief package proposal if a deal with the White House and Congressional Republicans is not reached soon. If the House does not vote on a relief package this week, it is highly unlikely the House will vote on a package before the November elections, as the House is scheduled to begin its pre-Election Day recess on October 2.
On Tuesday, the Senate will take a procedural vote on the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act" (H.R. 8337), to keep the federal government funded from October 1-December 11, 2020 at enacted FY2020 levels and avoid a government shutdown. The House passed the bill last week by a vote of 359-57-1 and President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law by midnight on Wednesday. The CR also includes one-year reauthorizations for programs that would otherwise lapse on Sept. 30, including the National Flood Insurance Program and the expiring 2015 FAST Act surface transportation bill; the bill contains no coronavirus relief provisions.
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett is on a fast track through the Senate following her official nomination Saturday by President Trump to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that the Committee will begin her nomination hearing on Monday, October 12, with questioning beginning Oct. 13. A final floor vote on Barrett's nomination will likely occur during the week of Oct. 26.
The first 2020 presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will take place from 9-10:30pm ET on Tuesday evening. The debate will be moderated by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace and will be hosted by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.