April 24, 2023
What to expect in Washington (April 24)
House Republican leaders plan to bring to a vote this week the Limit, Save, and Grow Act to suspend the debt limit until March 31, 2024, or until $1.5 trillion of debt over the current statutory limit is accrued. The bill includes many other Republican priorities focused on rolling back Biden administration policies and reducing spending and is opposed by Democratic leaders, who continue to insist upon a clean debt limit bill that could be required by early June to avoid default. The two sides remain in a standoff.
With a 222-213 majority, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) can lose only four votes presuming Democratic opposition. After previously saying he would work through the weekend to secure the necessary votes, Speaker McCarthy said on Fox April 23: "I cannot imagine someone in our conference that would want to go along with Biden's reckless spending. This is responsible. This is something that we have sat down for months, that everybody's had input in. It's not where everybody gets 100% of what they want. But when we send this to the Senate, we're showing that, yes, we're able to raise the debt ceiling into the next year, but what we're doing is, we're being responsible fiscally and bringing our house back in order. It doesn't solve all of our problems, but it gets us on the right path. And this gets us to the negotiating table, just as government and America expects us to do so."
A story in the Sunday Washington Post, "Biden is running out of time to avoid calamitous debt ceiling outcomes," said, "Since Republicans took control of the House in January, Biden's top aides have expressed confidence both privately and publicly that they can force the GOP to raise the limit on federal borrowing without even partially acquiescing to conservative demands to cut spending. But so far, that strategy does not seem to have worked. [Speaker McCarthy] released a plan on Wednesday that his caucus broadly backed, and GOP leaders hope to pass it in the House next week. There's little indication yet that Republicans will break off and agree to lift the debt ceiling without conditions, as Biden insists. And attempts by the administration to enlist corporate executives to build pressure haven't yielded much either … "
There hasn't been opposition expressed publicly to the bill not going through regular order in the House. A separate Post story said, "House Republicans, after months of pledging to devolve power to legislative committees conducting business out in the open, have reverted to the tradition of working behind closed doors. For almost two months, Republicans of all stripes filed into House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's office to cobble together a sweeping 320-page bill that would touch many aspects of domestic policy while also allowing the Treasury to continue borrowing another $1.5 trillion to fund the federal government … Not one committee held the traditional legislative markup to consider amendments and further debate on the measure."
Congress — The House and Senate are in session this week. The South Korean President has been invited to address a Joint Session of Congress on April 27. House Republican leaders plan to bring the Limit, Save, and Grow Act to a vote as soon as Wednesday. Other House business includes consideration of H.J. Res 39, Disapproving the Rule Submitted by the Department of Commerce Relating to "Procedures Covering Suspension of Liquidation, Duties and Estimated Duties in Accord with Presidential Proclamation 10414." The resolution, approved by Ways and Means last week, addresses solar import tariffs from Asian nations.
The Senate next convenes at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, with a vote at 5:30 p.m. on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #64 Joshua David Jacobs to be Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, cloture has been filed on the Motion to Proceed to S. 326, the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act.
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a "Hearing on Accountability and Transparency at the Internal Revenue Service with IRS Commissioner Werfel" on Thursday, April 27, at 1:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, April 26 at 10 a.m., the Senate HELP Committee will vote on Julie Su's nomination to be Labor Secretary.
On Wednesday, April 26 at 10 a.m., the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Social Security Fundamentals: A Fact-Based Foundation."
On Wednesday, April 26 at 10:15 a.m., the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the "Health Costs of Climate Change."
On Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m., the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing, "Tax-Exempt Hospitals and the Community Benefit Standard."