Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
July 30, 2021

Both the House and Senate are in session on a Friday.  The House met at 9 a.m. for legislative business and in addition to working on 12 bills under suspension of the Rules will potentially take up a 10th appropriations bill, Commerce-Justice-Science, with the issue of police funding continuing to hold up the legislation.  The House is also working on President Joe Biden’s last-minute request for Congress to extend the eviction moratorium until December 31st.  In the December Omnibus and the American Rescue Plan, Congress provided $46.5 billion to meet the needs of renters and housing providers.  This emergency assistance was accompanied by a moratorium on residential evictions that kept millions of renters housed during the pandemic.  On Saturday, the moratorium ends and of the more than $46 billion provided by Congress, less than $3 billion has been distributed to renters by state and local governments.  Pelosi Dear Colleague.  Democrats could also vote on a resolution on Cuba, which would express “support and sympathy with those seeking democracy and freedom.”

The Senate convened at 10:30 a.m. and just successfully voted 66-28 to move forward with a bipartisan infrastructure bill as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) pushes to pass it as soon as next week.  The procedural measure needed a simple majority to pass in the Senate split 50-50 by party. The vote was interrupted shortly after a draft of the legislation began to circulate that Republicans did not support.  The chamber last advanced the proposal by a 67-32 margin in a Wednesday test vote.  The measure would put $550 billion in new funds into transportation, power, water and broadband. While negotiators have outlined how much money would go into everything from roads to railways and electric vehicle charging stations, senators have not yet released final legislation.  Leader Schumer has warned that the chamber could stay in Washington through the weekend to continue work on the measure. After 17 Republicans voted with all 50 members of the Democratic caucus to take up the bill Wednesday, negotiators are hopeful that even more Republicans will sign on once the text is released.  Democrats still aim to pass the bill along with a second, separate $3.5 trillion package that would include a bevy of other party priorities. The proposal could address child care, paid leave, tax credits for households and climate policy.  Schumer hopes to approve a budget resolution, a key step in getting the bill through Congress, before the Senate leaves for its recess on August 6th. The vote would unlock the budget reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to pass their plan without a Republican vote.

President Biden and the top Democrats in Congress are expected to meet at the White House today to discuss their party’s faltering efforts to pass major voting rights legislation.  Mr. Biden’s meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senator Chuck Schumer comes at a crucial moment, as activists are pushing the president to use his power and Democrats’ control of Congress to protect voting rights while they have the chance. Republican-led states have enacted at least 30 new laws containing a host of new restrictions on voting, and G.O.P. senators have blocked consideration of a Democratic bill that would impose sweeping new federal mandates aimed at overriding them.

The President and The Vice President will also meet with Governors to discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen wildfire prevention, preparedness and response efforts, and hear firsthand about the ongoing impacts of the 2021 wildfire season, which are growing more severe.  Later this afternoon, the President hosts Cuban-American leaders at the White House to discuss the recent, historic demonstrations in Cuba and the Administration’s response.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.