Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
August 5, 2021

The Senate reconvened at 10:30 a.m. and resumed consideration of H.R.3684, the legislative vehicle for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will also consider the  nomination of Eunice Lee, of New York, to be US Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.  President Biden nominated Eunice Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on May 12. Lee has spent her career as a public defender in New York City and, if confirmed, will be the only judge on the circuit with experience as a public defender. She will also be only the second Black woman to ever serve on the Second Circuit.

Senate Democratic leaders are leaning toward a move to shut off debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill as soon as this afternoon, likely setting up a crucial vote this weekend on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.  As of Thursday morning, the chamber had considered 22 amendments, the majority of them from the GOP. Republicans are privately signaling they are likely to put up the votes to advance the bill, provided Thursday’s amendment consideration goes smoothly.  Leader Schumer is expected to set a vote to overcome a conservative filibuster as soon as Saturday, when the bill would need the support of at least 10 GOP senators, however word is circulating that there may be as many as 15-20 Republican Senators voting in support of the legislation.  Once the bill has overcome the chamber’s 60-vote requirement, it will be on a glide path to passage, potentially as soon as this weekend.  Immediately after that, the Senate will turn to consider a Democratic budget that will set up potential future passage of a spending bill as large as $3.5 trillion. Senate leaders are discussing the particulars of how they can wrap up both issues but allow rank-and-file members sufficient time to debate and consider them.

Today, President Biden and The Vice President will meet with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander civil rights leaders and this afternoon, the President delivers remarks on the steps his Administration is taking to strengthen American leadership on clean cars and trucks.  The President is expected to sign an executive order setting a national goal for electric and other zero-emissions vehicles to make up half of new cars and trucks sold by 2030.  Aiming to show buy-in from the auto industry, Biden will be joined at the White House by Ford and GM executives, along with leaders from the United Auto Workers. In addition to setting the 50 percent-by-2030 goal, the executive order will also kick off the process to replace former President Donald Trump’s more relaxed tailpipe and emissions standards with stricter ones.  The 50 percent goal, while nonbinding and largely symbolic, aims to set federal expectations for automakers to rapidly make the transition from gas-burning cars and trucks to electric ones, a key component of Biden’s climate change strategy. Transportation accounts for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Later today, the President will sign H.R. 3325, “An Act to award four congressional gold medals to the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” into law.  The Senate approved the legislation to bestow Congress’ highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, on the law enforcement officers who responded to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The House passed the measure earlier this summer, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer led the unanimous, bipartisan approval of the legislation on the Senate floor earlier this week.  The medals will be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, the Smithsonian Institution and the Capitol.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.