Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
August 12, 2021

The House and Senate now stand in recess.  The House will reconvene on Monday, August 23rd and the Senate on Monday, September 13th.

The House continues to operate under protocols allowing for proxy voting because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Maryland) announcement Tuesday that the chamber would return to consider the budget resolution the Senate adopted Wednesday morning, as well as voting rights legislation, means not all members need to return physically to Washington.  Although the House is reconvening to vote on the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, moderate House Democrats are calling for the House to immediately vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that the Senate voted 69-30 to pass on Tuesday, which was spearheaded by a group of bipartisan senators.  The deal includes investments for infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, broadband, water and rail.  Eight moderates, including members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Tuesday, asking her to consider the bill separately from Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that is expected later this year.  Separately, leaders of the House Blue Dog Coalition urged Pelosi to take up an immediate vote on the bipartisan Senate bill, saying they “remain opposed to any effort to unnecessarily delay consideration of these critical infrastructure investments, which will create good-paying jobs, keep American businesses competitive, and grow our nation’s economy.”

While the Speaker is very unlikely to change course and consider the smaller bipartisan bill separately, there are still outstanding issues in the Senate passed bipartisan bill that need to be resolved before a House vote.  Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California) is joining the growing chorus calling for an amendment to language in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill imposing new regulations on the cryptocurrency industry.   Eshoo sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi Thursday urging her to amend “the problematic broker definition” in the Senate-passed bill that now faces the lower chamber.  The infrastructure bill includes a provision calling for additional reporting requirements in the cryptocurrency industry as a way to help fund the roughly $1 trillion bill. The reporting requirements could potentially raise $28 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

While the Senate remains in recess, work will continue on the $3.5 trillion package.  As the budget resolution vote-a-rama was under way Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) met with the committee chairs who will be tasked with crafting the pieces of the reconciliation measure.   Leader Schumer says he wants the reconciliation bill, which is crafted from the instructions in the $3.5 trillion blueprint adopted on a party-line vote Wednesday, “done on September 15.”

Washington, D.C. Daily Update will not publish again until Tuesday, August 24th, when the House reconvenes.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.