Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
November 17, 2021

Democratic leaders said on Tuesday that the House vote on a $1.75 trillion social spending package is likely on Thursday or Friday. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) predicted that “most of” the floor debate on the massive bill will occur today.  Hoyer allowed for the possibility that the final debate could be pushed to Saturday if objections emerge surrounding an imminent cost analysis being conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). But his “expectation,” he added, is to pass the legislation before then.  The latest timing for potential passage comes despite potential pitfalls in the Senate’s quest to pass the bill, namely, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). The West Virginia centrist, aired out more of his concerns on Tuesday, headlined by rising inflation, and signaled that he is not on board with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) plan to pass the bill by Christmas.

The House will spend the entirety of today working on H.Res. 789 – Censuring Representative Paul Gosar.  Democratic leaders intend to hold a vote to not only censure Mr. Gosar — the most severe punishment in the House of Representatives short of expulsion — but oust him from his seats on both the House Oversight and Natural Resources Committees. The action comes a week after he used his official social media accounts to circulate a video clip from a popular anime program altered to show a figure with Mr. Gosar’s face slashing the neck of another figure bearing the face of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) and also showed his character swinging swords at President Joe Biden.  Only 23 Members of Congress have ever been censured putting him in the same group as Representative Laurence M. Keitt of South Carolina who was censured in 1856 for assisting in the caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor.

The senate will complete work on the nomination of Brian Eddie Nelson to be Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and then plans to proceed to the Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #144, H.R.4350, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.  Senate Majority Leader Schumer, plans to merge the sweeping $250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, or USICA, with the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act defense bill when it’s introduced in the Senate on Wednesday which makes the process much more precarious.  The House has wrestled for weeks with its own China competition legislation.  The House Science Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Higher Education Committee have concerns with the Senate bill. As does the Foreign Affairs Committee, which passed its own similarly focused bill in July with only Democratic support.  Combining these two pieces of legislation would push the price tag of the defense bill to over $1 trillion which may be tough to swallow after the total cost of both infrastructure packages which has yet to be totally determined.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.