Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
January 24, 2023

With plans to bring a border security bill to the House floor as early as this week on hold amid a backlash from more moderate members, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has also been unable to corral the votes for a promised pro-police bill.  The House will begin the week at noon for morning hour and 2:00 P.M. for legislative business with votes at 6:30 P.M.  The House plans to vote on two suspension bills, H.R. 159 – To implement merit-based reforms to the civil service hiring system that replace degree-based hiring with skills- and competency-based hiring and H.R. 300 – To amend chapter 3 of title 5, United States Code, to require the publication of settlement agreements.

As House committee members continue to be announced, last night, some of the most controversial House Republicans were named to the chamber’s powerful Rules Committee.  The committee, which will be chaired by Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, now includes Representatives Chip Roy of Texas and Ralph Norman of South Carolina. The two were among the group of Republicans who withheld support for McCarthy’s speakership until after he made several big concessions to the more far-right wing of the party.

As concern about raising the debt ceiling begins to mount, President Joe Biden will host Democratic congressional leaders at the White House today ahead of an evening reception for new members of Congress.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Monday called on House Republicans to lay out the spending cuts they’re proposing as part of a deal to raise the debt limit, saying Democrats are prepared to “move quickly” and “well in advance of default” to raise the country’s borrowing authority, which is likely set to expire sometime in the first half of this year. The U.S. reached the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling last week, forcing the Treasury Department to resort to “extraordinary measures” to avoid a default.

The Senate convened at 10:00 A.M. and after the weekly party lunches will continue working on administration nominations.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.