Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
March 8, 2023

President Joe Biden’s upcoming budget proposal, which will be released tomorrow, aims to cut deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade, the White House said Wednesday.  That deficit reduction goal is significantly higher than the $2 trillion that Biden had promised in his State of the Union address last month.  It also is a sharp contrast with House Republicans, who have called for a path to a balanced budget but have still yet to offer a blueprint.  The White House has consistently called into question Republicans’ commitment to what it considers a sustainable federal budget. Administration officials have noted that the various tax plans and other policies previously backed by GOP lawmakers would add more than $2.7 trillion to the national debt over 10 years.  President Biden intends to discuss his budget proposal on Thursday in Philadelphia.

FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget: Extending Medicare Solvency by 25 Years or More, Strengthening Medicare, and Lowering Health Care Costs

For today, the Senate convened at 10:00 A.M. and is considering the nomination of Patrice H. Kunesh to be Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, Department of Health and Human Services and Daniel I. Werfel to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) will oppose Werfel, President Joe Biden’s pick for IRS commissioner, the latest salvo in a long-running dispute with the White House over the implementation of Inflation Reduction Act provisions the West Virginia Democrat authored.  Manchin’s vote against Werfel, who has bipartisan support, isn’t likely to stop his confirmation to lead the Internal Revenue Service, but Werfel is the third Biden nominee that Manchin has opposed since Friday, signaling a widening gulf between the moderate Senator and the Biden administration.

The Senate is also expected to consider H.J.Res.26, disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022.  The resolution would invalidate a controversial plan to overhaul the District of Columbia’s criminal code, with a number of Democrats expected to join their Republican colleagues in support of the measure.  The disapproval resolution, which requires a simple majority to pass, is likely to clear the Democratic-led Senate. President Biden has said he will sign the measure, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said Tuesday he intends to support the resolution, though he told reporters it was a “close question.”  The resolution overturns the D.C. Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022, which was approved by the district’s Council last November and ushered in the first sweeping changes to the criminal code in 100 years. The bill reduces the maximum sentences for some offenses such as carjackings and robberies, and eliminates most mandatory minimum sentences.

The House convened at 10:00 A.M. and will consider H. Con. Res. 21 – Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Syria as well as H.R. 140 – Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act which prohibits federal employees from colluding with private platforms to censor lawful speech by expanding the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from taking part in political activities in their official capacity.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.