Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
March 22, 2023

The Senate reconvened at 11:00 A.M. and following Leader remarks proceeded to Executive Session and resumed consideration of the nomination of Gordon P. Gallagher to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado.

The Senate will then resume consideration of S.316, to repeal the authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq with discussions ongoing with respect to consideration of amendments.  The legislation, sponsored by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Todd Young (R-Indiana) would end two congressional resolutions that authorized the use of military force, also known as an AUMF, in Iraq: one from the Gulf War in 1991 and another from 2002.  A procedural vote passed the chamber last week 68-27.  Their repeal would close an open-ended justification that presidents have used to carry out military actions in Iraq, allowing Congress to reassert its authority when it comes to where and when to send troops into battle.  If approved by the Senate, the resolution will go to the House for a vote, which, in 2021 passed a similar version of a bill to repeal the 2002 AUMF. President Joe Biden backs the Senate effort.  Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has pledged to find a compromise that can pass on his side of the Capitol, but landing an agreement without exposing awkward internal divides may prove near-impossible.  That’s because war powers are the rare topic that unite archconservatives with virtually every House Democrat in favor of repeal, while the majority of House Republicans, including many McCarthy allies, have opposed the idea of nixing the roughly 20-year Iraq War authorization.

The House convened at 12:00 P.M. and is considering H.R. 1093 – To direct the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on implementation of the advanced capabilities pillar of the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, H.R. 1159 – To amend the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 to require periodic reviews and updated reports relating to the Department of State’s Taiwan Guidelines, H.R. 406 – Providing Appropriate Recognition and Treatment Needed to Enhance Relations with ASEAN Act and H. Con. Res. 25 – Authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for a ceremony as part of the commemoration of the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust.

This week, the House is also expected to focus on legislation touted as the parental bill of rights, which would require school districts to publicly post their curriculum, provide parents a list of books available in the school library, and ensure parents’ consent before any medical exam takes place at the school. The bill has key support from House Speaker McCarthy and Republican leadership as the government’s role in schools has been a key talking point for GOP election campaigns. Democrats are in fierce opposition to the legislation.  The House may also consider the Veto Message to Accompany H.J.Res. 30 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights.”  This vote would override the President’s veto of H.J.Res. 30, which would use the Congressional Review Act to block a Labor Department rule to allow employers to consider environmental, social, and governance factors when choosing investments for workers’ retirement plans, if passed.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.