Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
March 28, 2023

The House met at 10:00 A.M. and has begun consideration of H.R. 1 – Lower Energy Costs Act.  The bill is under a structured rule which provides for seven hours of general debate and makes in order 37 amendments.

The legislation faces a veto threat from President Joe Biden as Democrats oppose the measure in part because it would scrap much of the Biden administration’s major accomplishments of the last Congress: the $369 billion in climate and clean energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act.  House Republicans are hoping that this package will set the stage for bipartisan talks on overhauling the federal government’s process for permitting energy projects which some in the GOP hope to tie into debt limit negotiations.  The package includes measures to promote domestic mining of critical minerals, open public lands to more energy development and to streamline environmental reviews.  The House will consider thirty seven amendments to the package this week, ranging from the strategic petroleum reserve, gas stoves, the Communist Party of China, tree trimming, and uranium. The package has moved rapidly, over the past few months, lawmakers have held hearings and committee markups on dozens of bills from the Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees and Republican leaders have pulled most of those initiatives into H.R. 1.  But the package hit a speed bump just ahead of the weekend when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its official fiscal accounting of how the bill would affect federal deficits.  According to the CBO report, the bill would increase the federal deficit by $2.3 billion by 2033 due in part to the bill’s revenue-sharing mandates, which would direct more royalties to states hosting offshore oil and wind projects. Cost also come from scrapping the methane fee and changes to royalty fees.

Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.316, to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, post-cloture.  The Senate on Monday cleared a final procedural hurdle toward repealing two Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF), setting the stage for a final vote on the bill this week.  Senators voted 65-28 to end debate on the measure to repeal the 1991 authorization for the U.S. invasion of Kuwait and the 2002 AUMF that paved the way for the Iraq War the following March.  Sixty votes were required to advance the measure.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said a final vote could take place as early as Tuesday. The upper chamber last week voted 67-28 on the motion to proceed to the bill. Senators also voted down a series of amendments from Republican members late last week but more amendment votes are taking place this week.

Adam S. Olsen Washington, D.C.