Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
April 19, 2023

The Senate convened at 10:00 A.M. and resumed consideration of S.870, Fire Grants and Safety Act.  The Senate will spend much of the day processing through the Scott, Van Hollen, Sullivan, Paul and Haggerty Amendments.  The Senate may also take up S.J.Res.10, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to “Reproductive Health Services.”

The House convened at 12:00 P.M. for legislative business and is considering H.J. Res. 42 – Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022.  This resolution would state that Congress disapproves of The Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022 (D.C. Act 24–781), enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia on January 19, 2023.

The House is also expected to begin consideration of H.R. 734 – Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023 which would amend Title IX to protect the rights of women and girls to fully participate and fairly compete in women’s sports programs that are operated, sponsored, or facilitated by a recipient of federal funding.  The Rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order two amendments.  On April 17th, the White House released a statement opposing passage of the Protection Act, saying, “If the President were presented with H.R. 734, he would veto it.”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is vowing to publicly unveil details of his party’s debt limit plan later today, a critical step forward in a months-long standoff with President Joe Biden. The Speaker also promised that the House GOP would approve the bill by next week, a task that’s likely to prove complicated given the internal frustration about the path forward aired during a closed-door conference meeting on Tuesday.  Speaker McCarthy will introduce a bill that includes most of a proposal he laid out at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday that included cutting the federal budget to 2022 levels and capping spending growth at 1% per year in exchange for raising the $31.4 trillion limit.  It is rumored the Speaker will propose a $1.5 trillion increase in the limit that could cover the government’s needs until early next year, setting the stage for another debt ceiling fight in the final months of the 2024 presidential election campaign.  The White House and Democratic Leadership have already indicated they would be against the entire proposal.  This comes on the heels of a memo Goldman Sachs released this morning projecting that the U.S. could reach its debt limit in the first half of June.  Goldman is expecting April tax receipts to be “weak as a result of reduced capital gains-related taxes,” with preliminary data as of April 14th suggesting increased odds of Congress needing to address the debt limit by early June.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.