Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
April 25, 2023

As the House and Senate reconvene today, House Republican leaders are still struggling to get to 218 votes on their package to raise the national debt limit, and are uncertain whether they will be able to hold the vote as planed on Wednesday.  While Republicans hadn’t yet scheduled the vote, they had made Wednesday their informal goal to lock down the votes and push their package through along party lines and it’s now unclear when the vote will occur.  Republican leaders are warning their members that if they sink the bill, it would give President Joe Biden, who has thus far refused to engage in negotiations over raising the nation’s borrowing limit, the upper hand in the high-stakes fight.  Multiple members continue to say they are opposed to the bill, including four Iowa House Republicans who oppose the bill’s inclusion of a provision repealing ethanol tax breaks, members like Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett who say they are still a no because of their philosophical opposition to raising the US borrowing limit, and others like swing-district Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina and embattled Congressman George Santos of New York who have suggested that they might vote against the plan for reasons yet to be stated.  Some on the far right such as Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida want to make even stricter the work requirements proposed for Medicaid beneficiaries contained in the plan and Gaetz has warned he would vote against the plan if the bill’s language isn’t changed to his liking.  The Biden administration said Tuesday it would veto the House GOP’s proposed debt ceiling legislation, calling it “a reckless attempt to extract extreme concessions as a condition for the United States simply paying the bills it has already incurred.”

When the House and Senate reconvene today, the Senate will start work at 3:00 P.M. and will resume consideration of Joshua David Jacobs to be Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The House will convene for legislative business at 2:00 P.M. and is expected to consider the following bills under suspension of the Rules: H.R. 675 – Secure Space Act, H.R. 1339 – Precision Agriculture Satellite Connectivity Act, H.R. 1343 – Institute for Telecommunication Sciences Codification Act, H.R. 1353 – Advanced, Local Emergency Response Telecommunications Parity Act, H. Res. 90 – Demanding that the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China immediately release Mark Swidan and H. Res. 311 – Encouraging the expansion and strengthening of the Abraham Accords to urge other nations to normalize relations with Israel and ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries and all peoples in the region.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.