More January 6th Hearings This Week, Gun Control Legislation Hits Snags, ATF Nominee Discharged from Committee
By Jason Pye - Director, Rule of Law Initiatives
Point of Order is a (mostly) weekly preview of key congressional activity for those with more than a passing interest in federal policy.
House schedule and suspensions: The House returns today at 2:00 pm for legislative business. First and last votes on Tuesday are expected around 6:30 pm. The chamber will be in session through Friday, and the last votes for the week are expected at 3:00 pm that day. There are 14 bills (listed below) on the suspension calendar for the week. Additional legislative items are possible.
Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act, H.R. 7777 (Homeland Security Committee)
National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act, H.R. 7174 (Homeland Security Committee)
PREVENT ACT, H.R. 5274 (Homeland Security Committee)
NDO Fairness Act, H.R. 7072 (Judiciary Committee)
21st Century President Act, H.R. 3285 (Judiciary Committee)
Active Shooter Alert Act, H.R. 6538 (Judiciary Committee)
Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G, H.R. 1934 (Foreign Affairs Committee)
Condemning the October 25, 2021, military coup in Sudan and standing with the people of Sudan, H.Con.Res. 59 (Sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks / Foreign Affairs Committee)
Calling for stability and the cessation of violence and condemning ISIS-affiliated terrorist activity in northern Mozambique, including the Cabo Delgado Province, and for other purposes, H.Res. 720 (Foreign Affairs Committee)
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the execution-style murders of United States citizens Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi in the Republic of Serbia in July 1999, H.Con.Res. 45 (Foreign Affairs Committee)
Calling on the Government of the Republic of Rwanda to release Paul Rusesabagina on humanitarian grounds, H.Res. 892 (Foreign Affairs Committee)
Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act, H.R. 5407 (Education and Labor Committee)
Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act, H.R. 6493 (Education and Labor Committee)
STRONG Veterans Act, H.R. 6411 (Veterans' Affairs Committee)
Bills that come to the floor under suspension of the rules require two-thirds of members present and voting for passage. This is the most common way that bills considered by the House come to the floor. Some of these bills may be passed by a voice vote, rather than a roll call vote. Most bills that come to the floor under suspension aren’t widely considered controversial, although leadership may occasionally test a bill under suspension to gauge opposition or sneak a bill through the chamber.
Rule bills: The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday at 2:00 pm to markup the rule for the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and the Well-Being Act, H.R. 7666; the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health Act, H.R. 5585; LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, H.R. 4176; and the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3967. Additional legislation is always possible.
Party divisions in the House: Rep. Connie Conway (R-CA) was sworn in last week. Conway will serve the remainder of the term left by the resignation of former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). At the beginning of the week, the party divisions are 220 Democrats and 209 Republicans. There are six vacancies—AK-AL, MN-01, NE-01, NY-19, NY-23, and TX-34. We expect that Rep.-elect Mayra Flores (R-TX), who won last week’s special election in TX-34, will be sworn in soon, bringing Republicans up to 210 seats.
Two more January 6 hearings this week: The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is scheduled to hold hearings this week, Tuesday at 1:00 pm and Thursday at 3:00 pm. Tuesday’s hearing will feature Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling. If you’ve missed the hearings, you can watch them on YouTube. Believe me, the testimony delivered, especially that of former Judge J. Michael Luttig and former Counsel to the Vice President Greg Jacob, has been sobering. Also, reportedly, the select committee is seeking the testimony of Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarance Thomas, for her role in seeking to overturn the presidential election in Arizona.
House committee schedule: Below are some House committee hearings that may be of interest. The full House committee schedule for the week can be found here.
Hearing on the January 6th Investigation (Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol; Tuesday at 1:00 pm)
Markup for Fiscal Year 2023 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill (Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Tuesday at 4:00 pm)
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security I&A Budget Hearing (Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Tuesday at 5:15 pm)
Markup of FY 2023 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Bill (Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Tuesday at 5:30 pm)
A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Dairy Provisions (Committee on Agriculture; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Tackling Toxic Workplaces: Examining the NFL’s Handling of Workplace Misconduct at the Washington Commanders (Committee on Oversight and Reform; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Oversight of the Department of Justice National Security Division (Committee on the Judiciary; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
National Security Agency Budget Hearing (Closed) (Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Capital Investment Program: Identifying Risk to GSA Facilities (Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Congress & Technology: Modernizing the Innovation Cycle (Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; Thursday at 9:00 am)
SBA Management Review: Office of Government Contracting and Business Development (Committee on Small Business; Thursday at 10:00 am)
The Future of Digital Asset Regulation (Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit; Thursday at 10:30 am)
Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations Bill (Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Thursday at 4:00 pm)
Markup of FY23 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Thursday at 5:30 pm)
If you’re interested in watching any of these hearings online, you can find committee websites here.
There’s a question about today’s vote(s) in the Senate: The Senate returns today at 3:00 pm for a period of morning business. The chamber is expected to have a roll call vote at 5:30 pm, although what they’ll vote on isn’t clear at the moment. Presumably, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is reserving the vote time for legislation related to gun violence. (More on that in a minute.) However, the Senate could also vote on the confirmation of the nominations of Ana Isabel de Alba to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Columbia or Mary T. Boyle to serve as a Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Cloture was invoked on both of these nominations last week.
ATF nominee is moving: On Thursday, the Senate discharged the nomination of Steven M. Dettelbach to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked on Dettelbach’s nomination earlier the same day.
The gun deal has hit snags: Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), and other negotiators appear to have hit snags on the recently rolled out gun control framework around the so-called “boyfriend loophole” and red flag laws. As I mentioned in last week's newsletter about the framework, “text really is everything when it’s all said and done.” Reportedly, Cornyn walked out of the negotiations on Thursday and headed back to Texas where he was booed at the Texas Republican Party Convention in Houston. Cornyn, who has been called the “Republican leader-in-waiting” by some, has also faced criticism from conservatives in his own conference. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who is also negotiating with Murphy, appears to be optimistic about a deal on text, though, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has backed the framework.
Senate committee schedule: Below are some Senate committee hearings that may be of interest. The full Senate committee schedule for the week is here.
Business meeting to consider establishment of the Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters within the Department of Agriculture, and establishment of a cattle contract library (Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Wednesday at 9:30 am)
Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Wednesday at 9:30 am)
Hearings to examine the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress (Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Wednesday at 9:30 am)
Hearings to examine pending nominations (Judiciary; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Hearings to examine Toxic Substances Control Act amendments implementation (Environment and Public Works; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Hearings to examine supporting students and schools, focusing on promising practices to get back on track (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Wednesday at 10:00 am)
Hearings to examine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, focusing on proposals to address predictability, certainty, and fairness (Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; Wednesday at 2:30 pm)
Hearings to examine FEMA's strategic priorities and disaster preparedness (Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Wednesday at 2:30 pm)
An oversight hearing to examine Volume 1 of the Department of the Interior's Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative investigative report (Indian Affairs; Wednesday at 2:30 pm)
Hearings to examine NATO enlargement, focusing on the proposed accession of Sweden and Finland (Foreign Relations; Wednesday at 2:45 pm)
Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Library of Congress and the Government Accountability Office (Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch; Wednesday at 4:15 pm)
Hearings to examine building trust in government through customer experience, focusing on putting people first (Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Thursday at 10:15 am)
If you’re interested in watching any of these hearings online, you can find committee websites here.
Upcoming House and Senate work schedules: The Senate is in recess the week of June 27 and July 4 and will return Monday, July 11 to begin a four-week work period. The House is in a committee work week during the week of June 27 and in recess the week of July 4. The House will return on Tuesday, July 12, to begin a three-week work period. Pro forma days will occur in both chambers during the weeks of June 27 and July 4, although no legislative business is expected.