Senate Returns Ahead of FAA Reauthorization Debate

Congress is back in session today as House and Senate transportation leaders look to push through a final compromise version of a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through 2028. Procedural votes on the FAA Reauthorization Act are expected during tomorrow’s session as leadership looks to reach a “time agreement” to speed up consideration. However, lingering aviation policy disagreements are likely to be relitigated on the Senate floor before final passage, particularly around a provision to add additional perimeter slots at DCA. Some lawmakers — including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — have also been pushing for the inclusion of banking and financial services-related provisions on cannabis banking, stablecoins, and more, but these efforts have not been embraced by the authors of the final FAA bill. Congress must reauthorize the FAA by Friday, May 10 to avoid a lapse in agency operations.

  • Today in Congress. The House will gavel in to consider a slate of GOP-sponsored bills out of the Natural Resources Committee that seek to implement a series of regulatory changes regarding the use of public lands, reinstating mining leases, and gray wolf protections. Meanwhile, the Senate will resume consideration of pending judicial nominations.

House and Senate Transportation Leaders Introduce Final FAA Reauthorization

Late last night, House and Senate transportation leaders filed bill text for a bipartisan, bicameral bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ahead of the agency’s May 10 funding deadline. The FAA Reauthorization Act (text; summary) authorizes $105 billion in funding for the agency through 2028 and includes a slate of provisions related to aviation safety, consumer protections, accessibility, and infrastructure upgrades. The Senate will consider the bill first as an amendment to the House-passed FAA reauthorization bill, thus allowing the measure to be quickly considered by the House prior to next week’s deadline.


  • Situational awareness. While leaders are confident that the bill can reach the president’s desk without incident, some of the issues that have bogged down the FAA reauthorization process this Congress are poised to get relitigated on the Senate floor. This includes a provision in the final bill that would add additional perimeter slots at DCA — something that has been strongly opposed by lawmakers in the Virginia and Maryland delegations. Some lawmakers are hopeful that the bill could be used as a broader legislative vehicle to carry a series of banking and financial services-related provisions on cannabis banking, stablecoins, and more, but it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be successful. Additionally, votes on amendments related to the pilot retirement age and training requirements could also come up on the Senate side this week as leaders push for a “time agreement” to expedite consideration.


  • Today in Congress. The House will return first this week to consider 17 bills under suspension of the rules. This includes a bill out of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee that would create a program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve forecasting of weather and environmental conditions that contribute to wildfires. Lawmakers will also consider several measures out of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee that seek to ensure that veterans can access a range of federal benefits. Meanwhile, the Senate will gavel in for legislative business tomorrow to resume consideration of pending nominations before turning to the FAA Reauthorization Act.

National Security Supplemental Passes Congress

President Joe Biden is poised to sign a $95 billion national security funding package after the Senate overwhelmingly passed [79-18] the package late last night. The supplemental appropriations measure provides $61 billion for Ukraine, $26.4 billion for Israel and Gaza, and $8.1 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific. It also includes a modified version of the TikTok “divest-or-ban” legislation, which will force the social media app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app to a U.S. company within 270 days to avoid a possible ban in the U.S. Last night’s vote was the last in either chamber until lawmakers return from the Passover state work period on Monday.

Senate Gavels In for Votes on National Security Supplemental

The Senate will gavel in for legislative business today to kick off consideration of the House-passed national security funding package. The first procedural vote for the roughly $95 billion package — which includes $61 billion for Ukraine, $26.4 billion for Israel and Gaza, and $8.1 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific, as well as a modified version of the TikTok divest-or-ban legislation — will occur at 1 PM EST today, and it is widely expected to advance with bipartisan support. Senate leadership will then look to strike a time agreement to expedite consideration of the measure, which requires cooperation from all 100 senators to proceed. As of now, expectations are that the Senate will hold a final up-or-down vote on the national security supplemental during tomorrow’s session following a series of procedural and amendment votes.

House Clears National Security Funding Bills

House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a series of supplemental appropriations measures to provide additional national security funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific this past weekend following several months of debate and partisan gridlock. A fourth bill — which includes a modified version of the TikTok “divest-or-ban” bill and a series of foreign policy and national security provisions — also passed the House on Saturday. Under a House procedural maneuver, the bills will be packaged together as an amendment to the Senate-passed national security supplemental for a final up-or-down vote in the upper chamber on Tuesday. This is the only scheduled floor vote in either chamber for this week. Legislative activity will resume after the Passover district work period on Monday, April 29.

House GOP Releases National Security Funding Bills Ahead of Weekend Votes

House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) officially filed bill text for a slate of national security-focused supplemental funding bills as Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) readies weekend votes to try and clinch the measures ahead of the Passover district work period. The three bills would provide roughly $61 billion for Ukraine, $26.4 billion for Israel and Gaza, and $8.1 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific. Lawmakers will also take up a fourth measure that includes, among other things: (1) an updated version of the TikTok divestiture-or-ban legislation that extends the divestment period from six months to one year; (2) a provision allowing the Biden administration to sell frozen Russian assets; and (3) additional sanctions and other measures against Russia, China, and Iran.

  • Context & Next Steps. The Rules Committee is meeting today to develop a rule that will govern debate on all four measures, but GOP leadership is facing some opposition from Republican lawmakers on the panel. Notably, Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Ralph Norman (R-SC) are currently opposed to the supplemental funding bills and are prepared to vote No on the rule in committee to try and stall consideration. As such, Speaker Johnson and his leadership team will likely need help from Democrats on the Rules Committee — as well as the rank-and-file on the floor — to break any potential logjams in the process. Assuming the House can pass the rule, final votes on each of the four bills are expected on Saturday.

Senate Receives Mayorkas Impeachment Articles

The House formally transmitted articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during yesterday’s session, and senators are slated to be sworn in as jurors today. While details on how Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to proceed have been scant, it is widely expected that the Senate will move to dismiss the case before a full trial given skepticism on both sides of the aisle. As of now, Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating on a “time agreement” that would allow floor debate on certain procedural motions before a vote to dismiss, but it is unclear how long this process will take.

Speaker Johnson Outlines New Path on National Security Funding

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is pressing forward with a new strategy to provide aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan amid increasing pressure to clinch a national security supplemental. Under the current plan, the House would call up each bucket of foreign aid as individual bills that largely align with the funding buckets contained in the Senate-passed national security package. A fourth bill would include a series of national security and foreign policy measures that would, among other things: (1) force divestiture of the social media app TikTok; (2) allow the U.S. to sell seized Russian assets; and (3) establish a new Lend Lease Act for military aid.
  • Context & Next Steps. Speaker Johnson presented this plan to the House GOP conference yesterday with the hopes of winning over conservatives who are opposed to the Senate’s national security package, as well as those who are supportive of more funding for Ukraine. However, many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are withholding judgment until text of the four bills comes out. While leadership works to shore up support for this latest plan, changes to the House schedule are possible to accommodate additional votes.


  • For today… The House will meet today to consider a bill out of the Financial Services Committee that would modify the authority of the President to waive restrictions on certain U.S. accounts of foreign financial institutions that have facilitated significant financial transactions on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, certain Iranian financial institutions, or certain Iranian nationals. Lawmakers will also consider seven national-security focused suspension bills out of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congress Looks to Clinch FISA Reauthorization, Foreign Aid Funding

Both chambers will be back in session later this afternoon as lawmakers look to advance supplemental funding for foreign aid following an Iranian attack against Israel over the weekend. In response to this recent incident, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) noted that the House will deviate from its previously announced schedule to take up legislation to support Israel and hold Iran and its proxy organizations accountable. As of now, it is unclear whether House GOP leadership will call up another standalone aid package for Israel — something that has already been panned by the Senate and White House — or pivot to any of the other pending foreign aid packages that have been introduced across both chambers.

Notably, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to call up the Senate-passed national security supplemental, which includes buckets of funding for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as soon as possible. While passage of the Senate’s supplemental would send the bill directly to President Biden’s desk, Speaker Johnson may also need to navigate a possible “motion to vacate” if he puts additional Ukraine funding on the floor. Meanwhile, the Senate will gavel in for consideration of pending judicial nominations before turning to a House-passed bill that would reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years ahead of the program’s Friday, April 19 deadline.

  • For today… The House will gavel in for consideration of five suspension bills out of the Financial Services and Ways and Means Committees that would: (1) prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from authorizing certain transactions by a United States financial institution in connection with Iran (H.R. 5921); (2) sanction Chinese financial institutions that purchase petroleum products from Iran (H.R. 5923); (3) require a report on financial transactions and assets connected to Iranian leaders (H.R. 6245); (4) mandate steps to prevent Iran from circumventing or manipulating financial sanction exemptions (H.R. 6015); and (5) terminate the tax-exempt status of terrorist-supporting organizations (H.R. 6408).

GOP Shuffles Key House Committee Assignments

The House Republican Steering Committee met last night to approve a series of key committee changes. Notably, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) was unanimously appointed to replace outgoing House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-TX). As a result of Rep. Cole receiving the appropriations gavel, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) was tapped to replace the Oklahoma Republican as Chair of the House Rules Committee. Additionally, the Steering Committee appointed Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) to the open spot on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) to the vacant slot on the Rules Committee.