Biden’s Exit Shakes Up 2024 Election

Yesterday afternoon, President Joe Biden took the unprecedented step of ending his re-election bid amid lagging poll numbers and mounting calls within his own party to step aside following his lackluster debate performance last month. With less than four months until the general election — and less than a month until the Democratic National Convention (DNC) — Democrats will be scrambling to coalesce behind a new presidential ticket to square off against former President Donald Trump and his running mate Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) this fall.

  • Situational awareness. Shortly after his announcement, President Biden endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic nomination, and several prominent national and state Democrats have already followed suit. This includes: (1) Reps. Steven Horsford (D-NV), Nannette Barragán (D-CA), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) — the chairs of the Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Progressive Caucuses; (2) Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Josh Shapiro (D-PA), and Gavin Newsom (D-CA), who have been viewed as potential presidential candidates in the future; (3) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chair Suzan DelBene (D-WA); (4) House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA) and former Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC); and (5) Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), among others. As of now, the Vice President is in the pole position to lead the Democratic ticket this fall, but it remains to be seen if anyone else will jump into the race ahead of next month’s DNC in Chicago, IL.

 

Congress Returns Next Week

Congress will return for legislative business next week, starting with the House on Monday. Leadership is currently targeting passage of four fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills on the floor next week, including Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), Agriculture-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Energy-Water Development. However, after the Legislative Branch bill unexpectedly failed on the House floor last week, these spending bills could get delayed if lingering disagreements among House Republicans do not get resolved. Meanwhile, the Senate is likely to take up the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) before wrapping up the July work period, as well as pending nominations. We’ll also be watching to see if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls up any additional “messaging” votes during this two-week period, as well as a possible vote on the Smith-Wyden tax bill.

  • Scheduling rumor. According to conversations on the Hill, if the FSGG bill fails to pass the House floor next week, leadership could opt to give back the last week of July and adjourn early for the August district work period. But as of now, GOP leadership has given no formal notice of a change in the House schedule.
  • Programming note. The House is also slated to take up two dozen suspension bills next week, and more are possible as lawmakers mull a potential legislative response to the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump. Under the current schedule, lawmakers will consider the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which overwhelmingly passed out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during last month’s markup. Additionally, the House will consider a bill out of the Financial Services Committee that would set up a fintech working group to combat terrorism and illicit financing. A full list of suspension bills up on the House side next week can be viewed here

Senate Dems Eye Messaging Vote Against Dobbs Decision

The Senate will meet for legislative business today as Democrats look to move another bill on reproductive health. The Reproductive Freedom for Women Act (S. 4554) is void of any notable policy changes, instead expressing the sense of Congress that access to abortion and other reproductive health care should be supported following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The bill is not expected to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to advance in the upper chamber. In the House, lawmakers will take up GOP-sponsored legislation that seeks to require proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections, as well as overturn Biden administration regulations on sex-based discrimination. These bills will likely pass along party lines and are considered dead-on-arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

House Preps Floor Debate for Legislative Branch Spending Bill

The House will convene today to tee up floor consideration of the chamber’s fifth spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2025. Lawmakers are expected to begin debate on the FY 2025 Legislative Branch spending bill following final up-or-down votes on legislation that seeks to curtail energy efficiency regulations for refrigerators and dishwashers. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee released its updated 302(b) subcommittee allocations — as well as report language for the Agriculture-FDA, Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-HUD bills — ahead of tomorrow’s full committee markup.

  • Senate Schedule. Senators are set to resume consideration of pending presidential nominees, including a final up-or-down vote on Patricia Lee’s nomination to be a Member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Additional roll call votes are expected on judicial nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the D.C. Superior Court.

Next Week: Congress Picks Up Pace on Government Funding

Lawmakers will return to Washington on Monday to kick off the July work period. In the House, the primary focus will be clearing fiscal year (FY) 2025 government funding bills that have been reported out of the Appropriations Committee, starting with the Legislative Branch measure next week. The panel will also hold full committee markups for the six remaining spending bills: Labor-HHS-Education, Agriculture-FDA, Transportation-HUD, Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS), Interior-Environment, and Energy-Water Development.

Meanwhile, The Senate Appropriations Committee is set to begin marking up its FY 2025 spending bills next week, starting with the bills for Agriculture-FDA, Military-Construction-VA, and Legislative Branch. The panel will also take up the Senate’s 302(b) subcommittee allocations during next Thursday’s markup. Looking ahead to additional floor activity this month, consideration of the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is likely to occur before the chamber gavels out for the August state work period. We’ll also be watching to see if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) schedules votes on the Smith-Wyden tax bill, cannabis banking and/or legalization, rail safety, or other “messaging” bills that align with Senate Democratic campaign priorities.

Congress Breaks for Fourth of July

Last week, House lawmakers passed three fiscal year (FY) 2025 spending bills to close out the June work period. The House has now passed four of its twelve spending bills for FY 2025: Military Construction-VA, Defense, Homeland Security, and State-Foreign Operations. Appropriations committee activity and floor action will resume on the House side during the July work period, including further consideration of the Labor-HHS-Education and Agriculture-FDA funding bills. Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the committee will begin marking up the FY 2025 spending bills when the chamber gavels back into session following the Fourth of July state work period.

House Set to Pass Three Appropriations Bills

The House is wrapping up legislative business for the week with final up-or-down votes on three appropriations bills. Once lawmakers are finished debating amendments to the fiscal year (FY) 2025 Defense bill, the House will hold a final vote on that legislation plus the funding measures for Homeland Security and State-Foreign Operations. Assuming these all pass along party lines, the House will have passed four out of the 12 spending bills for FY 2025. Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the committee will begin marking up the FY 2025 spending bills when the chamber gavels back in after the Fourth of July state work period.

This Week: House GOP Queues Up More FY 2025 Spending Bills

House lawmakers will return on Tuesday to close out the June work period. On the floor, the chamber is set to take up the fiscal year (FY) 2025 spending bills for Defense, Homeland Security, and State-Foreign Operations. Assuming these measures pass along party lines, the House will have passed four out of the 12 appropriations measures heading into the July work period. Meanwhile, appropriators will hold subcommittee markups for the spending bills on Labor-HHS-Education, Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS), Transportation-HUD, Interior-Environment, and Energy-Water this week.

  • Programming note… The Senate has adjourned for the Fourth of July state work period and will return for votes on Monday, July 8. Click here to view the chamber’s pro forma schedule.

Senate Passes Fire Safety, Nuclear Permitting Package

Before the chamber gaveled out on Tuesday, senators unanimously passed legislation to reauthorize a series of fire safety grant programs and the U.S. Wildfire Administration. The bill also contains a bipartisan package of nuclear-focused provisions that seek to streamline the nuclear licensing process and bolster the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) workforce, among other things. Senate Democrats also attempted to move legislation that seeks to ban firearm “bump stocks,” but the bill did not advance due to GOP opposition. For today, senators will close out the week with votes on the nominations of Stephanie Sanders Sullivan to be a Representative to the African Union, as well as Nancy Maldonado to be a U.S. Circuit Judge. Today’s votes will be the last ones in the upper chamber until after the July Fourth state work period. Meanwhile, the House will return for legislative business next Tuesday to begin consideration of the fiscal year (FY) 2025 spending bills for Defense, Homeland Security, and State-Foreign Operations.

Senate Looks to Greenlight Fire Safety Reauthorization

Senators will gavel in for legislative business, and votes are possible with respect to a bill to reauthorize a series of fire safety grant programs and agencies. Specifically, the Senate is expected to take up a procedural motion that would place the Fire Grants and Safety Act on President Biden’s desk for signature. This legislation, which passed the House with amendments last month, would reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program through fiscal year (FY) 2030. The bill also restricts Chinese entities from being eligible recipients or subrecipients for assistance through these programs. Additionally, House lawmakers tacked on a bipartisan package of nuclear-focused policies that would, among other things, streamline nuclear licensing and boost the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) workforce. Assuming all 100 senators cooperate with this procedural maneuver, the bill will immediately pass and land on President Biden’s desk for signature.