Saturday, February 18, 2023

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayers

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed

Senate confirms Oregon Justice Adrienne Nelson to a seat on federal bench

McConnell demands answers on unidentified objects shot down: 'What in the world is going on?' (Full Speech)

McConnell slams Democrats’ ‘bizarre’ focus on judicial ‘demographic box-checking’ (Full Speech)

As DC crime wave reaches Congress, McConnell calls on the Senate to take action (H.J.Res. 26, S.J.Res. 12)

National Security / Military

Administration scrambles to quell Congress’s frustration over balloon, UFOsChina spy balloon: Objects likely weren't part of spy programSenators demand transparency from Biden following classified briefingMike Lee slams Biden over UFOs: ‘Concerning and deeply troubling’Unsatisfying answers about possibly ‘benign balloons’ leave congressional critics frustratedMcConnell: Flying objects briefings had no 'useful information'Remarks by President Biden on the United States' Response to Recent Aerial Objects

Lawmakers eye opportunities as Philippines base access expands

Putting slack and margin back in the military

Foreign Policy

Sanctions waiver for Syria quake victims brings fears of abuse

Schumer, McConnell visit Munich conference in show of support for Ukraine

U.S. Congress members seek halt to $1 billion Nigeria weapons deal over illegal abortion program and the targeted killing of children

First Amendment

Disinformation Inc: Government-backed organization sent $315,000 to group blacklisting conservative news

Second Amendment

Murphy reintroducing background check legislation (S. 494)

Homeland Security

McCarthy led congressional delegation to southern border

House Republicans turn southern border into second campus

Jeffries visits border one day after McCarthy

Arizona Democrat goes on media blitz against GOP border narrative


Social Security's new funding timeline gives Senate some heartburn: budget scorekeeper brings the insolvency date within the nation’s 10-year budget window for the first time in decades (CBO Outlook report)

Tax Policy

House GOP looks to make Trump 2017 tax cuts permanent: Lower rates, child tax credit, SALT cap (H.R. 976, P.L. 115-97) • SALT state Republicans dissent

Senate Democrats unveil resolution condemning Republicans' national sales tax proposal (S.Res. 65 vs. H.R. 25)

House Republicans hope to get some tax goals enacted despite divided government

Federal Spending

Lankford, Cloud Want to Stop Taxpayers from Paying for Abortion (S. 471, H.R. 1074)

Chinese spy balloon has GOP saying no cuts to defenseSenators float more defense spending following Chinese spy balloon incident

Under fire, Rick Scott changes plan to exempt Social Security, Medicare from sunsettingMcConnell: 'No agenda on the part of Senate GOP to revisit Medicare or Social Security'

Sally Pipes: Fixing Medicare isn't brain surgery

The Medicare balance sheet has two sides: the patient side and the health care provider side. The third-rail politics of the issue center around current and soon-to-be patients: taxpayers have already paid for current and unrealized health benefits. Much less politically hot is how much Medicare pays health care professionals. Democrats had no problem changing Medicare payment amounts by $500 billion to pay for the Affordable Care Act law, which supposedly were going to save that much by finding different ways to manipulate supply and demand. • No matter what policy changes lawmakers make, the fixed natural laws of supply and demand reign over any action of Congress. If doctors stop taking Medicare due to low reimbursement, sick seniors and their families will look for other ways to find and pay for health care. It's possible Medicare becomes irrelevant before it becomes fully insolvent.

Treasury will run out of room under the debt limit between July and September: CBOCBO warns of sharp uptick in Social Security, Medicare spendingbudget picture worsens • “House Republicans are expected to lay out their budget blueprint in April, after President Joe Biden unveils his fiscal 2024 budget on March 9.” • “Deficits over the next decade are now projected to grow by $3.1 trillion, or 20 percent, during the next decade from the agency's forecast last May. Nearly half of that is the result of new laws, including a pricey new veterans toxic exposure benefit; the climate and health care budget reconciliation package; new semiconductor manufacturing subsidies; the fiscal 2023 omnibus appropriations law and more.” • Government auditor concerned about 'financial management weaknesses' as debt ceiling crisis loomsSchumer: Democrats won't play 'brinksmanship' over debt ceiling deal (a theme he repeated on the Senate floor on Monday and Thursday) • Two Democrats want McConnell's 2011 debt-ceiling fix proposal to be adopted: grant the president the authority to raise the limit

Monetary Policy

Rick Scott hits Biden over soaring price of eggs


Biden faces tough choice to replace Marty WalshSanders weighs in

McCarthy tells Mayorkas to 'stop lying' about borderHow a Bush-era law requiring border ‘perfection’ stands at center of GOP impeachment case

Sherrod Brown calls on Ohio governor to declare disaster over East Palestine derailmenttrain derailment has Vance and Rubio demanding answers from ButtigiegRubio, Vance question Buttigieg on freight rail oversightVance tells Buttigieg to ‘stop blaming Donald Trump’ for chemical disasterManchin bashes Biden and Buttigieg for 'unacceptable' responseRubio and Cruz ask why Biden hasn't fired Pete ButtigiegRubio calls for Buttigieg's resignation

Catholic Leader Demands Probe Into FBI Memo, ‘Pattern of Anti-Catholic Bigotry’ That Represents ‘The New Inquisition’

Virginia congressional delegation makes pitch for FBI headquarters

House Republicans ask FBI to investigate Biden appointee Dominic Ng over potential Espionage Act violations (Espionage Act)


Hyde-Smith & Pfluger lead bicameral amicus brief in challenge to chemical abortion: 67 Lawmakers Sign Brief that Spotlights Risks to Women, Girls in FDA Disregard of the Law
• This could put a stop to more than half of the abortions in this country.
• Democratic Senators spoke in opposition on the Senate floor: Murray, Wyden

Senate confirms Biden's 100th judge, vacancies needed to match Trump

Lindsey Graham in GOP hot seat for speedy judicial nominees

Supreme Court

Supreme Court to hear arguments on social media immunity laws (Gonzalez v. Google, Twitter v. Taamneh), as Congress weighs legislation on the issues

Justice — Punishing Evil, Praising Good (Romans 13:3-4; 1 Peter 2:14)

Lawmakers Introduce Measure To Investigate Antifa Riots (H.R. 649)

Republicans introduce 'COVID-19 Vaccination Non-Discrimination Act' (S. 420, H.R. 991)

GOP bill would jail publishers for distributing 'sexually explicit materials' to schools (H.R. 863)

Sen. Mike Braun leads bill to increase penalties for killing or targeting police officers (S. 459)

Reps. McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer push Congress to honor Vietnam evac pilots, crew

Corruption — Praising Evil, Punishing Good (Isaiah 5:20)

Senate Democrats press White House on abortion

Commerce Policy

Alaska Democrat: Environmentalism and oil need to ‘coexist’

Health Care Policy

House GOP demands info from Fauci, other officials on COVID-19 origins

Sanders calls for expanded access to medical education to address worker shortage

Technology Policy

Hawley proposes ban on social media for kids under 16

Democrat pushes Congress to get a jump on regulating generative artificial intelligence (AI)

Education Policy

Sanders calls for minimum salary of $60,000 for public school teachers


McCarthy calls for resignation of Architect of Capitol or removal by President BidenBiden fires Architect of Capitol

Rand Paul wants to make Congress efficient again

Casey undergoes surgery for prostate cancer successfully

Fetterman checks himself into Walter Reed to be treated for clinical depression, to remain hospitalized for 'a few weeks'Democrats supportBiden praises

Texas challenges federal spending law over proxy voting rule

Main Street Caucus eyes ‘pragmatic’ conservative wins

Newcomer’s placement on Pentagon spending panel attracts notice

McCarthy highs and lows in first weeks as Speaker

Justice Department reportedly won’t charge Rep. Matt Gaetz

Biden pays tribute to Feinstein: 'One of the very best' senators I ever served with

Committee Activity

Ted Cruz grills Biden nominee over payments to Democrats revealed by Washington Examiner'Wholly unqualified': Ted Cruz says Biden's wasting his time with FCC nominee Gigi Sohn

Biden IRS nominee pressed on ‘troubling’ reports on audit rates of Black taxpayers, nominee vows no increased audits for those earning under $400K

Sanders hits Starbucks CEO for refusing to testify before Senate

Lawmakers discuss foreign policy tools to stem fentanyl crisis

Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Research Bill Focused On Military Veterans With PTSD And Pain (S. 326)

GOP committee chair eyeing 'creative wargaming' to evaluate possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan amid threats to Taiwan

Republicans' first hearing at southern border

House Judiciary subpoenas Big Tech CEOs over free speech

House Oversight Committee ramps up investigation on 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal

Small Business Owners Voices Heard in House Committee

China committee to hold first public hearing on communist threat by month's end

House committee on China becoming an oasis of bipartisanship

4 Ways Church Committee Precedent of 1970s Could Guide House’s Probe of ‘Weaponized’ Agencies

Sanders to ask Moderna CEO over proposed COVID vaccine price hike

Senate Energy Committee to hold hearing on East Palestine train derailment effects

Tester to lead Senate probe on failures to spot Chinese spy balloons earlier

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