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This Week in Congress

This week, the Senate held nomination votes and the House voted on legislation banning mandatory arbitration agreements and banning discrimination based on hair style or texture.  Mandatory arbitration agreements are common in both employment and consumer agreements, and the FAIR Act (H.R. 963) would ban their enforcement and would nullify all pre-dispute agreements that require workers and consumers to pursue claims through arbitration rather than in court. Additionally, the House debated revoking Russia’s permanent normal trade relations status.  This debate came after President Biden’s ban on imports of Russian vodka, caviar and diamonds.  Removing the designation has support from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.  Finally, the House aims to pass a $15.6 billion coronavirus supplemental this week, but more negotiation is needed to clear a path through the Senate. The House Democratic leaders pulled a different version of the $15.6 billion bill from the broader $1.5 trillion government funding package after their members opposed a plan to pull $7 billion back from state and local governments appropriated under the March 2021 stimulus.