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This Week in Congress

The House voted on legislation to decriminalize cannabis and expand retirement savings options for workers this week.  The legislation known as the MORE Act would decriminalize cannabis, impose a tax on cannabis products, and provide assistance to cannabis businesses. Additionally, the House voted on the FY23 Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which would be renamed for the late Rep. Young (R-AK), who died March 18th. The measure would authorize $12.8 billion for the Coast Guard in fiscal 2022 and $13.9 billion in fiscal 2023, restrict Russian vessels from entering U.S. waters, establish policies to curb sexual assault and harassment in the maritime industry, and modify ocean shipping laws, among other provisions. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill by voice vote on March 2nd.  Finally, the retirement package the House voted on would require automatic enrollment in new employer plans. The legislation would increase the age at which individuals must start drawing on their retirement accounts, expand tax incentives for small businesses to create retirement plans, and allow employers to make matching contributions to retirement accounts based on employee student loans payments. The House Ways and Means Committee approved the bill by voice vote on May 5th.

The Senate voted on the House passed America COMPETES Act, along with the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Both bills are aimed at boosting technological innovation and would provide $52 billion for domestic manufacturing of computer chips. Passing the House bill with the Senate’s language will allow both chambers to set up a formal conference that hashes out a single bill both chambers would then need to pass.