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This Week in Congress

This week both chambers of Congress were in session and during the September legislative work period, the House will vote on a continuing resolution to extend funding for the federal government until after the election, along with voting on H.R. 2988, the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act; H.R. 832, the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act; H.R. 302, and the Preventing a Patronage System Act (Schedule F); and H.R. 3173, Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act. The Enhanced Whistleblower Protections would protect federal employees and officers engaged in whistleblowing activity.  The Census Interference Prevention Act would require the Census Bureau to establish a thorough review procedure to add a new question to the census and it would require cause to fire the director of the bureau, who would be required to make all technical decisions.  Finally, the Limit Federal Worker Conversions Act would limit the president’s ability to reclassify executive branch federal workers to a category with fewer statutory and job protections.  The legislation would prevent the future creation of categories such as Schedule F, which former President Trump created by executive order and President Joe Biden repealed.

The Senate held nomination votes and began consideration of federal permitting legislation.

Finally, a continuing resolution (CR) to keep federal agencies open past September 30th until December 16th is being debated by both chambers of Congress and the debate contentions are how much of the Biden Administration’s $47 billion requests for Ukraine, Covid, monkeypox and disaster relief is to be included in the package.  Sen. Manchin (D-WV) wants the CR to include provisions to change federal environmental permitting laws, but last week, 72 House Democrats said they oppose including the provisions to overhaul permitting laws, rewrite the Clean Water Act and approve a gas pipeline in the pending CR.