The House Reconvenes while the Senate is in Recess

The House returns from its one-week recess to a busy and ambitious appropriations floor schedule – Republican leaders plan to vote on three bills this week – plus an expected markup of the American Privacy Rights Act in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Rules Committee will meet today, at 2PM, to prepare floor consideration of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R.8752), Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (H.R.8771), and Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R.8774). Because Republicans have boosted Defense and Homeland Security funding while cutting domestic discretionary spending, floor votes will fall largely along party lines and the narrow Republican majority therefore means the votes will be close. The Rules Committee will have to decide which of the 800-plus total amendments to make in order to satisfy both conservative and moderate Republicans.

The House will also hold suspension votes on a half-dozen bills from the Foreign Affairs Committee, including:

  • Global Anti-Human Trafficking Enhancement Act (H.R.7089), which would authorize the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Services to investigate slavery and human trafficking offenses that occur outside the U.S. or involve foreign nationals. 
  • Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R.4132), which would authorize sanctions in response to forced organ harvesting within China. 
  • American Cooperation with Our Neighbors Act (H.R.2789), which would require the Secretary of State to develop a strategy on efforts to strengthen subnational cooperation with Mexico on efforts related to fentanyl trafficking and also require a review of access to finance in the countries of the Caribbean.   
  • Expressing support for democracy and human rights in Pakistan (H.Res.901).

Additionally, the first presidential debate, scheduled for Thursday evening on CNN, will command a great deal of attention.

Headed into the debate, the presidential race is close:

President Biden continues to struggle with his job approval rating:

The generic congressional ballot, like the presidential race, is also extremely close:


Congressional Agenda

Appropriations and the President’s FY2025 Budget: The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled five Subcommittee-level markups this week: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (on Wednesday, at 8:30AM), Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (on Thursday, at 8AM), Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (on Thursday, at 8:30AM), Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (on Friday, at 8AM), and Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies (on Friday, at 8:30AM).

Privacy: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) have circulated an updated discussion draft of the American Privacy Rights Act (H.R.___) and plan to convene a markup on Thursday. While the plan has been to put pressure on Republican leadership with a unanimous vote, Republicans believe the bill is being pulled further to the left and many have expressed their opposition. The markup is expected to be contentious and will be a difficult vote for several Republicans on the Committee. Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s office told Republican Chiefs of Staff at a retreat last week that the bill will not come to the floor in its current form. Industry groups, law enforcement, and conservative organizations have expressed concerns or outright opposition to the current language (while the Heritage Foundation remains supportive).

In addition to privacy legislation, the Committee markup agenda is also expected to include the Kids Online Safety Act (H.R.7891) and AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (H.R.8449). Meanwhile, the Senate has attempted to hotline the Kids Online Safety Act, but at least three Republican Senators still have holds.

Healthcare: The House Ways and Means Committee plans to convene a markup this week on a series of healthcare bills, which is expected to include:

  • Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (H.R.4818), which would expand Medicare coverage of intensive behavioral therapy and prescription drug benefits for the treatment of obesity and weight loss management.
  • Ensuring Patient Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act (H.R.1691), which would provide Medicare coverage of medical devices approved under the Food and Drug Administration’s Breakthrough Devices Program.
  • Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (H.R.2407), which would provide Medicare coverage and payment for multi-cancer early detection screening tests approved by the FDA.

Oversight: Several notable oversight-related hearings are lined up this week, including:


Biden Administration

  • On Thursday, the President will travel from Camp David to Atlanta, Georgia, for the first presidential debate, which begins at 9PM.
  • Following the debate, the President and First Lady will depart Atlanta and travel to Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • On Friday, the President and First Lady will participate in a campaign event in Raleigh in the morning before traveling to New York, New York, for an official event and a campaign reception.
  • On Saturday, the President and First Lady will participate in campaign receptions in East Hampton, New York, and Red Bank, New Jersey, before departing for Camp David, where they will stay until Tuesday.