China Committee, Debt Ceiling, Farm Bill and More Spells a Busy Spring for Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill was in full swing yesterday with staffers repeating “this is the most crowded it's been since the pandemic” over and over.  There were long lines to enter the buildings, numerous groups and trade associations holding “fly-ins” and receptions, and committee rooms crowded for hearings and markups.  The 118th Congress is up and running.

The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and Chinese Communist Party held its first hearing and struck an expected tough and bipartisan tone. 

  • “And though we call it a strategic competition, it is not a polite tennis match. This is an existential struggle over what type of world we want to live in …  America against America also describes the strategy that Wang and General Secretary Xi have pursued… pitting Americans against Americans”. (Chairman Mike Gallagher)
  • “The CCP fears more than ever Republican and Democrats working together to expose the malign activities of the CCP.”  (Rep. Darin LaHood)

Congress will maintain a brisk pace for the next several months.  Several committees need to work on reauthorizations of major programs and agencies, including the farm bill and FAA reauthorization.  The Appropriations Committees have begun to solicit requests and will begin hearings and work on the FY’24 appropriation bills.  House committees have an aggressive oversight schedule.  And congressional Republicans and the White House must work towards a negotiation on how to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before the Treasury Department’s extraordinary measures” runs out and the federal government cannot pay its bills.  The “x date” remains a moving target but will hit sometime in the Summer.  Despite the low expectations for passage of major legislation this year, Capitol Hill is going to be very busy on several fronts for the next several months.


U.S. Aims to Chart New Course for Chip Industry 

$53 billion plan, a mix of subsidies and conditions, will be a test of U.S. industrial policy 

The Wall Street Journal 

By Yuka Hayashi and Asa Fitch 

February 28, 2023 – 6:06pm 

Bipartisan lawmakers warn of China threat at select committee’s first hearing 


By Clare Foran 

February 28, 2023 – 9:37pm 

FBI director says COVID pandemic 'most likely' originated from Chinese lab 

Department of Energy has also concluded COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from lab leak in China 

Fox News 

By Adam Sabes 

February 28, 2023 – 7:58pm 

House GOP appropriators unveil tighter earmark rules 

New Appropriations chairwoman is cutting back on total dollars, types of projects allowed 

Roll Call 

By Aidan Quigley 

February 28, 2023 – 9:42pm 

Biden ramps up attacks on GOP spending cuts 

In possible campaign preview, he argues GOP proposals would mean slashing health care 

The Washington Post 

By Matt Viser 

February 28, 2023 – 5:24pm 

Biden to tap Julie Su as next Labor secretary 

The current deputy Labor secretary will be nominated to replace Marty Walsh, according to two people familiar with the matter. 


By Nick Niedzwiadek, Burgess Everett, Nicholas Wu and Sarah Ferris 

February 28, 2023 – 1:29pm 

Blinken Finds Receptive Leaders in Central Asia, Where Russia Seeks Aid 

The U.S. secretary of state’s diplomatic mission is part of a broader Biden administration effort to strengthen support for Ukraine, or at least push neutral nations to refrain from aiding Russia. 

The New York Times 

By Edward Wong and Andrew Higgins 

March 1, 2023 – 12:43am 

House Republicans tout Ukraine oversight, brace for funding fight 

Defense News 

By Bryant Harris 

February 28, 2023 – 5:54pm 

U.S. House votes to block ESG investment rule in latest culture war salvo 


By David Morgan 

February 28, 2023 – 9:06pm 

Senate group wades into tough talks on Social Security 

The Hill 

By Aris Folley 

March 1, 2023 – 6:00am 

Supreme Court casts more doubt on Biden’s plan to forgive student loans 

Los Angeles Times 

By David G. Savage 

February 28, 2023 – 5:15pm 

Lightfoot is out, Vallas and Johnson are in — the April runoff 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot finished third in Tuesday’s election with 16.89% of the vote, behind former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas at 33.95% and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson with 20.32%. 

Chicago Sun-Times 

By Fran Spielman, Tom Schuba, David Struett and Emmanuel Camarillo 

March 1, 2023 – 1:04am