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.
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