Congress returns in September to a legislative calendar packed with end-of-the-month and end-of-the-fiscal year deadlines, as well as high profile legislation such as the infrastructure bill and a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that reflects President Biden’s American Families Plan. Meanwhile, Centralina’s members are meeting with our region’s congressional delegation.
The House and Senate return to Washington in September with a very full to-do list, including a vote on a Continuing Resolution to fund the government beyond the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30 and thereby also avoiding a government shutdown. There will also be a vote on raising or suspending the debt ceiling to avoid default, potentially as soon as October.
The Senate resumes Sept. 13. House committees will hold markups and hearings over the next several weeks before members return for floor votes on Sept. 20. Congressional Democrats gave committees a deadline of Sept. 15 to draft their respective provisions that will make up the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package to advance the third part of President Joe Biden’s economic plan with only Democratic votes. As part of a deal between moderate Democrats and House leadership so the budget resolution process could move forward, the House has until Sept. 27 to vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure package (H.R. 3684, the “INVEST in America Act”). The package includes $550 billion over five years through 2026 to reauthorize surface transportation programs that are typically included in five-year surface transportation reauthorization bills. Highway, transit and rail programs under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94) were last extended through the end of fiscal 2021. Therefore, Congress will have to enact legislation to reauthorize or extend the programs by Sept. 30 to ensure funds continue to flow to state and local transportation agencies.
Several pandemic-related programs also expire in September, including the $300 per week additional unemployment aid (Sept. 6) and increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (Sept. 30). The Supreme Court ended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s revised eviction moratorium that was supposed to expire on Oct. 3, so it is likely Congress will act on that issue as well.
Meanwhile, Centralina’s board members are using the congressional summer recess to meet with their Members of Congress to discuss regional priorities and local initiatives. So far this has included staff from Senator Tillis’ office attending the virtual Board of Delegates meeting on Aug. 11, and virtual meetings with Congresswoman Alma Adams and Congressman Ted Budd, on Aug. 26 and 31, respectively. An in-person meeting with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx scheduled for Aug. 30 is being rescheduled for mid-to-late September and meetings with Congressmen Bishop, Hudson and McHenry, as well as U.S. Senator Richard Burr, have been requested. Look for notices on those dates to come in your email inbox and plan to attend!
For more information on any of the above or to request help with federal issues, contact Centralina’s federal government relations consultant and advocate Leslie Mozingo at (202) 255-5760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.