March 9, 2022
The House of Representatives is trying to pass today a $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill. The President and the House Democratic leadership wanted to include $15 billion in additional pandemic relief funding, but Republicans correctly objected to additional funding without an audit to determine where the trillions previously appropriated had gone. House Democrats from several states objected to the legislative maneuvering because they thought their states were getting shortchanged on COVID aid, so the Speaker pulled COVID from the appropriations bill. A number of things could happen – but two things are for sure. The first is that funding for the federal government runs out Friday night, so they have a continuing resolution ready if they get to a ‘break the glass in an emergency’ moment. The second thing that is for sure is that Steve Ruhlen, my colleague who has spent years working and understanding the appropriations process, will explain it all in his update article.
Heard on the Hill covers Washington’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a possible new legislative agenda for Senate Democrats, final passage of postal reform in the Senate, and a few parting words about the end of the worst part of COVID.
Congressman Erik Paulsen served on the House Ways and Means Committee and as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. He is concerned about the impact of our ever-growing national debt on each of us, and I think you will be concerned too when you read his article.
Ramona Lessen monitored two hearings for This Week. The first is timely, given this weekend’s shift to Daylight Savings Time. You can see her coverage of a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce entitled, “Changing Times: Revisiting Spring Forward and Fall Back.” The second hearing was before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on examining mandatory arbitration in financial services products.