March 28, 2023

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Committee Hearings – Week of 1-29-23

This week, with the House and Senate both in session, there
is a very light committee hearing schedule; ten hearings in the House and eight
in the Senate. These are mostly organizational hearings and a few fact-finding
hearings, nothing of specific import here.

There will be two House Rules Committee hearings (here and here)
to formulate rules for the consideration of bills before the House.  Again, none of the bills to be considered is of
specific interest here, but it will be interesting to see how the new Rules Committee
deals with these formulaic bills. Typically, party statement bills like these
are considered under closed rules with limited debate, the whole point being
making a political statement not legislating.

Last week, however, a similar type bill (HR 21, the Strategic
Production Response Act) was considered in the House last week with a modified
open rule (set by the Republican leadership, the House Rules Committee did not meet
on that bill). A big deal was made about the round of floor amendments from
anyone interested in submitting an amendment in advance of the bills coming to
the floor. This ended up consuming two long-days of House business for a bill
that will not be considered in the Senate.

There has been no ‘call for amendments’ from the Rules
Committee for any of the bills they will consider this week, but they could use
the same ‘submit to the Congressional Record’ standard that was used last week
to allow for floor amendments to any, all (or none) of these bills. It will be
interesting to see how participative the Rules Committee will expect the House
to be.