House to Kick Off Appropriations Markups This Week

Lawmakers are once again considering the use of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government beyond the end of the fiscal year (FY) on September 30, according to Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Shelby went on to discuss the possibility of reaching an appropriations deal during the lame-duck session following the November midterm elections. Legislators were unable to reach a timely agreement on a bicameral spending framework, so Democrats in the House of Representatives proceeded to vote on their top-line figures so they could move to markups of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY 2023. The House voted 217-205 to adopt a rule deeming a top-line $1.6 trillion spending level for the fiscal year. The House Appropriations Committee recently updated its markup schedule, which would see the panel acting on each of the dozen spending bills before the end of the month. Senate appropriators remain at an impasse on total defense versus non-defense spending levels, with Republicans pushing for an increase to defense spending that exceeds the rate of inflation.

Kustoff to Replace Reed on Ways and Means

Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) will replace former Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) on the House Ways and Means Committee. Kustoff will sit on three of the panel’s subcommittees: Social Security, Oversight, and Worker and Family Support. Reed’s spot as ranking member of the Social Security Subcommittee will be filled by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).

Senate Confirms HHS General Counsel

The Senate confirmed Samuel Bagenstos to serve as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a 49-43 vote last week. In this position, Bagenstos will inherit approximately 4,500 active lawsuits involving HHS, including litigation over vaccine mandates, surprise medical billing, and the 340B program. Bagenstos has served as the top lawyer for the Office of Management and Budget since January 2021. He previously worked as a disability rights attorney.

RSC Releases FY 2023 Budget Plan

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) released its 122-page fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget plan which proposes to balance the federal budget in seven years. The conservative caucus proposes to increase the eligibility age for Medicare to align with the normal retirement age for Social Security, and then index the Medicare eligibility age to life expectancy. The group calls for $845 billion in defense spending and $419 billion for nondefense discretionary spending in FY 2023.

National Academies Release Report on CDCís Public Health Authority

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that Congress give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broader authority to address threats to the public health. The report, requested by the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, evaluates quarantine stations set up by the agency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also offers a wider examination of the CDC’s legal and regulatory authority. The National Academies suggests that lawmakers should update the 1944 Public Health Service Act to provide more certainty around the scope and limits of CDC authority to prevent and respond to pandemics. While the bipartisan pandemic preparedness package drafted by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee leadership would make changes to the CDC’s operations, it does not include the National Academies’ specific proposals.

WH Budgets for Next-Gen COVID Vaccines

The Biden administration will scale back several U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs to set aside funding for the purchase of next-generation COVID-19 vaccines. The White House is allocating $5 billion to support the purchase of new vaccine doses for a fall immunization campaign, $4.9 billion to procure more doses of Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill and $300 million for the purchase of monoclonal antibody treatments. The administration’s request for additional coronavirus response funding remains stalled before Congress.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups

Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider S. 4348, Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements (FDASLA) Act, H.R. 1193, Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act; S. 4052, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act; and S. 958, Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act; 10:00 a.m.; June 14

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce hearing “Protecting America’s Consumers: Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Data Privacy and Security;” 10:30 a.m.; June 14

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense markup of FY 2023 Appropriations; 9:30 a.m.; June 15

House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing “Reviewing President Biden’s Strategy to Reduce Veteran Suicide by Addressing Economic Risk Factors;” 9:30 a.m.; June 15

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration markup of FY 2023 Funding; 2:30 p.m.; June 15

Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness hearing “Supply Chain Resiliency: Alleviating Backlogs and Strengthening Long-Term Security;” the witness list can be found here; 3:00 p.m.; June 15

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing “An Update of the Ongoing Federal Response to COVID-19: Current Status and Future Planning;” 9:30 a.m.; June 16

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to examine Toxic Substances Control Act amendments implementation; 10:00 a.m.; June 22

House Appropriations markup of FY 2023 Defense Funding; 10:00 a.m.; June 23

House Appropriations markup of FY 2023 Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration Funding; 10:00 a.m.; June 23

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/Health and Human Services/Education markup of FY 2023 Funding; 5:30 p.m.; June 23

House Appropriations markup of FY 2023 Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Funding; 10:00 a.m.; June 30

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