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Legislative Affairs

March 31, 2023

Former President Trump Officially Indicted

Congress Heads to Two Week Recess after another Contentious Week

House Republicans managed to pass their signature energy package this week, H.R. 1 the Lower Energy Costs Act, which aims to expedite the development, importation, and exportation of energy resources by waiving certain environmental review requirements, rolls back Biden Administration bans on fracking, and expands energy permits on federal land. House Speaker McCarthy and Majority Leader Scalise had just a few hours to tout their signature accomplishment and capture headlines before the news cycle turned to former President Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury. He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday and has already stated that this would in no way effect his run for the presidency.

Here’s what else you may have missed this week:

Partisan Tensions Continue on Key Committees and No Progress on Debt Limit Discussions. On Wednesday Senate HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders questioned former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz under oath about what he views as the company’s union busting activities while Senate Republicans countered that the National Labor Relations Board has taken a partisan turn. In the House, in a hearing of the new House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Democrat Members charged that they were denied the right to question witnesses. And just off the House floor, a heated argument broke out among a House Democrat and House Republican Member over the cause of the school shooting in Nashville, TN. President Biden and Speaker McCarthy also traded jabs on who is to blame on failure to begin negotiations on the debt limit.

The Senate repeals the AUMF. The Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that has stood for over 20 years and was signed under President George W. Bush and paved the way for the invasion of Iraq and the justifications for the broader War on Terror. Elsewhere in the Senate, Sen. Tuberville (R-AL) is holding up virtually all military promotions, over 160 currently pending which typically sail through the chamber, over a DoD policy permitting access to abortion procedures. Critics argue his efforts are impacting military readiness while supporters say it is a legitimate political tactic.

SCHEDULING NOTE: Congress is on spring recess for the next two weeks. As partisan pressures mount in Washington, Members are headed back home to their states and districts. Speaker McCarthy is tentatively scheduled to visit with the President of Taiwan in California amid increased tensions with China. CONGRESS RETURNS ON APRIL 17TH.

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