Week of May 1, 2023


The Senate is in session this week, with the House returning next week. Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the U.S. must raise the debt limit by June 1 to avoid a default.

In a Dear Colleague letter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Senators that various committees would hold hearings on the House Republican-passed legislation on the debt limit. The hearings will start this week with a Budget Committee hearing titled “The Default on America Act: Blackmail, Brinkmanship, and Billionaire Backroom Deals.” Senate Democrats will use the hearings to message against the proposed cuts in the Republican proposal. One central sticking point in the upper chamber is a food aid concession passed in the House proposal. Many vulnerable and swing state Senate Democrats facing re-election in 2024 are considering support of increased work requirements for federal food assistance. Additionally, the Senate will vote on Anthony Devos Johnstone’s nomination to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.


On Wednesday, the House passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 (H.R. 2811) on a vote of 217-215 with four Republicans, Tim Burchett (R-Tenn), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) voting against. The vote to pass H.R. 2811 provides Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with one of his first major legislative wins as leader of the House. Speaker McCarthy has gained leverage on resolving the debt limit, leading to a showdown with President Biden. Following the Treasury letter citing a June 1 expiration of the ability for the U.S. to pay all of its outstanding obligations, negotiations between parties should escalate in order to resolve the debt limit.


In a letter sent to Members, House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas) announced that the House Appropriations Committees would aim to markup their annual government funding bills between May 17 and June 15. The House Appropriations Committee also published all earmark requests for Fiscal Year 2024.


For the remainder of the week, the Senate will hold several hearings, including a Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Community Resilience;” a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on “Improving Access to Federal Grants for Underserved Communities.