NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of May 23, 2022
The Senate is in session, the House is out until June 7. With the House out, the Senate will work on several issues including, domestic terrorism, COVID-19 funding, and the potential of a recession.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will file a cloture motion on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 (H.R. 350), which creates units inside the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Justice Department passed in the House last Thursday 222-203, with Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) as the lone Republican vote. Many Republicans have opposed the legislation, as they believe it will lead to the targeting of parents who have criticized their school boards, which stems from a Department of Justice memo highlighting the threats to school boards. Republican opposition is critical to the Thursday Senate vote as legislation would need at least 10 votes to pass the chamber. Passage of the bill is highly unlikely.
Regarding COVID-19 funding, Senate Republicans continue to demand a vote on Title 42, a pandemic-related immigration restriction impacting asylum seekers on the southern border with Mexico before acting on any additional pandemic-related funds. On Friday, a federal judge blocked the Biden Administration from ending the public health authority. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was no longer necessary to uphold the order, this however faced significant pushback from both Republicans and Democrats, fearing a migrant surge in response. The Justice Department released a statement of their plans to appeal the decision. The White House continues to maintain the country is in desperate need to restock tests, therapeutics, and vaccines. Majority Leader Schumer hopes the House will act first on the bill, but that would mean any action on COVID-19 funding would not see action until the second week of June.
Other potential action includes emergency funding legislation to address the infant formula shortage triggered by supply chain issues. The House-passed legislation the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 7790), provides $28 million to the Food and Drug Administration to address shortages and prevent future shortages but faces challenges for Senate-passage. On Saturday, President Biden signed into law the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022 (H.R. 7791), allowing the purchase of more formula with money from a federal program aiding low-income women, infants, and children. In addition, the Senate will vote on the confirmation on Stephanie Davis to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit. The Senate may also vote on 14 nominations including: Henry Frey to be Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Sandra Thompson to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Lisa Gomez to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

For the remainder of the week, the House and Senate will hold several committee hearings, including a House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis hearing on “Building an Affordable and Resilient Food Supply Chain;” a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “Formula Safety and Supply: Protecting the Health of America’s Babies;” and House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on “Tackling Teacher Shortages.” The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service and the Finance Committee will discuss “Supply Chain Resiliency: Alleviating Backlogs and Strengthening Long-Term Security”. Cabinet members and other agency leaders will appear on Capitol Hill to testify on their FY 2023 budget requests.
Last Week
Days after Buffalo mass shooting, the House approves a bill to fight domestic terror READ MORE
Biden Signs Ukraine and Baby Formula Supplemental ActsREAD MORE
House passes $28 million in emergency funding to address baby formula shortage READ MORE
Federal judge blocks Biden administration from lifting Title 42 for now READ MORE
Baby formula bill faces rocky terrain in Senate READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of May 16, 2022
The House and Senate are in session.
The House will vote on 28 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act (H.R. 7688), that would make it unlawful to increase gasoline and home energy fuel prices in an excessive or exploitative manner, and the Senate-Passed State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S. 2499), which expands DHS responsibilities through grants and cooperative agreements, including the provision of assistance and education related to cyber threat indicators, proactive and defensive measures and cybersecurity technologies, cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, incident response and management, analysis, and warnings. The House will also vote on legislation to address the supply chain disruptions and recalls to baby formula following a Dear Colleague letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressing the matter. House lawmakers will begin publicly posting their 2023 fiscal year Community Project Funding (earmark) requests this week as well. The House Appropriations Committee asked Members to wait 15 days after the submission deadlines before posting their requests.
Following weeks of negotiations, the Senate is slated to vote on the House-passed $40.1 billion Ukrainian assistance package (H.R. 7691). The movement comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led a weekend Senate delegation visit to Ukraine, including a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and told reporters on passage of the package that “we'll get the job done by Wednesday.” Last week, President Biden urged Congress in a statement to separate the Ukraine and COVID packages in order to not “slow down action on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid.” Many Republicans voiced opposition to the COVID package following concerns over the potential end to Title 42, a pandemic-related immigration restriction impacting asylum seekers on the southern border with Mexico. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed a cloture motion for the bill, but the vote could face delays with Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) office announcing the Senator was hospitalized for a minor stroke.
For the remainder of the week, the House and Senate will hold several committee hearings, including a House Science, Space and Technology hearing on “Building a Workforce to Navigate the Electric Vehicle Future” and a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Creating a More Resilient Nation: Stakeholder Perspectives.” Cabinet members and other agency leaders will appear on Capitol Hill to testify on their FY 2023 budget requests, including Labor Secretary Marty Walsh before the House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf before the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee; National Park Service Director Charles Sams before the Interior and Environment Subcommittee; and National Aeronautics and Space Administration Secretary Bill Nelson before the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee.
The Senate will vote on several nominations, including three district court judges: Jennifer Rochon for the Southern District of New York, Trina Thompson for the Northern District of California, and Sunshine Suzanne Sykes for the Central District of California. The Senate may vote on Mary Boyle as a Consumer Product Safety Commission. Several states, including Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, will hold primaries.
Last Week
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Carter leads bill to combat inflation, pay federal debt READ MORE
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NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of May 9, 2022
The House and Senate are in session.
The House will vote on 28 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Empowering the U.S. Fire Administration Act (H.R. 7077), which authorizes the Fire Administration to conduct on-site investigations of significant fires. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 (H.R. 2499), which expands eligibility for firefighters who develop certain health conditions; and the Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022 (H.R. 5129), which reauthorize the program for 10 years and authorize $1 billion annually for grants. The House will also vote on a resolution allowing House staffers to unionize. 
Following a leaked opinion on a possible Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will file cloture to codify the right to abortion. The vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (S.1975), slated for Wednesday, will fail, as the measure will need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. Many will look to see how Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) vote. Even with the support of all three members, the measure will fail. This issue has quickly taken center stage in both chambers of Congress and will serve as a hot topic issue for the midterm elections.
Additionally, Congress hopes to address several long-awaited assistance packages and nominations. Most signs regarding Ukrainian and COVID-19 aid packages point to lawmakers combining the two measures. The approach by Democratic leadership comes with concerns from Republicans over the Title 42 provision, a pandemic-related immigration restriction. Currently, the Biden Administration is following a court order temporarily blocking any changes to the policy. The White House requested assistance for Ukraine, and the Coronavirus pandemic is $33 billion and $10 billion, respectively. In order to move both bills, Republicans will likely require a vote on an amendment preventing the end of Title 42. 
The Senate will vote on several nominations, including Ann Phillips to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration; Asmeret Berhe to be Director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy; Jay Powell for a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve; Lisa Cook to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Alvaro Bedoya to be a Federal Trade Commissioner. 
For the remainder of the week, the House and Senate will hold several committee hearings, including a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on the “An oversight hearing to examine the Council on Environmental Quality;” and a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “Modernizing Hydropower: Licensing and Reforms for a Clean Energy Future” Secretaries and other department leaders will appear on Capitol Hill to testify on their fiscal year 2023 budget requests next week, including: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg before the House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee; U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus in the Homeland Security Subcommittee; and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee
Last Week
Biden admin announces expansion of free high-speed internet to eligible US households READ MORE
1 million deaths: Remembering the lives lost to COVID-19 in America READ MORE
Senate Democrats shop revamped child care reconciliation proposal READ MORE
Senate heads toward failed abortion vote amid fury READ MORE
The House will vote on a measure to allow congressional staffers to unionize READ MORE
Inflation and worker shortage fuel push on immigration bills READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of May 2, 2022
The Senate is in session while the House is out for a District Work Period. 
Last week, the Biden Administration released a $33 billion request to Congress for additional Ukrainian assistance. Senate Democrats are likely to decide this week if they will attach COVID-19 aid to the Ukraine funding package. The Administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly support linking the two issues. Speaker Pelosi told reporters Friday, “We have emergencies here. We need to have the COVID money, and time is of the essence because we need the Ukraine money.” The decision falls to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has not made his plans on both relief packages public. Tying both bills together makes the pathway out of the 50-50 Senate more difficult. Last month, Senate Republicans blocked a deal on the $10 billion coronavirus relief from advancing over Title 42, a pandemic-related immigration restriction. Last week, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Biden Administration from ending the provision. Senate Republicans will likely demand a vote on an amendment offered by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), further preventing the White House from ending Title 42. The amendment has support from at least five moderate Senate Democrats. 
In addition to Ukraine and coronavirus-related pandemic assistance, the Senate will work through procedural motions instructing conferees on the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), legislation aimed at improving the U.S. semiconductor industry and boosting competitiveness with China. 28 motions will clear before the Senate enters a final conference committee with House. The Senate will also vote on several nominations, including Joshua Frost to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets at the Treasury Department; Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava to be Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Lisa Cook to be a Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The Senate may also consider Jerome Powell for a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve and Phillip Jefferson to be a Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
For the remainder of the week, the Senate will hold several committee hearings, including an Environment and Public Works markup of the “Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022).” Two Cabinet Secretaries, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, will testify before the Energy and Natural Resources and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees, respectively, to discuss the President’s FY 2023 budget request to Congress. Several Senate Appropriations subcommittees will also hold hearings on the President’s FY23 budget, including the Department of Health and Human ServicesU.S. Forest ServiceDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Veterans AffairsDepartment of Defense, and the Department of Energy
Last Week
Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in aid for Ukraine as war drags on READ MORE
Federal judge temporarily blocks Biden administration from ending Title 42 Covid border restrictions for migrants READ MORE
President Biden Signs Long-Awaited MAPLand Act Into Law READ MORE
Senate confirms Lael Brainard as Fed vice chair READ MORE
Senate confirms Crabtree as DOE fossil energy chief READ MORE
This week: Senate faces decision time on Ukraine aid READ MORE
U.S. Congress revives World War Two-era “Lend-Lease” program for Ukraine READ MORE
TSA stops enforcing traveler mask mandate READ MORE
Senators relaunch bipartisan immigration discussions READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of April 25, 2022
The House and Senate are both back in session this week following their two-week spring recess. The House will vote on 28 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2022(H.R. 6445), which reauthorizes the SBA’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program through Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 (H.R. 350), which authorizes offices at the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security dedicated to monitoring, investigating, and prosecuting perpetrators of domestic terrorism; and the Senate-passed Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022(S. 3522), which authorizes the president to expedite the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries affected by Russia’s invasion through lend-lease agreements.

The Senate will vote on several nominations, including Lael Brainard to be Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Lisa Cook to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Alvaro Bedoya to be a Federal Trade Commissioner. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to revisit the $10 billion plan (H.R. 4373) to boost pandemic preparedness. That legislation stalled on the eve of the spring recess because of efforts to attach an amendment that would halt the Biden Administration’s move to end Title 42 beginning on May 23, a pandemic-related immigration restriction. Additional items the Senate will likely consider in the coming weeks include: additional supplemental spending plans to address Russia’s war on Ukraine; legislation to enhance U.S. competition with China and support domestic chip manufacturing; and a long-stalled social spending package via budget reconciliation.

House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees will hold numerous hearings this week with Biden Administration officials to discuss President Biden’s FY 2023 budget proposal to Congress. This includes the Department of Homeland SecurityU.S. Forest ServiceU.S. Army Corps of Engineers & Bureau of ReclamationDepartment of the InteriorDepartment of AgricultureDepartment of EducationCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security AgencyDepartment of JusticeDepartment of EnergyDepartment of Transportation; and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Last Week
Democrats prepare to take second run at Biden spending plan READ MORE

Biden administration restores environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects READ MORE

Biden Signs Earth Day Executive Order to Protect Old-growth Forests READ MORE

Biden Administration Launches Nationwide Network of Partners to Tap Resources for Rural America READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of April 11, 2022
The House and Senate are in recess this week and next, returning to Washington the week of April 25. While Congress is in recess, many items await their attention, including the U.S. competitiveness bill, COVID-19 relief funding, additional Ukraine aid, and new negotiations on the Build Back Better Act, among other legislative items.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice by a bipartisan vote of 53-47. Three Republican Senators, Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), joined all 50 Democrats in confirming Judge Jackson. Following her historical confirmation, Judge Jackson gave a speech on the White House South Lawn Friday and said, “I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free.” The confirmation process, in total, took about six weeks, and Judge Jackson will replace Justice Stephen Breyer beginning in early summer, once he formally resigns.
Lawmakers will conference differences between the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1260) and the House-passed America COMPETES Act (HR 4521), which would aid domestic innovation initiatives and offer billions for semiconductor manufacturing. These negotiations have faced delays and remain a top priority for congressional leaders. Over 100 members of Congress will take part in the conferencing between the two chambers hoping to resolve differences on the package to aid U.S. high-tech research and manufacturing to compete with China. The legislation faces a long road to the President’s desk for signage, as it impacts many Committee jurisdictions. 
After an agreement in principle on a new $10 billion COVID-19 relief package early last week, a pandemic ruling on immigration is now at the center of delays to the legislation in the Senate. Title 42, as it is known, allows the U.S. to turn away asylum seekers “in the interest of public health.” On April 1, the Biden Administration announced it would no longer enforce Title 42 beginning  May 23. The White House has seen criticism from both sides of the aisle on the decision to end enforcement of the ruling, with the ability to handle the spike in asylum seekers along the southern border as the primary concern. Senate Republicans voted to block the advancement of the $10 billion COVID relief package, an agreement that Leader Schumer and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) brokered. Many senators have demanded votes on amendments to address their various concerns, including the reinstatement of the Title 42 border policy. 
A chief cornerstone of the Biden Administration’s legislative agenda is the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. The social and climate bill’s prospects of passage ended when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated last December that he would not support the legislation. Senators will take what many believe to be the last possible chance at passing the package in the months leading up to the November midterm election. The tax and spending plan will most likely feature a smaller price tag, meeting Manchin’s demands, and lawmakers will have to work through other remaining challenges and differences on the bill. Rumors of new BBB negotiations come as another senator, Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), who voiced her concerns on the first BBB negotiations, shared with donors her belief that reworking a bill is unlikely.
Last Week
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Biden announces ban on unlicensed ghost gun kits READ MORE

Jackson will join more diverse and conservative high court READ MORE

White House adviser: Extending TSA mask mandate ‘absolutely’ still on the table READ MORE

House Passes Bill to Provide Relief to Restaurants and Other Small Businesses Hit Hard by COVID READ MORE
After Supreme Court confirmation, Democrats face question of what's next READ MORE

Clash over immigration stalls Covid relief funds in Congress, potentially for weeks READ MORE

Senate punts $10 billion in Covid aid until after Easter amid stalemate over border policy READ MORE
COVID bill recoups local ARPA aid, broadens use of unspent funds READ MORE
House approves criminal contempt referrals for 2 Trump aides over the Jan. 6 attack READ MORE
Senate Confirms Transportation, Commerce Nominees After GOP Hold READ MORE
Senate Passes Cyber Preparedness Bill, Will be Sent to President READ MORE
Senate unanimously passes Russia trade, embargo bills and House clears them READ MORE
‘Game changing’ bill for fish and wildlife agencies in America moves closer to passing READ MORE
Julia Gordon gets one step closer to FHA commissioner READ MORE
Biden pick Katherine Vidal confirmed for empowered patent and trademark chief role READ MORE
Senate Confirms James O’Brien to Ambassador Role Leading Sanctions Coordination READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of April 4, 2022
The House and Senate are in session this week.
The House will consider 14 bills under suspension of the rules, including a vote on the Resilient Assistance for Mitigation for Environmentally Resilient Infrastructure and Construction by Americans (AMERICA) Act (HR 5689), which improves provisions for federal resources’ building capacity and funding for risk-reducing, cost-effective mitigation projects for state, local, other related entities. The House will consider the Small Project Efficient and Effective Disaster (SPEED) Recovery Act (HR 5641), which increases, to $1 million, the threshold for eligibility for assistance for what qualifies as a “small project” under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The House may also vote on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021 (HR 3807), which providesan additional $42 billion to support restaurants impacted by COVID-19 and $13 billion for other “hard hit” industries.
Following a week-long procedural delay, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. The committee expects to produce an 11-11 deadlocked vote to move Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Senate floor later this evening. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will break the tie by filing a “motion to discharge.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced her intentions to vote for the nominee, making her the first Republican to support Judge Jackson. The Senate expects to take a final vote on the nomination by Thursday or Friday. 
While Judge Jackson is the Senate’s top priority of the week, Congress will also work to finalize a COVID-19 relief package. Late last week, lawmakers reported a deal in principle on a $10 billion aid package. Congress hopes to pass the legislation this week, providing near-term assistance for therapeutics, testing supplies, and vaccines, among other supplies. This number is down from $15 billion, as Congress could not agree on how to offset $5 billion in appropriated funds slotted for foreign assistance. On Friday, thirteen House members sent a letter to House leadership urging the inclusion of the $5 billion in international aid in the supplemental bill. A few remaining sticking points include whether to include $1 billion in funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development for global vaccine implementation efforts and a Congressional Budget Office review of the bill to ensure the package is fully paid for.
Senate Democrats hope to rekindle negotiations on the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) remaining a critical voice. Many remain skeptical of the prospects of reviving the BBB Act. However, some lawmakers believe the period following the upcoming two-week spring recess is the ideal time to pivot to President Joe Biden’s social and climate bill. “You either do it before Memorial Day, or you’re not going to do it,” Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said candidly regarding a timeline for action on the measure. Sen. Manchin is on record about potential conversations regarding the BBB Act, saying, “there’s nothing serious.” The Senate will have approximately two months to work out challenges and differences on the bill.
For the remainder of this week, the House will hold several committee hearings, including a Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing on “FEMA Priorities for 2022 and the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan;” and a Ways and Means Committee hearing on “Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget With Health & Human Services Secretary Becerra.” Several Senate committees will also hold hearings, including an Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee hearing on “A Review of the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Submission for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation;” a Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “Advancing Public Transportation in Small Cities and Rural Places under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law;” and an Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing to discuss “Implementation of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act: Stakeholders’ needs and experiences.” On Tuesday, the State of California will hold a special primary election for its 22ndCongressional District after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) resigned from Congress on January 1, 2022.
Last Week
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Senate close to COVID-19 aid deal; global funds in question READ MORE
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House readies relief package for restaurants, other industries READ MORE
Senate Passes China Competition Bill to Start Talks with House READ MORE
States must target water infrastructure funds to urban, rural areas with real need: lawmakers READ MORE
House votes to legalize cannabis, but Senate has its own ideas READ MORE
House passes bill to cap insulin prices READ MORE
Bill Passed to Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation READ MORE

Retirement savings bill passes House as Senate deliberates READ MORE

As Earmarks Return to Congress, Lawmakers Rush to Steer Money Home READ MORE

Senate set to take first step to confirm Jackson, despite GOP hurdle READ MORE

Bipartisan bill to address supply chain kinks moves closer to the president’s desk READ MORE

Senate Confirms Nani Coloretti as OMB Deputy Director READ MORE

Senate Confirms ex-Pentagon official for Commerce Dept. Russia export control post READ MORE

FHWA issues guidelines regarding walkable streets READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of March 14, 2022
The House and Senate are in session this week. 
The House will consider 10 bills under suspension of the rules, including a vote on the Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act or the MAPLand Act (HR 3113), which directs the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop standards to ensure compatibility among federal databases for collecting and disseminating data related to federal lands. The House will vote on the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act of 2022 (HR 963), which prohibits pre-dispute arbitration agreements from being valid or enforceable if they require arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute. The House will also vote on the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act of 2022 (HR 2116), which prohibits discrimination against people with hair styles associated with a particular race or national origin. The Senate will vote on Shalanda Young to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Susan Grundmann to be a Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority for a term of five years expiring July 1, 2025. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is also expected to force a vote this week to try to end the federal mask mandate requirements on public transportation. 
Last week, Congress took significant steps to secure government funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. After a delay over COVID-19 spending, Congress passed the $1.5 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (HR 2471), an omnibus spending bill funding the federal government for the remainder of FY 2022. The spending bill notably includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and is the first spending bill since 2010 to include Community Project Funding requests (i.e., earmarks). There were concerns among several House Democrats regarding COVID-19 spending allocations and offsets, causing House Democratic leadership to remove $15 billion in new relief funds from the bill. This forced Congress to pass the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act of 2022 (H.J.Res.75), which the President signed Friday, funding the government on a four-day continuing resolution (CR) through Tuesday, March 15. This gave lawmakers enough time to resolve differences and work through other procedural matters to pass the full-year spending package on Thursday. President Biden will sign the bill into law by Tuesday. 
Looming large this week is Congress’ attempt to salvage COVID-19 preparedness funding, which leaders decided to pull last minute from the FY22 omnibus package. The initial rumor was that the Biden Administration would ask for $30 billion before requesting $22.5 from Congress to be able to complete vaccine research, secure additional tests, and prepare for future variants. Following negotiations, Congress trimmed that funding down to $15 billion and removed all money when House Democrats disagreed on how to offset the funding. The White House commented on the removal of the funds, saying “failing to take action now will have severe consequences for the American people.” The House will continue work on a standalone bill for COVID-19 funding, the COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 7007), this week. While the House works on a new proposal, many believe there is a small path to passing a COVID package in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will attempt to vote on “at least part” of COVID-19 funding this week. Separately, senators will finish courtesy calls and meetings to set up the Supreme Court nomination hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, which will begin next Monday, March 21. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) still believes the Senate will finish the Supreme Court nomination process by mid-April and hopes for a four-day hearing schedule next week.
For the remainder of this week, the House will hold several committee hearings, including a Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Members' Day Hearing;” a Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “The Future of Medicine: Legislation to Encourage Innovation and Improve Oversight;” and a Agriculture Committee hearing on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: The Role of USDA Programs in Addressing Climate Change.” Several Senate committees will also hold hearings, including a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss “S. 3799, the PREVENT Pandemics Act to prepare and respond to existing and emerging threats and viruses;” a Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing to examine “Advancing Public Transportation under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law;” and an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to discuss “Oversight of the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund Formula.
Last Week
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House passes ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal READ MORE

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Pelosi: 'Hope' is to vote on 'at least part' of COVID-19 funds this week READ MORE
EPA Pushes Equity Focus of $50 Billion Water Infrastructure Fund READ MORE
AMWA: New legislation would ease financing of LSL replacement READ MORE
Manchin to oppose Biden Fed pick over climate stances READ MORE
House Democrats call on Biden to renew climate push READ MORE
Pelosi says House plans to vote next week on revoking Russia's trade status READ MORE
Congress cuts deal on $13.6 billion for Ukraine aid in funding bill READ MORE
Congress passes bill to shore up the Postal Service without cutting back on delivery READ MORE
Cornyn, Leahy Bill to Bolster Cybersecurity Passes House READ MORE
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NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of February 7, 2022
The House and Senate are in session this week.
The House will consider 6 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Senate-passed Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions (PRICE) Act of 2021 (S. 583), which directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to publish an annual report on projects that have used innovative procurement techniques in an attempt to improve contracting in the federal government. The House will also debate and vote on the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (HR 4445), which states that agreements requiring arbitration or banning class actions cannot be enforced in cases involving sexual assault or harassment. Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Ebony Scott and Donald Tunnage to be Associate Judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. It is expected that the Senate will have more nomination votes on Tuesday.
Congress is shifting its attention to federal government funding, with the current Continuing Resolution (CR) set to expire in 11 days. Today, the House will release a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. The short-term stopgap spending bill could receive a vote as early as Tuesday and will reportedly maintain current Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 spending levels through Friday, March 11. There is uncertainty surrounding when the Senate will take up the measure, with a vote potentially taking place during the week of February 14 after House passage this week. If Congress passes a CR through March 11, lawmakers will use the extra three weeks to reconcile differences and agree on the contours of a full FY  2022 funding package. Negotiations on the omnibus package continued last week and through the weekend with little progress, prompting leaders to hint to the short-term approach. Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) shared with reporters Thursday that compromises on the appropriations topline numbers had not gone anywhere. “We haven’t resolved anything yet,” Shelby said. Slowing the FY 2022 appropriations process are disagreements on “parity” levels for defense and non-defense spending increases and which policy riders should be allowed to remain in the package.
Senate Democrats’ plans for President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act and Supreme Court nominee received a setback last week. On Tuesday, Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) had undergone surgery to ease swelling for a stroke he had. The expectation is that he will make a full recovery as stated by his Chief of Staff in a press release. The Senator’s reported recovery time is four to six weeks, barring any major setbacks. Democrats will need to alter the legislative session given the Senate’s 50-50 dynamic. “We do not anticipate any difficulties, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters regarding the Supreme Court nominee process.
A group of bipartisan senators are working to overhaul the Electoral Count Act. This law, dating back to 1887, mandates how Congress counts the 538 Electoral College votes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A group of senators, led by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), expressed optimism on passing a reform package on this issue. Last week, the House passed, by a vote of 222-210, the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), which authorizes $190 billion for U.S. technology and research to compete with China and provides $52 billion to increase U.S. semiconductor production. The Senate will take up the House bill and pass an amended version of the package, although the timeframe for passing the bill may depend on the amount of opposition from Senate Republicans. The House and Senate will then likely enter a formal conference committee to agree on a final package for Congress to consider.
For the remainder of this week, several House committee hearings will be held, including a Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing on “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Stakeholder Priorities.” The Senate will hold several hearings including: an Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee hearing on “The Opportunities and Challenges in using Clean Hydrogen;” an ENR Committee nomination hearing for Maria Robinson to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Office of Electricity), Dr. Joseph DeCarolis to be Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, and Laura Daniel-Davis to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management; and a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee nomination hearing for Gigi Sohn to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission.
Last Week
A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure READ MORE
Top Senate Republican: Congress 'probably' headed for third stopgap bill to prevent shutdown READ MORE
Senators moving 'aggressively' on Electoral Count Act reform READ MORE
House passes American COMPETES Act to counter Chinese manufacturing READ MORE
White House issues guidebook for communities to access infrastructure funding READ MORE
Biden to Speed Hiring of Workers to Funnel Infrastructure Money READ MORE
OMB nominee says new Biden budget coming in March
Additional $15.6B in Funding Announced to Make Road Safety a Priority READ MORE
President Biden Relaunches 'Cancer Moonshot' ProgramREAD MORE
Congressional staffers launch unionization push with Democrats' support READ MORE
US passes 900,000 COVID-19 deaths READ MORE
Gas prices climb to highest level in more than 7 years

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of January 3, 2022
Happy new year! The Senate is in session this week but has postponed votes until tomorrow due to the Washington, D.C. snowstorm. The House will remain in a “District Work Period” until the chamber returns on Monday, January 10. As lawmakers return to Washington, several key legislative items loom large. Congress will work to address full FY 2022 government funding, the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, voting rights legislation, potential filibuster reform, and more before the November mid-terms. 
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shared a Dear Colleague letter Monday morning outlining immediate priorities of the 2nd session of the 117th Congress for the Senate. Chiefly, Majority Leader Schumer cited his plans to change the current filibuster rules in order to pass voting rights legislation. Schumer stated that he would like to change the filibuster for voting rights legislation to a simple majority: “we must adapt. The Senate must evolve, like it has many times before. The Senate was designed to evolve and has evolved many times in our history.” The letter notes that the Senate will consider the rules change on or before Monday, January 17. This comes as Senate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have remained staunchly opposed to changing the filibuster rules. The plan seems to center on bringing key legislative items to the Senate floor for a vote in order to find out where Senators stand on the issue, driving a debate on the filibuster. Regarding which specific voting rights legislation will be considered, the Senate will likely vote to consider advancing the Freedom to Vote Act, which is supported by all 50 Senate Democrats but will likely be blocked by Senate Republicans. 
Regarding the BBB Act, negotiations will continue to occur behind the scenes between Sen. Manchin, the Biden Administration, and Senate Democratic Leadership. Before the holiday recess, Sen. Manchin said he could not support the current version of the $1.7 trillion BBB Act, pivoting dialogue to a new bill, which would be a paired down version the House passed on November 19. The new bill is sure to feature many elements from the House-passed version of the bill, however, it’s uncertain how much the Senate will ultimately change, and when the chamber will act. As debate continues, many have sought to outline what provisions may stay in and which will be eliminated, as Sen. Manchin has still not yet made public all of his demands. 
Congressional appropriators have a deadline of Friday, February 18 to address funding for the federal government for the remainder of FY 2022, which ends on September 30, 2022. Currently, there is no agreement on what policy riders will be included or removed. Additionally, dates for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address are being reported as either February 1st or March 1st.
Both Democratic and Republican leaders acknowledged the upcoming anniversary of the January 6th U.S. Capitol riot. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a Dear Colleague letter of his own that “our Capitol should never be compromised and those who broke the law deserve to face legal repercussions and full accountability.” 
For the remainder of the week, several Senate committee hearings will be held on Wednesday, including: a Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee hearing on “Exploring How Community Development Financial Institutions Support Underserved Communities” and a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the nominations of David Weil to be Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, Lisa Gomez to be Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Administrator at the Department of Labor, and Robert Califf to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration.
Last Week
Biden signs $768.2 billion defense authorization bill into lawREAD MORE
Pandemic Protection for Vets Using GI Bill Housing Benefits Extended to June READ MORE
Biden signs bills on forced labor in China, ALS researchREAD MORE
Biden Bolsters Virus Fight, Offering Aid to Hospitals and Free Tests READ MORE
High court to hold special session on vaccine requirementsREAD MORE
Schumer tries to jump-start Dems with rules change threatREAD MORE
Democrats set for showdown over filibuster, voting rightsREAD MORE

Congress 2022 to-do list READ MORE
Schumer to use Jan. 6 anniversary to make push for federal voting rights bill READ MORE
U.S. schools delay openings as Omicron pushes pandemic to record highs READ MORE
Biden touts progress on alleviating supply chain problems: “Shelves are not empty” READ MORE
FDA authorizes Covid boosters for teens 12-15 READ MORE
CDC shortens isolation time for COVID-19 asymptomatic to five days READ MORE
Harry Reid to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda next week, congressional leaders announce READ MORE

NSDC Federal Legislative Update

Week of August 2, 2021
The House is in recess this week while the Senate is in session.

The Senate will spend the remainder of this week voting on amendments to the 2,702-page, five-year Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes a full surface transportation reauthorization bill, in addition to funding for the electric grid, broadband, water infrastructure, resiliency and western water storage, environmental remediation, and more. The legislation totals around $1.2 trillion, with roughly $550 billion constituting new federal spending and the rest coming from existing, planned investments in roads, highways, and bridges.

The mammoth bill includes about $110 billion in new spending for roads and bridges; $73 billion for power grid upgrades; $66 billion for passenger and freight rail; $65 billion for broadband expansion; $55 billion for water infrastructure; $50 billion for resiliency and western water storage; $39 billion for public transit; $25 billion for airports; $17 billion for ports and waterways; $15 billion for electric vehicles; $11 billion for road safety; and $1 billion for a new “Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program.” Several senators are calling for an open amendment process, which could lead to dozens of votes over the next several days. Senators of both parties said they expected the legislation ultimately would pass without major changes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Sunday evening that “Given how bipartisan the bill is, and how much work has already been put in to get the details right, I believe the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in a matter of days.” However, the legislative process in the Senate is likely to drag into early next week, since it is unclear how many amendments there will be, or what changes they could cause in the legislation.

Once the Senate passes the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the chamber will immediately begin consideration of a $3.5 trillion Fiscal Year 2022 budget resolution during the week of August 9 before leaving Washington for the chamber’s scheduled summer recess. The budget resolution is intended to unlock the 50-member Senate Democratic Caucus’s ability to pass an expansive economic package, which will incorporate large swaths of President Joe Biden’s proposed American Jobsand Families Plans, to address climate change, health care and education. The FY22 budget resolution is expected to pass with just Democratic votes. Once the Senate passes the FY22 budget resolution, the House will likely return to Washington quickly to pass it, which will allow House and Senate committees the ability to begin work on their parts of the package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated last week that the House will notvote on a Senate-passed infrastructure bill until the Senate has also passed a budget reconciliation package (following adoption of the FY22 budget resolution), which very likely won’t happen until October at the earliest. This means that the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget reconciliation package won’t be enacted into law until mid-late fall. 

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Military Construction—Veterans Affairs and Agriculture—FDA—Rural Development will hold markups of their FY 2022 Appropriations bills. On Wednesday, the full Appropriations Committee will markup and pass these two spending bills, in addition to the FY 2022 Energy—Water Development Appropriations bill. Lists of the approved “Congressionally Directed Spending” requests (i.e., earmarks) for each of the three spending bills, submitted by senators in mid-June, should be made publicly available by the Committee no later than Wednesday. None of the bills are expected to make it to the Senate floor before lawmakers leave for their summer break. Once senators leave, they won’t return until September 13. Congress faces a September 30 deadline to fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown. Given the time crunch, the House and Senate are likely to use a continuing resolution, which extends last year's funding levels, until at least closer to the end of the year.

On Tuesday, voters in Ohio’s 11th and 15th congressional districts will head to the polls to vote in special primary elections to pick the Democratic and Republican nominees for the November 2 special House elections to decide the successors for former Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Steve Stivers (R-OH), respectively. 
Last Week
Senate moves to debate on infrastructure as bill takes shape  READ MORE

Democrats say they have the votes to advance $3.5T budget measure READ MORE

House passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fightREAD MORE

House passes first $67B in funding bills amid bid to bolster government spending READ MORE

Biden signs bill to fund Capitol security, Afghan visas

Bill to Protect Firefighters from Hazardous PFAS Chemicals Passes Senate READ MORE

Senate confirms Todd Kim for DOJ environment chief 

Senate confirms Ur Jaddou to head immigration agency READ MORE

U.S. Senate approves union lawyers to NLRB, giving Democrats control READ MORE

Eviction moratorium expires as renters face rising covid cases and lack of aid READ MORE

Pelosi turns tables on White House, urges eviction ban extensionREAD MORE

Biden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations READ MORE

White House forms working groups to target heat, wildfires READ MORE 

Biden Seeks to Revive Vaccine Effort With New Rules and IncentivesREAD MORE

Biden calls on states and localities to offer $100 vaccine incentivesREAD MORE

CDC Urges Vaccinated People to Resume Wearing Masks Indoors in Some Areas READ MORE

‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe 

Federal Reserve Keeps Rates Unchanged but Cites ‘Progress’ Toward Goals READ MORE

U.S. Can Expedite Removal of Migrant Families, Biden Administration Says READ MORE

GOP’s Jake Ellzey wins US House seat over Trump-backed rival READ MORE

Week of July 26, 2021
The House and Senate are in session this week.

The House will consider 21 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 2485), which requires that all Congressionally mandated reports be posted on a central public website; and the Senate-passed Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2021 (S. 272), which requires that budget justification documents prepared by federal agencies be posted online and listed on a central website.

For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on a $617 billion package combining seven Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Appropriations bills, including Labor—Health and Human Services—Education, Agriculture—Rural Development, Energy—Water Development, Financial Services—General Government, Interior—Environment, Military Construction—Veterans Affairs, and Transportation—Housing and Urban Development. The House may also consider three additional FY 2022 spending bills on a stand-alone basis: the $4.8 billion Legislative BranchAppropriations bill (H.R. 4346), the $62.2 billion State—Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (H.R. 4373), and the $81.3 billion Commerce—Justice—Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 4505). These ten FY 2022 spending bills include thousands of “Community Project Funding” (i.e., earmark) requests submitted by rank-and-file House members in April and approved by the House Appropriations Committee in June and July. The only two remaining FY 2022 spending bills that won’t be considered in the House until later this year are the $706 billion Defense and $76 billion Homeland Security spending bills. Congress has until September 30 to pass new government funding prior to the beginning of FY 2022 on October 1 and the House and Senate are expected to pass a short-term funding bill (i.e., a Continuing Resolution), likely lasting through early December 2021, to avoid a government shutdown.

The Senate will vote on several nominations made by President Joe Biden, including Todd Kim to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Several Senate committees will be voting this week to advance important Biden nominations to key posts, including: Rob Santos to be Director of the Census Bureau; Ed Gonzalez to be DHS’ Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Jennifer Moffitt to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Senate committees will also be holding hearings for nominees, including: former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development; and Robert Bonnie to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation.

The 22 senators negotiating the eight-year, $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (including $579 billion in new spending) are seeking to finish negotiations early this week. To speed discussions toward a conclusion, the White House and Democrats on Sunday evening made a “global offer” to Senate Republicans aimed at covering all outstanding issues. On Monday morning, it was reported that “[Senate] Republicans appear to be rejecting that [global] offer, arguing that it goes back on details that had already been agreed to by the bipartisan group during their weeks of closed-door negotiations.” The primary unresolved issues include funding for highways and bridges, water, broadband, transit, the creation of an infrastructure bank and how much unspent COVID relief money from 2020 can be used to pay for infrastructure, among other controversial items. A pending five-week break scheduled to begin August 6 is motivating the 22-member bipartisan group to end negotiations over components of their plan after Republicans spurned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s deadline for action last Wednesday. Leader Schumer has left the door open to be able to quickly bring up whether to start debate for a second vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package later this week, if the bipartisan group is able to get a deal finalized soon.

On Tuesday, voters in Texas’ 6th Congressional District (which includes the suburbs of Dallas—Fort Worth) head to the polls to vote in a special House runoff election to replace the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX), who died in early February 2021 from COVID. Two Republican candidates made it to the special runoff election, Susan Wright and state representative Jake Ellzey, which ensures that the House GOP minority will soon increase in size from 211 to 212 seats. The House Democratic majority, currently numbering 220 seats, will soon only be able to lose up to 3 votes to pass any legislation (in the event all 212 House Republicans vote against a particular bill). 
Last Week
GOP blocks Schumer’s cloture motion on infrastructure package READ MORE

With bipartisan infrastructure talks in limbo, progressives eye $4.1T ‘silver lining’ READ MORE

House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water READ MORE

House Passes 13 Bipartisan Homeland Security Bills, Including Cybersecurity Grant Program READ MORE

House passes bill to revive FTC authority to recover money for consumers READ MORE

House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US READ MORE

Biden signs crime victims fund replenishment bill READ MORE

Earmarks snag could threaten Senate appropriations markups READ MORE

Senate confirms former CCO Kenneth Polite to lead DOJ’s Criminal Division READ MORE

Senate Confirms Biden Nominee Jennifer Abruzzo as NLRB General Counsel, Paving Way for Pro-Union Shift READ MORE

State, local officials distributed just 6.5 percent of rental aid in first half of year READ MORE

Yellen urges lawmakers to act on debt limit in September READ MORE

Exclusive: White House details environmental justice plans READ MORE

Not Out of the Woods’: C.D.C. Issues Warning to the UnvaccinatedREAD MORE

White House boosts funding for Covid tests as infections continue to surge READ MORE

White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spikeREAD MORE

Biden’s surgeon general backs localized mask mandates as delta variant drives rise in covid tests READ MORE

CDC exploring options to get additional coronavirus doses for the immunocompromised READ MORE

Biden says Fed ‘should take whatever steps it deems necessary’ to respond to inflation READ MORE

States Announces $26 Billion Settlement to Resolve Opioid LawsuitsREAD MORE

New Aid Coming for Mortgage Borrowers at Risk of Foreclosure READ MORE