Both chambers of Congress were in session last week. The Senate moved to finish up the FAA reauthorization bill, which passed with a 95-3 vote. They next turned their attention to another stalled bill, comprehensive energy legislation, which had been held up by members of both parties. The Senate leadership found a way to move forward with the legislation and the bill passed with an 85-12 vote, bringing much needed changes to the evolving energy sector.
The Senate is now beginning the appropriations process by bringing the Energy-Water Appropriations bill to the floor. Expect there to be changes as the bill moves to conference; lines are being drawn over potential riders to the bill.
In the House, it was “IRS week,” with a slate of legislation related to the agency coming to the floor. On Thursday, the chamber passed two measures that would improve oversight over the agency; one prevents the agency from rehiring former employees previously fired for misconduct and the other prevents the agency from paying employee bonuses until a strategy to improve customer service is implemented. Though there were some bipartisan support on the measures, some Democrats argued that the agency has been underfunded and these moves were an overreach by Congressional Republicans.
Both chambers are expected to be in session this week as they move forward with the appropriations process.