Increasing the Federal Debt Limit, Improving Disaster Resources and Attempting to Reduce Government Waste
Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 (HR 2811) – This bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) on April 26. It would authorize and increase the federal debt limit as well as specific cuts in spending, such as repealed energy tax credits, expanded work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs, and nullifies regulations for the cancellation of federal student loan debt. This bill passed in the House on April 26 but was not expected to pass in the Senate.
Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act (S 1339) – Co-sponsored by three Republicans, this bipartisan bill would provide for increased oversight of benefits managers that provide pharmacy management services on behalf of health insurers and employer health plans. The bill was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on April 27. A committee report was ordered and returned on May 11, where it awaits assessment by the full Senate.
Fire Suppression and Response Funding Assurance Act (S 479) – This bill is designed to ensure that pre-deployed state and local fire suppression assets are eligible for FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) in an effort to improve the federal government’s response to wildfire disasters. It would adjust the cost share for fire management assistance to no less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The bill was introduced on March 14 by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA). A committee issued its report on the bill on March 29 and it is currently under consideration in the Senate.
National Weather Service Communications Improvement Act (S 1414) – This bill is designed to improve the instant messaging service used by the National Weather Service, as well as other purposes. The bill was introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on May 3; its committee report was returned to the Senate on May 10, where it currently awaits review.
NWR Modernization Act of 2023 (S 1416) – Introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on May 3, this bill would authorize upgrading and modernizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards Network. The Senate committee issued its report to the Senate on May 10, where it currently awaits review.
A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards” (SJ 11) – This joint resolution nullifies the Environmental Protection Agency rule that pertains to the control of air pollution by new motor vehicles. The current rule sets high emission standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles in order to reduce air pollution. The bill was introduced by Sen. Deb Fisher (R-NE) on Feb. 9 and passed in the Senate on April 26. It is currently awaiting review in the House.
Identifying and Eliminating Wasteful Programs Act (S 666) – Introduced on March 7 by Sen. Margaret Hassan (D-NH), this bill would require the Chief Operating Officer of each federal agency to compile a list of unnecessary programs. The assigned committee issued its report on March 29; it is currently awaiting review in the Senate.
Federal Agency Performance Act of 2023 (S 709) – This Act also is designed to improve performance and accountability within the Federal Government. It was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 8. The assigned committee issued its report for this bill on March 29; it is also awaiting review in the Senate.