Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
Yesterday, June 4, House Appropriations Chair Lowey laid out her plan to hold all appropriations subcommittee markups, including Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), and the full appropriations committee markup the weeks of July 6 and 13 with House floor action on these bills July 20 and 27.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to begin markups the week of June 22, although it is unclear if all appropriations subcommittee bills will be marked up.
The Senate is expected to begin their version of a fourth COVID stimulus package late July. Provisions in the bill are expected to include changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well as additional support to state and local governments.
The President is expected to meet with White House advisors to discuss what should be included in the next package.
Yesterday, June 4, the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing with Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of CDC. During the hearing Dr. Redfield stated that the United States remains unprepared for major pandemic threats; in particular he said that challenges remain in locating and tracking diseases and believes that the U.S. needs to hire 30,000 to 100,000 new contact tracers. Subcommittee Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole both said that boosting spending on public health is necessary.
Dr. Redfield also apologized for the CDC’s failure in reporting on the racial disparities among COVID-19 cases and deaths. In the last stimulus package Congress required the CDC to report data on racial disparities among COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations. Lawmakers called out Dr. Redfield for failing to release adequate and full racial disparities data in the last COVID-19 report sent by the agency.
Speaker Pelosi announced that the House and Senate Democrats, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, will announce a legislative initiative to end law enforcement practices of racial profiling and excessive force on Monday, June 8.