Dear colleague: update on the January working period
I hope each of you had the opportunity to welcome the New Year with the warmth of your families and communities while staying safe from the Omicron variant which has brought a new challenge to our country. . Yesterday, we gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on our Capitol, and I was deeply moved by the reflections of the members who shared their powerful accounts of what they experienced that day, as well. that the continued commitment of our caucus to ensure the sustainability of our democracy. .
Over the past twelve months, our Democratic majority in the House has taken historic steps to enact the US bailout and bipartisan infrastructure investment and jobs law, pass the Build Back Better Act and l ‘send to the Senate, and approve a long list of major laws. aimed at promoting our agenda for justice, equality and opportunity for all. We also avoided a crisis of default and made sure that the end of the year was not accompanied by a government shutdown. As we look to 2022, the House will continue to rule for the people and deliver results that demonstrate why the people should continue to count on us to lead.
During the week of January 10, the House will return to consider legislation that will help us meet our commitment to American veterans. We will be voting on HR 1836, the Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Levin, which would expand eligibility for the educational benefits of the post 9/11 GI Bill to members of the National Guard and Reserves. Also this week, the House will consider a Senate amendment to HR 5746, the NASA Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act, which includes a ten-year extension of the agency’s power to lease unused properties.
After our break to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the House will continue to help veterans by passing HR 4673, the EVEST Act, sponsored by Chairman Mark Takano of the Veterans Committee. This legislation would automatically enroll eligible veterans into the VA healthcare system so that no veteran is left behind when it comes to receiving quality and affordable healthcare. In addition, the House will vote that week on S. 2959, the Supplementary Impact Assistance Flexibility Act, which was passed unanimously by the Senate last month. Co-authored by Representative Joe Courtney, this bipartisan legislation allows local education agencies participating in the Impact Assistance program to use student numbers or federal property assessment data of their program applications to fiscal year 2022 for their applications for fiscal year 2023. This will prevent schools from losing the substantial funding they rely on to deal with the learning loss associated with COVID-19 by giving them more flexibility to use pre-pandemic data to calculate financing needs.
The House and Senate will continue to work to complete the annual appropriations before the February deadline, and MPs must be prepared to vote whenever such funding is ready to be considered by the prosecution, which could disrupt the schedule. . It is essential that we complete this important work before the deadline, and I will continue to encourage the Senate to complete its work. I am proud that the House did its job and passed legislation to fund virtually all of government last summer, well before the end of the fiscal year.
The House will also be ready to pass legislation protecting Americans’ suffrage and urge the Senate to act. This issue is central to securing our democracy and the House has taken steps on numerous occasions to pass legislation to protect access to the ballot boxes, including HR 1 and HR 4.
Additionally, the House remains ready to act on President Biden’s agenda to ensure our nation can better rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, House Democrats brought forward the transformative Build Back Better Act, which will cut costs for middle-class families, create jobs and expand economic opportunities for working Americans, meet the climate commitments of the United States. America and ensure that the richest Americans and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. I urge the Senate to act quickly on this bill while the House is prepared to take action should the Senate change it.
I have heard many members express their concerns about the increase in COVID-19 cases linked to the highly infectious variant of Omicron. The safety of Capitol Hill Police members, staff, employees and officers is of the utmost importance and, in consultation with attending physician Dr Monahan, the House will take action to extend voting hours and limit the number of votes taken on the Floor. Members are reminded that masks are mandatory upstairs in the house, no exceptions, and everyone is encouraged to use N95 or KN95 masks in place of the cloth or surgical masks that were widely used before. Members should also refrain from gathering on the ground. I encourage you to continue to take action in your offices to promote the safety of all who work for the House and those who visit on official business.
You will have received the 2022 House calendar last month, which reflects my commitment to balance time in Washington to do our job by ensuring that MPs have as much time as possible in their districts to engage directly with constituents and explain the important steps that our majority are taking to help Americans rebuild better and access opportunities to move forward. As a reminder, I will inform Members well in advance of any schedule changes that may arise this year.
I look forward to working with all of you this year and with the Commissions to move our agenda forward in 2022, and thank you all for the hard work you have shown since the start of the 117th Congress.
STENY H. HOYER
House Majority Leader