Inside The Washington Beltway: Permit Reform, Keeping Govt. Open, After Midterms

The U.S. Senate returned to Washington for a rather quiet week before the House returns to session on September 13.

Next week will begin the legislative sprint to address outstanding items before the end of the 117th Congress.

At the top of the to-do list is addressing government funding prior to the September 30 deadline. House and Senate leaders will aim to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) though it is uncertain whether the CR will expire before or after the midterm election.

Permitting Reform

Beyond government funding, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is working to advance a permitting reform proposal, consideration of which was a condition for Sen. Manchin’s support of the inflation reduction act.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) said the permitting measure would be attached to the CR Senate Democrats proposed later this month.

Meanwhile, dozens of conservation organizations signed a letter to Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) urging them to oppose changes to the permitting process that could weaken environmental protections and fast-track fossil fuel projects.

In late August, House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said he will urge House leadership to oppose inclusion of permitting reform in the CR.

Permitting reform advances will likely have a major impact on Sen. Manchin’s willingness to work with Democrats on future legislation.

After Midterms

After the midterm elections, Congress will focus on three key issues: 1) reaching a full FY 23 spending agreement; 2) passing the FY 23 National Defense Authorization Act; and 3) potentially passing an end of year “extenders package” reauthorizing expired tax credits and programs.

EMA is also working with the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) to attach “The Credit Card Competition Act” to must-pass end of the year legislation.

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