Thursday, July 29, 2021

Senate Begins Debate on HR 3684 – Invest in America Act

Yesterday the Senate voted to close debate on the motion to proceed to the debate on HR 3684, the INVEST in America Act. The Senate is using that bill as the vehicle for consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure bill upon which an agreement was reached yesterday. There were no amendments filed yesterday, so the final details of the (actually writing the lengthy bill) of the legislation has not yet been completed. It looks like that amendment will be submitted today, probably with a long list of amendments to that language.

All of the cybersecurity language that the House added to HR 3684 is now in legislative limbo. I expect that we will see some cyber security language (including whole bills that would not otherwise make it to the floor of the Senate even though they would have bipartisan support), included in the amendments and maybe even the substitute language. The final chance for the return of the cyber language will come in the almost inevitable conference committee report to work out the differences between the House and Senate language. Most of the House cyber language was not attached to spending, so putting it back in the final bill would not change the price tag.

The Senate is scheduled to be in session next week before the they leave Washington for their Summer Recess (House starts next week). There is a chance that Sen Schumer will hold the Senate until the debate on HR 3684 is completed, but that would engender some opposition from the Republicans who will want lots of chances to offer their amendments to the bill. I would not be surprised to see the final vote come after the Senate returns in September.

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