Friday, October 1, 2021

Bills Introduced – 9-30-21 – Senate

 Yesterday, with both the House and Senate in session (more about that see below), there were 28 bills introduced in the Senate. One of those bills may receive additional coverage in this blog:

S 2905 A bill to improve requirements relating to establishment of a consortium of universities to advise the Secretary of Defense on cybersecurity matters, and for other purposes. Sen. Rounds, Mike [R-SD] 

I will be watching this bill for language and definitions that would include industrial control systems within the coverage of this bill.

The House – The website has not published the listing of bills introduced in the House yesterday, because, by one of those neat political games that congressional leadership is allowed to play, the House is still in session on September 30th. They have been in ‘recess’ since about 4:00 pm yesterday while the Democratic leadership tries to figure out how to get out of the box into which they backed themselves back in August, taking a vote on HR 3684 as amended by the Senate.

Speaker Pelosi promised the moderates in that mid-summer-recess session that they would get a chance to vote on that infrastructure bill on September 27th. Meanwhile the progressive wing of the Democratic Party vowed to vote against HR 3684’s passage unless there was a ‘simultaneous’ vote on the more expensive Build Back Better bill (HR 5376). Well, since that bill is still not in a form that is capable of passing in the Senate (a whole nother separate political challenge) Pelosi cannot bring that bill to the floor because the moderates will not back it if they do not receive the political cover of final passage of the bill.

So, the September 30th session of the House remains ‘in session’ while Pelosi brokers some sort of deal to move forward, or just finally gives up and admits that congressional politics can just be stupid at times.

BTW: Since HR 3684 was, in part at least, the FY 2022 surface transportation authorization bill, federal transportation programs were no longer authorized as of 00:01 this morning. Money will still flow to those programs because the House did approve the Senate version of HR 5305, the FY 2022 continuing resolution that keeps federal programs funded through December 3rd. But authority to regulate (and operate in some cases) transportation functions has technically stopped. What that means in actual practice remains to be seen.

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