Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | July 22, 2022

Dear Friends:

If you’ve ever found yourself frantically trying to cross everything off your to-do list before heading out of town, you know how Congress is feeling right now. With only a handful of scheduled legislative days before the August recess, House and Senate leaders are looking for progress on key measures and hoping to send their members home with positive messages for their constituents.

The long-percolating CHIPS bill, designed to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing, is finally on the move in the Senate. Though it’s a slimmed-down version of the sprawling legislation that originally passed the Senate, it includes huge funding increases for the National Science Foundation, Department of Commerce, and National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others. It is likely, though not certain, the House would approve what the Senate sends over. Speaking of long-percolating, we may also see a narrowly-targeted reconciliation package focused on two health-related measures: allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, and extending Affordable Care Act subsidies set to expire this year.

This week, this House passed an appropriations “minibus” made up of half of the FY23 spending bills. Three more may follow next week, but action on Defense, Homeland Security and Legislative Branch funding will likely be left until September. Meanwhile, with zero funding bills approaching the Senate floor, we are looking at yet another Continuing Resolution when the new fiscal year begins. House Democrats are also laying down markers on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, access to contraception and possibly assault weapons.

This month, we’re excited to feature a piece by special guest author Julia Azari, a political scientist and professor at Marquette University. Dr. Azari is an expert on the American presidency and this month shares a compelling look at presidential power and the ways in which it has (and hasn’t) been wielded by both President Biden and former President Trump. It’s an excellent and thought-provoking piece, and I hope you enjoy it.

As you look towards the fall, please let us know if we can put together a tailored training for your team on legislative procedures, appropriations and budget justifications, committee testimony, or congressional interactions. We are currently taking requests for both virtual and in-person programs and would love to create one for you.

This newsletter will be joining Congress on a brief summer recess, and we’ll see you in September.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates