1. The Senate is voting Monday to end the debate over the Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act (S. 2657), which intends to accelerate geothermal energy development in the U.S., and develop programs at the Department of Energy to enhance existing geothermal programs. Up to 60 gigawatts of geothermal power could be developed by 2050 through innovation and regulatory reform, which would reduce energy costs and “provide greater reliability in heating and cooling systems,” according to the Department of Energy. If cloture is invoked on Monday’s vote and the Senate begins consideration of the bipartisan bill, Sen. Lisa Murkokwski, R-Ala., and co-sponsor Sen. Manchin, D-W.Va., are expected to offer a substitute amendment.
2. The House is voting Tuesday on the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act (H.R. 4508), which aims to expand the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women under the USAID Merits and Needs-Based Scholarship Program. It is named for the young woman who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2008 for advocating for female education access in Pakistan and who has subsequently become a global activist for women’s education rights. The bill provides that at least 50% of the MNBS scholarships will be awarded to women each year from 2020-2022. USAID has awarded more than 6,000 scholarships to Pakistani women in the last two decades, according to the Borgen Project. The bill was introduced by Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and has 31 bipartisan co-sponsors.
3. The House will vote Tuesday on the Yes, In My Backyard Act (H.R. 4351), which will require local governments applying for federal housing development funds through the Community Development Block Grant program to disclose any policies that will impact affordability. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., will also encourage communities to prioritize measures that will increase housing supply and affordability, according to a press release. From 2000 to 2015, the United States underproduced housing by 7.3 million homes, according to the non-profit Up For Growth Action. The underproduction was caused by zoning policies and other land-use actions that restrain construction—policies that have become a barrier to building affordable housing.
4. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, chaired by Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-NJ, and Don Bacon, R-Neb, designated Wednesday as Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill. There will be an awareness fair, a congressional briefing about improving function after injury and an evening reception. In February, Pascrell called upon the White House and Pentagon to release more details about the U.S. troops injured in a Jan. 8 Iranian attack on Al-Asad airbase in Iraq. “It is time for the Trump Pentagon to come clean,” he said in a press release. “Despite Trump’s denigrating insult to our troops, traumatic brain injury is not a mere ‘headache.’ It is a potentially life-altering condition for sufferers and their families.”
5. Congress will be busy with hearings on the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget from various federal agencies. Among them are:
- Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin will testify Tuesday to the House Ways and Means Committee on the proposed FY 2021 budget.
- The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will examine President Donald Trump’s budget request for the Department of Energy with the testimony of Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette Tuesday.
- On Tuesday Inspector General Michael T. Ptasienski and General Counsel Douglas Letter will testify to the House Legislative Branch Subcommittee on the budget allocated for officers at the House, who work to support the legislative work of the member and committee offices.
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie will testify with Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence on the department’s budget request Wednesday in front of the House Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
- On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense will hear from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, who testified last week on the service’s funding being used to build the wall on the southern border.
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson will appear Wednesday in front of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
Throughout the week, the House and Senate will also hear from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, National Nuclear Security Administration, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of the Army and the Department of Defense (DOD).