Congress is expected to pass the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. While the president is expected to veto the NDAA, because the bill would not repeal legal protections for tech companies, there is bipartisan and bicameral support to override that decision before the year ends.
If a coronavirus relief package is presented before Congress adjourns for the year, there is some talk to include direct payments. The administration and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have voiced support for this stimulus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely not stand in the way. Certain aspects of the $908B bill proposed last week could also be included in a final relief bill. The main hold-up to reaching a compromise is liability reform, with Republicans largely in support of the measure.
President-Elect Joe Biden has tagged retired General Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense. This follows the president-elect’s continued precedent of groundbreaking nominations. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin is set to become the first Black American to lead the Pentagon. One potential hiccup: Congress will need to pass a waiver allowing the recently retired general to become secretary as current law states a nominee must wait seven years after ending active duty as a commissioned officer.
Happening on the Hill
…Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a (virtual) hearing on The 2020 Paycheck Protection Program and its Future. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 10 at 10 AM.
Bills of Interest
- Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the renewable electricity production credit to include electricity produced from hydrogen.
- Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a bill to amend the CARES Act to extend the excise tax holiday period for aviation taxes.