Hoyer announces House votes on climate bill, disaster aid

Hoyer announces House votes on climate bill, disaster aid
© Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Fauci gives his COVID-19 vaccine estimate Congress rightfully rejects dangerous effort to cut defense budget by 10 percent MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday announced that lawmakers in the coming weeks will consider top items on the Democratic legislative agenda ranging from climate change to LGBT rights, as well as work on a stalled disaster relief package.

In a notice to lawmakers, Hoyer said it's also possible that the House could vote on legislation to lower prescription drug prices and a version of the Dream Act to allow certain immigrants who came to the country illegally as children to gain permanent residence and U.S. citizenship. The immigration reform bill also provides a path to citizenship for temporary protected status and deferred enforced departure holders.


Hoyer said that the House will first vote next week on legislation to ensure the U.S. abides by the Paris agreement on climate change, from which President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE withdrew in 2017.

During the week of May 6, the House is expected to take up a disaster aid bill. Efforts to pass legislation have stalled in the Senate in recent weeks over Trump's opposition to providing assistance to Puerto Rico.

Hoyer said that the House is also expected to consider the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also expand the definition of public accommodations where the protections would apply.

Most, if not all, of the legislation outlined by the senior House Democrat is expected to be blocked by the GOP-controlled Senate, which he acknowledged.

"It is my hope that Senate Republicans will stop blocking progress on the issues Americans have asked us to address. We will continue to urge them to meet their responsibilities to their constituents and join us in sending legislation to the President for his signature," Hoyer wrote.

One exception, however, may be bipartisan legislation to boost retirement savings by encouraging small businesses to participate in retirement plans and incentivize people to save for retirement. The House Ways and Means Committee advanced the measure by voice vote earlier this month.

Hoyer also said that House Democrats will discuss taking up legislation in the coming weeks to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

"We will continue to have those discussions, and will look to take action later this spring," Hoyer wrote.