McConnell's Senate agenda for next week focuses on nominees and pandemic

McConnell's Senate agenda for next week focuses on nominees and pandemic
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves two energy regulators, completing panel On The Money: Biden announces key members of economic team | GOP open to Yellen as Treasury secretary, opposed to budget pick | GAO: Labor Department 'improperly presented' jobless data Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE’s (R-Ky.) office has outlined a busy Senate schedule for next week that is focused on combatting the coronavirus pandemic and confirming several of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE’s stalled nominees.

The GOP leader has scheduled a vote for 5 p.m. Monday on the confirmation of Robert Feitel to be inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

McConnell’s office said senators may also hold floor votes on “mission-critical Covid-19 nominees” as well as national security-related nominees.


McConnell announced in an interview on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” that the Senate “will modify routines in ways that are smart and safe” so that lawmakers can reconvene in the Capitol next week and “honor our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct critical business in person.”

McConnell’s staff on Friday also highlighted committee business scheduled for next week.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on Brian Miller’s nomination to serve as special inspector general for pandemic recovery at the Treasury Department and Dana Wade’s nomination to serve as Federal Housing Administration commissioner.

The Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the nomination of John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeProfiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers Biden considering King for director of national intelligence: report Haspel not in attendance at latest Trump intelligence briefing: reports MORE to serve as the director of national intelligence.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the nominations of Kenneth Braithwaite to serve as secretary of the Navy, James Anderson to serve as deputy secretary of Defense for policy and Charles Brown to serve as chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.


The Rules Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on James Trainor to serve on the Federal Election Commission. The Trump nominee was the target of criticism from Democrats in March over his role working on the 2003 redistricting of congressional districts in Texas, which cost Democrats several House seats in the 2004 election.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on a new $1.5 billion National Institutes of Health initiative to speed up the development of coronavirus tests.

The Commerce Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing on the effect of the pandemic on the aviation industry.

Eric Fanning, the president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, Nicholas Calio, president and CEO of Airlines for America, and Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives, will testify. 

GOP leadership aides say the Senate may also consider legislation to reauthorize expired surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act.

A Senate Republican aide noted that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases House Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (D-Calif.) still has not acted on the short-term extension of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance powers the Senate passed in March.

House Democrats are waiting for the Senate to act on a House-passed bipartisan deal to three key surveillance authorities.

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNew DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day MORE has expressed support for the House legislation but conservative Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGrassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Ky.) oppose it. Senate GOP leaders passed a 77-day extension of surveillance powers to accommodate Lee and Paul.