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 McConnellFormer HUD Secretary: Congress 'should invest 0B in direct rental assistance' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan 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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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.

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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 RatcliffeGOP senator calls for Russian bounties briefing after reviewing intelligence Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Top intelligence officials to brief Gang of Eight on Thursday 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.

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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 PelosiHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated 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 BarrBarr praises Seattle police chief as officers clear protest zone Judge strikes down Trump administration rule denying asylum to most migrants at southern border Supreme Court declines challenge to DOJ execution method MORE has expressed support for the House legislation but conservative Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections Senators offer bill to expand charitable giving tax break Overnight Energy: Senate passes major lands conservation bill | Mnuchin ordered to give Native American tribes full stimulus funding | Key Republican jeopardizes Trump consumer safety nominee MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate rejects Paul proposal on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic proposal to extend 0 unemployment checks Rand Paul urges Fauci to provide 'more optimism' on coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) oppose it. Senate GOP leaders passed a 77-day extension of surveillance powers to accommodate Lee and Paul.