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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 McConnellAssaults on Roe v Wade increasing Trump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push 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 TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing 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 RatcliffeTrump alumni launch America First Policy Institute Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Former Trump officials eye bids for political office 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 PelosiDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' Free Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech 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 BarrDemocrats, activists blast Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE has expressed support for the House legislation but conservative Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRepublicans urge probe into Amazon government cloud-computing bid: report Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) oppose it. Senate GOP leaders passed a 77-day extension of surveillance powers to accommodate Lee and Paul.