February 16, 2021Dear Colleague:
Over the past six weeks, the 117th Congress has begun its work like none other before it, enduring a horrific attack by violent rioters and the painful process of a presidential impeachment. We took our oaths amid a deadly pandemic that has now killed more than 485,000 of our fellow Americans and caused an economic crisis that has seen tens of millions out of work and struggling to get by. Facing multiple crises, the Democratic House Majority in the 117th Congress got right to work holding the former President accountable for his incitement of violence against the people’s representatives and moving swiftly to consider President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
I want to thank House Members for their resolve and determination to hit the ground running from the very first day of this new Congress. Particularly deserving of our gratitude are the outstanding impeachment managers who pleaded the case of the American people and our Constitution during the Senate trial of former President Trump. History will surely record their prosecutorial prowess and their clear and compelling case. I also want to congratulate the committee chairs and Members who participated in the successful markups of COVID-19 relief legislation, readying the components of this critical aid package for Floor action soon.
Over the upcoming work period, the House will be focused on passing the American Rescue Plan and addressing a number of top legislative priorities. Next week, the House had been scheduled to be in session Monday, February 22 through Thursday, February 25; however, the American Rescue Plan will not be ready for a vote until later in the week, so the House will instead be in session Tuesday, February 23 through Friday, February 26. Members should be aware that the House may need to remain in session through the weekend next week to complete consideration of the American Rescue Plan. Other legislation coming to the Floor next week are two bills that passed through the House last Congress: a wilderness package and the Equality Act, which will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
The week of March 1 will see the House take up H.R. 1, the For the People Act. This legislation, which the House passed in 2019, is the centerpiece of Democrats’ agenda to make government more transparent and accountable to the people it serves. From protecting voting rights to reforming campaign finance, from requiring higher ethical standards for public officials to engaging in nonpartisan redistricting reform, H.R. 1 aims to renew Americans’ faith that their government will always work for the people. Additionally that week, the House will consider the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This critical civil rights legislation, which the House passed last June, would address racial bias in law enforcement.
During the week of March 8, the House will continue in legislative session. We will be ready to take further action on the American Rescue Plan in the event the Senate amends it and sends it back to us, and the House will address additional legislation relating to challenges long overdue for Congressional action. I will share further information about the schedule for the week of March 8 as it approaches.
Our challenges are immense, and the House must meet them with bold and resolute action. Over the coming weeks, the Democratic Majority will continue to ensure that the House is doing its job For the People, and we will work in close coordination with the Senate and the White House to deliver results. Together, we can show the American people what Democratic leadership can do to keep them safe and healthy and to build back better from this pandemic so that all have the opportunity to get ahead.
STENY H. HOYER
House Majority Leader