On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. While the nation watched the historic confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, Democrats were also preparing for another push to pass a slimmed down version of the Build Back Better Act. Democratic leaders plan to work closely with Sen. Manchin (D-WV) who has stated he is open to a smaller bill focused on raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations to offset the cost. The current plan is for half of the money raised through such tax increases to go toward deficit reduction, and the other half to cover climate spending change programs and other social programs. No specific provisions of the legislation have been detailed, however, and significant hurdles remain, including a commitment from Sen. Manchin to support the final bill. Democrats have also not yet gained the approval of another key moderate, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ.)
The confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson received the most headlines, but other major developments included:
- Following new evidence of war crimes committed by Russian in Ukraine, Congress passed legislation to revoke normal trade relations and ban oil imports from Russia.
- Last Thursday, the House passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would cap insulin prices at either $35 a month or 25% of an insurance plan’s negotiated price — whichever is lower.
- On Wednesday the Senate unanimously passed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which would renew the World War II era Lend-Lease program and allow President Biden to more quickly send weapons and supplies to Ukraine.
- On Wednesday the House to hold two former aides to President Donald Trump in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas related to the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
- Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and Tom Tillis of North Carolina announced they will restart negotiations to try and bring a bipartisan immigration reform bill to the floor.