House Speaker Pelosi postpones infrastructure vote twice – Ballotpedia News
Our weekly summary of federal news highlights updates on the infrastructure bill and the Colorado Redistricting Commission approval of a final congressional map. Read all about it in this week’s edition of the Federal Tap.
The congress is in session
The House and Senate sit next week. Click here to see the full schedule for the first session of the 117th Congress.
SCOTUS is in session
The Supreme Court will hear five hours of oral argument next week. To find out about the 2021-2022 mandate, click here.
Where was the president last week?
Monday through Friday, Biden stayed in Washington, DC
- 86 vacancies in the federal judiciary
- 24 applications pending
- 31 future vacancies in the federal judiciary
Upcoming Article III judicial posts
According to the latest US court vacancy data, there were a total of 30 vacancies advertised for Article III judge positions. No new Article III judge has advertised vacancies since our last report. The first vacancy announcement took place on December 1, 2020, when U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Arkansas, Paul K. Holmes, announced he would assume senior status on November 10, 2021. The most recent date of September 20. 2021, when U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh announced her retirement due to her elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Thirteen actual dates of vacancy have not been determined because the judges have not announced when they will leave the bench. The next vacant position will be on October 1, 2021, when Judge Jeffrey Viken of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, Rosanna Peterson, assume senior official status. As of September 30, 2021, a total of 32 vacancies were advertised for the federal judiciary.
For historical comparison, the week of September 27 to October 3, 2020, there were 64 federal judicial vacancies and four upcoming federal judicial vacancies reported by U.S. courts.
SCOTUS publishes COVID-19 procedures for oral argument
SCOTUS released new oral argument procedures for hearings in October, November and December on September 27, in accordance with the court’s COVID-19 protocols.
According to the clerk’s announcement:
- Legal advisers who present their case in person must take a COVID test the morning before oral argument.
- Lawyers who test positive for COVID will participate remotely by teleconference.
- Lawyers will be briefed on courtroom proceedings and will be able to ask questions in the lawyer lounge before presenting their case. Audio of the oral arguments will be available in the lawyers’ lounge. Lawyers must leave the court building once the arguments in their case are completed.
- Lawyers are required to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth at all times while in the court building, except when eating or drinking. Lawyers are required to wear N95 or KN95 masks in the courtroom, except when presenting arguments. The court will provide masks.
The court has published new interrogation procedures for oral pleadings for the 2021 mandate. At the end of each lawyer mandate, the court will ask additional questions, justice by justice, in order of seniority.
SCOTUS announced on September 8 that it will hear oral arguments in person for the first time since March 4, 2020. Audio of the oral arguments will be broadcast live to the public, in line with the precedent set during the 2020-2021 term. Audio files and oral transcripts will be posted on the court’s website after the oral argument each day.
Colorado Redistribution Commission approves final congressional map
The Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission approved a final map of the state’s congressional districts on September 28. Eleven of the twelve commissioners approved the final vote, satisfying the group’s constitutional requirement of at least eight votes in favor, two of which must come from unaffiliated members.
This is the first state redistribution process using an independent commission after voters approved Amendment Y in 2018. This amendment also requires the Colorado Supreme Court to approve new congressional district boundaries.
The Denver Post Alex Burness said the approved card “gives comfortable benefits to each of the seven outgoing Colorado Congressmen – Democrats Joe Neguse, Jason Crow, Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter and Republicans Ken Buck, Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn.” Regarding the state’s new eighth district, Burness wrote, “Recent election results suggest the new Congressional 8th District will be a close race in 2022.”
Under Amendment Y, the redesigned Congressional constituencies must be competitive, who is defined as having a reasonable potential to change parties at least once every ten years. Once the commission has approved a final map, it must create a report showing how competitive the districts are. The legislature does not approve the redesigned congressional districts and the governor cannot veto the plan. It is also not subject to the state referendum veto process.
Three states pass new congressional legislative constituency maps
Three states, Maine, Nebraska and Oregon, adopted new legislative and legislative constituency boundaries this week. In all three states, the cards will go into effect for the 2022 congressional and state legislative elections.
Maine: Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a law enacting the redesigned congressional and state legislative constituency boundaries on September 29. The Maine legislature unanimously approved the new state Congress and Senate maps. The Senate unanimously approved the new State House district boundaries, and Maine House approved them 119-10. A two-thirds majority was required to approve the new district boundaries.
Upon signing the new district plans, Governor Mills issued a statement saying, “I applaud the Maine Allocation Commission, especially its chairman, former Maine Supreme Court Justice Donald Alexander, as well. May lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for preparing and approving new maps that fulfill our commitment to ensure that the people of Maine are represented equally and fairly in their government. To have done so without hard feelings or partisanship and within a limited time frame is something the people of Maine can be proud of. “
Nebraska: The Nebraska State Legislature approved congressional and state legislative redistribution maps on September 30. Shortly after legislative approval, Governor Pete Ricketts (R) signed the cards.
The congressional cards were approved by 35 votes to 11, with all dissenting votes coming from the Democrats. All Republicans present voted in favor of the card, along with four Democrats. The state’s legislative maps were approved by a 37-7 vote. Five of the seven dissenting votes were from Democrats and two were from Republicans. Eight Democrats voted in favor of the cards, along with twenty-nine Republicans.
After the cards were approved, Senator Justin Wayne (D) said: “It was a very frustrating process, but we got a good result.” Senator Lou Ann Linehan (R), chair of the redistribution committee, expressed her approval of the cards and, regarding the possibility of a partisan deadlock, said she was “constantly reminded of just how capable Senator Wayne is” during negotiations.
Oregon: Governor Kate Brown (D) enacted new congressional and state legislative maps on September 27, making Oregon the first state to adopt congressional maps. If the maps are not changed by the state Supreme Court after possible legal challenges, it would be the third time since 1910 that Oregon’s redistribute maps have been approved by the legislature and governor without change.
Congressional cards were approved by the State Senate, 18-6, and the State House of Representatives, 33-16. State legislative maps were approved by the State Senate on 18-11 and the House of Representatives on 31-18. Oregonian said the card creates three secure Democratic seats, one secure Republican seat, one Democratic seat and one toss seat.
After signing the cards, Governor Kate Brown (D) released a statement saying, “My office has reviewed the cards contained in the bills passed by the Legislature following their proposal this weekend. Redistribution is a process that necessarily involves compromise, and I appreciate the legislature’s effort to balance the diverse interests of all Oregonians. The congressional and legislative maps adopted were amended after their initial proposal during the redistribution session.
Republican House leader Christine Drazan (right) criticized the cards, saying: “This is by no means over. The illegal congressional map passed today, clearly drawn for partisan purposes, will not survive legal challenge. Political gerrymandering in Oregon is illegal and drawing limits in Congress to ensure that five of your party’s six seats in the long run are gerrymandering. “
Speaker Pelosi twice postpones vote on infrastructure
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Twice postponed a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 after half of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) indicated it would not support the bill before the passage of a $ 3.5 trillion budget bill as well. under consideration by Congress.
Pelosi postponed the infrastructure vote from the original September 27 to September 30 deadline. She said in an interview: “I never submit a bill that does not have the votes.” CPC Chairman Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Said she believed there were around 60 votes against the bill.
The vote was again postponed after Democrats remained divided. President Joe Biden (D) met with House Democrats on October 1.
Republicans in the House were also divided over the bill ahead of the vote. Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Said he opposed the bill because of its connection to the budget measure. “You don’t get millions of dollars for roads and broadband. What you get is $ 5,000 billion more inflation, you get a bigger socialist government, you hurt our economy, ”he said.
Several Republican members of the Problem Solvers Caucus have said they will support the bill, including Representatives Tom Reed (RN.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) And Don Bacon (R-Neb.). Reed said, “I am a firm yes to the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion deal that won 19 Republican votes in the Senate. It is a good bill. This is a compromise bill, and for me it is good legislation – sound policy that I am proud to support.