Foreign aid, spy powers take center stage on the Hill this week

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All eyes this week will be on the House as they seek to pass aid for Israel — and maybe Ukraine — following strikes launched by Iran against Israel over the weekend.

Speaker Mike Johnson was not specific during a Sunday interview on what his chamber would move forward with this week. “The details of that package are being put together right now,” he said on Fox News. “We’re looking at the options and all these supplemental issues.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated congressional leaders were resolute in their support following a Sunday call between them and President Joe Biden: “There was a consensus on the phone among all the leaders that we had to help Israel and help Ukraine, and now hopefully we can work that out and get this done next week,” he said at a New York press conference.

Among the items listed for possible consideration is a resolution declaring the slogan ‘‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’’ is antisemitic and condemning its use. It’s listed for consideration under suspension of the rules, which would require a two-thirds vote for passage. It’s one of 17 legislative items listed for possible consideration by the chamber this week.

House Republicans are expected to meet in late Monday afternoon to discuss the attack and foreign aid supplemental package. More than 90 House members, including Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), urgedJohnson to take up the Senate-passed measure in a letter.

Over in the Senate, lawmakers must deal with a reauthorization of a controversial spy powers program, known formally as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, before it expires April 19. It may not be easy, with opponents vowing to fight, though the Biden administration is rallying support for speedy passage.

“At a moment of increasing threats and instability abroad, the only way to ensure this critical intelligence tool does not expire on Friday is for the Senate to take up the House bill and pass it expeditiously,” said Matthew Olsen, assistant attorney general for national security.

The House passed a reauthorization on a bipartisan basis last Friday. As always, though, any one senator can slow consideration of legislation.

The articles of impeachment Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas are expected to be walked over by the House managers on Tuesday, though we’ll see if the weekend attack further scrambles the timing there.

For today, though: Senators will be voting on reappointing a judge to the Northern Mariana Islands.

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