The Senate will take up its agenda setting committee this week, with an agenda that aims to give the Senate a more unified voice on issues of gender equity.
In an op-ed published on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D.M., called for an agenda setting panel to include a panel of experts to help with the legislative process.
The panel will consist of representatives from the White House, Congress, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Justice Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other relevant agencies, the senators wrote.
The panel would also have the power to recommend legislative changes and to issue subpoenas to witnesses and others.
The agenda setting bill has been pushed by Senate Democrats and has been praised by both Schumer and Durbins.
It would provide for a panel to be composed of “independent experts who can weigh in on issues related to gender equity and economic justice,” Schumer wrote in the op-Ed.
The group would also be tasked with “analyzing issues related specifically to gender inequality and economic fairness” and recommending changes in the law and policies.
“This panel would be empowered to take a closer look at whether existing laws are adequate or necessary to address gender equity issues in all facets of our society,” Schumer added.
“It would be tasked to make recommendations to the President, Congress and other government agencies on the necessary legislative action,” he wrote.
The new panel would have the same power as the president, and the lawmakers have already said that they are open to the possibility of a panel.
But, the lawmakers cautioned, the Senate should consider the panel’s role as a tool for creating more effective, comprehensive and timely legislation.
“We are not trying to make the recommendations on this panel.
We are asking them to take that position,” Schumer said.
“We are also asking them what is appropriate in this context and what the consequences are for them to have a role in making those recommendations.”
A previous version of the agenda was written by Sen. Patty Murray, D.-Wash., the ranking member of the Senate’s Finance Committee.