The Federal Tap: Biden announces plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots

Our weekly summary of federal news highlights Biden’s announcement of plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots and the SCOTUS November argument calendar. Read all about it in this week’s edition of the Federal Tap.

Congress is in session

The House is in session next week. Click here to see the full calendar for the first session of the 117th Congress.

SCOTUS is out of session

The Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments next week. To learn about the 2020-2021 term, click here.

Where was the president last week?

On Monday, Biden traveled to Washington, D.C., from Camp David, Maryland, and returned to Camp David that evening. 

On Tuesday, Biden departed Camp David, Maryland, for Washington, D.C. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Biden remained in Washington, D.C. 

On Friday, Biden departed Washington, D.C., for Wilmington, Delaware. 

Federal Judiciary

  • 85 federal judicial vacancies
  • 22 pending nominations
  • 32 future federal judicial vacancies

U.S. Supreme Court announces November argument calendar

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Aug. 16 released its calendar for the November sitting for the October 2021-2022 term, scheduling nine cases for argument. The court will hear nine hours of oral argument between Nov. 1 and Nov. 10. 

Click the links below to learn more about the cases:

Nov. 1

Nov. 2

Nov. 3

Nov. 8

Nov. 9

Nov. 10

To date, 11 cases that have been granted review during the term have not yet been scheduled for argument. Two cases were dismissed after they were accepted. The court has agreed to hear 31 cases total during the 2021-2022 term.

Biden announces plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots, requires medical staff working with ​​Medicare and Medicaid enrollees to be vaccinated 

On Aug. 18, President Joe Biden (D) announced a plan to offer a third COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to Americans beginning Sept. 20. According to the plan, booster shots will only be available to people at least eight months after their second shot.

For the plan to go into effect, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices would need to approve booster shots for the general population. On Aug. 12, the FDA approved booster shots for some immunocompromised people. Biden also announced he would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to withhold federal Medicare and Medicaid funds from nursing homes that do not require staff to be fully vaccinated.