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Legislative Affairs

September 23, 2022

An Update on the Continuing Resolution & Other Matters

Key Dates
October 1, 2022 (Fiscal Year 2023 Begins): 8 days
November 8, 2022 (Election Day): 46 days
November 9, 2022 (Senate Returns for “Lame Duck” Session): 47 days
November 14, 2022 (House Returns for “Lame Duck” Session): 52 days
December 15, 2022 (Target Adjournment of 117th Congress): 81 days

With only a small handful of legislative days before the October recess – when Members of the House and Senate head home to campaign – Congress still has a long to do list and there are many efforts at last minute deals. Here’s what you might’ve missed, as well as what you might expect next week:

Congress Expected to Pass a Temporary Continuing Resolution to Keep Government Open after September 30: A Must Do. In an election year especially, no one in Washington wants a government shutdown. One of the key sticking points remains a permitting reform component championed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remains committed to including the final bill. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that, between Republicans and progressive Democrats, Schumer and Manchin don’t have the votes.

In the event that these provisions are not included, expect a generally “clean” continuing resolution (CR). Additional aid for Ukraine will also likely be in, while COVID-19 relief funds will likely be left out. There are two other mysteries: the scale of disaster assistance that may be included, as well as how long the CR will run. For the latter, it is likely that the CR will run until December 16. However, as we reported last week, some Republicans are pushing for it to run into the next Congress, in hopes that they have control of one or both chambers and can put for their own policy priorities in these must-pass funding bills.

Senate Returning for NDAA in October? Despite the scheduled recess, some reports have begun to emerge that the Senate may be called back in October to debate and vote on the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senate Majority Leader Schumer said “NDAA will be part of what we do.” The House already passed its version in July.

New Republican Agenda Released Today. Today, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – flanked by both moderate and conservative members of his caucus – released his “Commitment to America,” a flashback to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” from the 1990s. The plan proposes increasing U.S. energy production to address high gas prices, boosting funding to hire more police, and reimposing Trump-era border restrictions to stem the flow of migrants coming from Mexico, among other items. This is the culmination of years-long effort by McCarthy – done through task forces – to make sure House Republicans have a plan to start implementing day 1 should they retake the House.

House Passes Four Law Enforcement Bills. After months of tense negotiations between moderate and progressive Democrats, the House passed four bills related to law enforcement. This vote comes as moderate Democrats are increasingly being hit on the campaign trail for being “anti-police.” These bills represent an effort to help at-risk Democrat lawmakers, especially those in suburban districts.

Political Update. With Election Day just weeks away, Cook Political Report has several more Democratic toss-ups than Republican toss-ups, and they still predict the House as more likely to flip to a Republican Majority control than not. The Senate is a toss-up, though Democrats are defending five seats and Republicans are defending two in their model. If the Georgia Senate seat goes to a runoff, we may not even know which party will control the Senate until into the new year.

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