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Legislative Affairs

December 16, 2022

Congress Extends Continuing Resolution

Omnibus Negotiations Continue

Key Dates
December 23, 2022 – Continuing Resolution Expires: 7 days
January 3, 2023 – Swearing-in of 118th Congress: 18 days

This week, Washington had a serious deadline to meet: extend the continuing resolution or the government shuts down. Luckily, Congress managed to pass an extension to the CR and send it to the President’s desk in time.

Here’s what else you may have missed this week:

Continuing Resolution Heads to the President’s Desk; Negotiations on Omnibus Ongoing. Late Wednesday, the House passed the continuing resolution (CR) nearly along party lines, with only nine Republicans joining all Democrats. The stopgap measure was subsequently passed by the Senate 71-19, with all 19 “no” votes being Republicans. The continuing resolution is now set to expire December 23, buying Congressional negotiators time to finalize the FY23 omnibus. There were two proposed amendments in the Senate, which failed: changing the stopgap’s expiration date to next March, and an amendment to eliminate tens of billions of dollars in mandatory IRS spending.

This comes as, late Tuesday, three of the four top Congressional appropriators – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) – announced they had a framework for an FY23 omnibus. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said a vote must occur by December 22. Roll Call has reported that “while the regular or ‘base’ subcommittee allocations appeared settled, there was at least one outstanding issue on the emergency funding title appropriators are planning to add.” While we still wait for specific details, news outlets have reported that it will provide close to $1.7 trillion in discretionary spending for FY23, including about $858 billion for defense and a still-undetermined amount of emergency aid for Ukraine and natural disasters.

Senate Passes National Defense Authorization Act, Heads to the President’s Desk. Late Thursday, the Senate passed the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 83-11. It authorizes $847 billion in national defense spending, $45 billion above the President’s request. Among other things, the bill repeals the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military members but doesn’t reinstate members of the military who were discharged or had their benefits cut for refusing to get the vaccine. This was a major sticking point for Congressional Republicans. It also includes the largest military pay raise in 20 years. Notably, Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) permitting legislation was not added to the bill and died on the Senate floor.

Biden Recommits American Engagement in Africa. President Biden doubled down on American engagement in Africa during a speech at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. He promised billions of dollars in new financing commitments and to help pursue democracy efforts on the continent. He also underscored his support for the African Union getting a permanent seat at the G20. This comes as China makes more entreaties throughout Africa.

Bipartisan Immigration Deal Shelved, Work Set to Resume in 2023. Negotiations on this front, led by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), fizzled despite a promising start. They were not able to strike a deal that would have secured 60 votes. However, Congressional aides have leaked to the press that a framework stemming from the talks could serve as the basis for a bill in the next Congress.

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