December 3, 2021
House and Senate Pass Continuing Resolution
Heads to the President’s Desk
What You Might Have Missed
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution. Last night, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through February 18, preserving FY21 funding levels. The bill also contains $7 billion to assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees. While Democrats lamented that the extension was longer than they wanted, a government shutdown was avoided. Keen political observers have noted that Republicans may continue to draw out CRs in an effort to keep funding levels at the same level as it was during the Trump Administration. Please note that this means Community Project Funding and other pending new programs remain in flux.
Reconciliation Updates. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has project confidence that the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), otherwise known as the reconciliation bill, will be completed before Christmas, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is not as certain. Media outlets have reported that she believes the BBBA will not pass until after Christmas. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has already gone on record saying that he believes a vote should be delayed until 2022. One key sticking point includes the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
2022 House Calendar Released. On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released the House calendar for 2022, which begins on January 10, 2022. You can find it here.
What You Should Be Watching
A Combined National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)/Debt Ceiling Increase. This week, the NDAA, which has been approved by Congress every year since 1961, stalled 50-50 in the Senate. At the same time, the Treasury Department expects the debt ceiling to be reached on or around December 15. So, legislative leaders in the House and Senate are discussing whether to to combine both bills, with some arguing that the debt limit is a national security issue. This is a major development and something your WSW team will continue to monitor.
House Democratic Retirements Grow. As of Wednesday, 19 House Democrats have retired, with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) joining their ranks. This figure, at this point, outpaces the number of Democratic retirements leading up to the 2010 midterms – the last major wave year for House Republicans.
Redistricting Update. While redistricting has slowed down in the runup to the holidays, here are the current figures on anticipated Congressional outcomes:
- 55 Democratic-leaning seats (+6 from 2020)
- 90 Republican-leaning seats (+2 from 2020)
- 12 highly competitive seats (-5 from 2020)