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Legislative Affairs

September 16, 2022

House Expected to Consider Continuing Resolution Next Week

Key Dates
October 1, 2022 (Fiscal Year 2023 Begins): 15 days
November 8, 2022 (Election Day): 53 days
November 9, 2022 (Senate Returns for “Lame Duck” Session): 54 days
November 14, 2022 (House Returns for “Lame Duck” Session): 59 days
December 15, 2022 (Target Adjournment of 117th Congress): 88 days

Both the House and Senate were in session this week, but there are only seven legislative days currently scheduled before Members depart for the election – all of which means, Washington is on a tight schedule. Here’s what you might have missed:

Keeping the Government Operating. Congress will not reach agreement on the FY23 Appropriations bill before the end of September, so Congress will need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government functioning and avoid a shutdown. As simple as that may sound, there are hold ups, including whether or not to include Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) pipeline permitting legislation that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had promised to make a component of the bill. Some, such as Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), have speculated that text won’t be available until toward the end of the month. While the short-term extension is expected to go until mid-December, there are some Republican Senators – Rick Scott (FL), Mike Lee (UT), and Ted Cruz (TX) – pushing for an even later extension until 2023, where they anticipate Republicans could have both a Senate and House Majority and therefore put their own and more significant imprint on FY23 spending bills, including blocking the Administration’s plans for thousands of more IRS agents.

Railroad Companies, Unions Strike a Deal, Averting Shutdown. Earlier this week, there was significant concern that the nation’s railroad companies and their employees would not be able to make a labor deal. The unions representing those employees promised to strike if their demands were not met. The White House, Congress, and industries nationwide were concerned, as a shutdown of our rail system would have massive economic consequences. In the end, however, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh helped facilitate an agreement. Though the rank-and-file must now approve the deal, many are viewing this as a major victory for the Biden Administration.

Senate Republicans Urge a Vote on NDAA. The Hill recently reported that two dozen Senate Republicans are pushing for a for on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House passed their version in July, and the Senate Armed Services Committee approved its bill in July as well. Action on NDAA would be a highly likely candidate for final action in lame duck if it can’t be achieved this month, which still remains a possibility. More details can be found here.

Same-Sex Marriage Vote Punted to After Midterms. On Thursday, the sponsors of the same-sex marriage legislation in the Senate announced that they will instead push for a vote after the midterms instead of before them. They opted for this strategy after it became clear that there would be far more votes at that time than now – and questions remained over whether there were even 60 “yes” votes.

Primaries End; Campaign Season Picks Up. This week marked the formal end to primary season, with voters in RI, NH, and DE (including President Biden) casting their ballots. Now, with just over 50 days until the election, campaigns are ramping up their activities to an even higher degree. Handicappers currently see a narrow House Majority and, perhaps, a 50-50 Senate once again.

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