Congressional lawmakers are expected to clear the two-week funding bill by unanimous consent today, putting the bill on President Trump’s desk prior to Friday’s government funding deadline. Funding for parts of the federal government is currently set to expire tomorrow at midnight, but Congress is deadlocked over Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Once the stopgap funding bill is signed into law, lawmakers will have until December 21 to resolve the gridlock.
Congressional appropriators have released a two-week funding bill that would delay a partial government shutdown until Friday, December 21. The bill includes a clean extension for outstanding government funding, as well as an additional extension for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which was also set to expire this Friday. Leaders from both parties — as well as President Trump — agreed to delay the impending budget fight after the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
Earlier this week, while defending Leader Pelosi’s effort to put down a rebellion of members who believe that she has been Leader long enough, the folks at Pod Save America painted a broad brush against all moderates – and in the process conflating the problem solvers caucus with the New Dems – by saying that being a moderate was an identity, not an ideology. While this wasn’t the first attack in the so-called “Green Tea Party” that may pit the more liberal members of the caucus against those who have real challenging re-election bids, it was one of the loudest since the Democrats won the House of Representatives back. While it is easy to criticize those who don’t have the luxury of having massively safe districts, and therefore need to appeal to more than just primary voters, it will be interesting to see whether these voices, who appear to prefer the perfect over the good, will recognize that it is a lot easier to shape that good when you control the agenda and that, whether they like it or not, it is these suburban districts where the majority is won or loss in 2020.
Congressional negotiators and White House officials are discussing a short-term funding bill budget bill that would delay a partial government shutdown while Washington prepares for the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. Among the details still being ironed out is whether the short-term extension would push the funding deadline by one or two weeks, with the one-week extension being the most likely scenario. Funding for parts of the federal government is set to expire at midnight December 7, but Congress is deadlocked over Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Week in Review
Congressional lawmakers returned to Washington after a brief Thanksgiving recess. During the week, Congress made progress toward reauthorization of a series of key programs including the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Farm Bill. Regarding the NFIP, President Trump signed a short-term funding bill that extends the program until December 7, giving Congress more time to iron out a solution. With respect to the Farm Bill — which funds crop insurance, farm subsidies, and nutritional assistance — House and Senate Agriculture Committee Leadership have announced they reached an “agreement in principle” on the bill. Compromise language has yet to be released as lawmakers finalize legal and report language and await Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores.
President Trump joined Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Buenos Aires to sign the highly anticipated United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) this morning. The wide-ranging agreement — which includes provisions for biologic drugs, intellectual property, agriculture, automotive, and labor — now must be ratified by the legislatures of each country. Congress is expected to consider the deal during the next Congress, leaving the long-term outlook of the agreement unclear due to the impending divided government.
Congressional lawmakers are poised to address reauthorization for a series of key programs, including the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Farm Bill. Regarding NFIP, lawmakers have introduced a short-term funding bill that would extend the program until December 7, giving Congress more time to figure out a solution. Both chambers will need to pass the short-term extension prior to the NFIP’s deadline this Friday at midnight. With respect to the Farm Bill — which funds crop insurance, farm subsidies, and nutritional assistance — House and Senate Agriculture Committee Leadership have announced they have reached an “agreement in principle” on the bill. Compromise language has yet to be released as lawmakers finalize legal and report language and await Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores.
House Democrats will meet behind closed doors today to elect their leadership for the 116th Congress. Despite some intraparty opposition from a host of incumbent and incoming Democrats, a clear challenger to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has yet to emerge — a sign that she is expected to win the closed-door vote for the speaker’s gavel. Despite the expectation that Leader Pelosi will win the behind-the-scenes vote, she still needs to earn 218 votes on the House floor in January after the new Congress gavels in.
House Democrats are set to continue a contentious debate over the speaker’s gavel for the 116th Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — the presumed favorite for the speakership in the 116th Congress — is facing pushback from a host of incumbent and incoming Democrats who claim they have the votes to block her path to victory. Leader Pelosi is also facing dissent from some members of the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus, who are pushing for an endorsement of their proposed House rule changes for the next Congress in exchange for their support. Despite the intraparty opposition, a clear challenger to Leader Pelosi has yet to emerge after Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) announced she would not seek the speakership last week. Democratic lawmakers will hold a closed-door vote on Wednesday for a speaker nominee, followed by a floor vote in January after the new Congress gavels in.