Today, Next Week in Congress: North American Leaders Ink Reworked NAFTA Deal

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.

Meanwhile, both chambers will return to Washington next week as lawmakers seek to clear the seven outstanding appropriations bills. Congress faces a distinct possibility of a government showdown over border wall funding — a top priority for President Trump. If lawmakers are unable to reach a deal, another continuing resolution (CR) will likely be required to fund the government into early next year. Additional items due for reauthorization include the Farm Bill and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — both of which are set to expire before the end of the year.

On the floor, the House will wrap up its legislative work week with consideration of a bill (H.R. 6901) that makes certain changes relating to electronic government services. The lower chamber is currently scheduled to resume legislative business next Tuesday, December 4. In the Senate, lawmakers are slated to return Monday, December 3 and consider the nomination of Bernard McNamee, to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).