Both chambers will be in session and have less than a week to fund the government before a potential shutdown. After hitting an impasse in negotiations last week, Democrats had planned to introduce their own funding package on Monday without confirmed bipartisan support. However, enough progress was made over the weekend that Democrats have decided to delay releasing their bill for the time being. That being said, negotiators continue to struggle to find agreement over the final topline spending numbers, with a difference of about $26 billion in nondefense spending being the primary sticking point. It is expected that Congress will have to pass an additional short-term continuing resolution (CR) for another week or more to allow the negotiations to continue.
In the meantime, the Senate will move forward with consideration of legislation to authorize annual defense spending for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill passed the House with extensive bipartisan support last week, and that will likely also be the case in the upper chamber.
In Georgia, Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) defeated Herschel Walker in an election runoff on December 6, giving Democrats a true majority in the Senate and on the committees. The decision will allow them to operate without Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) wielding effective veto power over nominations and legislation. Additionally, Senator Sinema made a surprise announcement last week that she will be leaving the Democratic Party and continue to serve as an independent. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has clarified that she will not lose any of her committee assignments.
On Tuesday, President Biden will sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law with a South Lawn ceremony. Then on Wednesday, Biden will host the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, including remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a small-group multilateral meeting with leaders.
On Monday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.
- Senate Amendment to H.R. 7077 – Empowering the U.S. Fire Administration Act (Rep. Ritchie Torres – Science, Space, and Technology). The bill would authorize the Fire Administration to conduct on-site investigations of major fires.
- S. 558 – FLOODS Act (Sen. Wicker – Science, Space, and Technology). The bill would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to expand its efforts to forecast floods and communicate with the public.
- H.R. 8665 – National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Modernization Act (Rep. Khanna – Oversight and Reform). The measure would replace gender-specific references in laws concerning NARA.
- Senate Amendment to H.R. 7535 – Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act (Rep. Khanna – Oversight and Reform). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance requiring federal agencies to maintain an inventory of vulnerable information technology and develop a strategy for countering risks from quantum computers.
- H.R. 6611 – To authorize the Embassy of France in Washington, DC, to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs to honor the extraordinary contributions of Jean Monnet to restoring peace between European nations and establishing the European Union, as amended (Rep. Keating – Natural Resources).
- S. 314 – Klamath Tribe Judgment Fund Repeal Act (Sen. Merkley – Natural Resources). The legislation would grant the Klamath Tribes access to funds awarded from litigation against the federal government.
- S. 789 – RESPECT Act (Sen. Rounds – Natural Resources). The bill would repeal several unenforced and obsolete laws related to Native Americans.
- S. 1466 – Saline Lake Ecosystems in the Great Basin States Program Act of 2021 (Sen. Merkley – Natural Resources). The legislation would require the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct a program to conserve saline lake ecosystems and wildlife in the Great Basin.
- H.R. 2551 – Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act (Rep. Curtis – Natural Resources). The measure would designate about 326 acres of federal lands in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah as wilderness.
- H.R. 5715 – To reauthorize the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Trust Fund, as amended (Rep. Grijalva – Education and Labor / Natural Resources). The bill would reauthorize the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Trust Fund through fiscal year 2029.
- H.R. 6427 – Red River National Wildlife Refuge Boundary Modification Act, as amended (Rep. Mike Johnson – Natural Resources). The bill would expand the acquisition boundary of the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana for habitat conservation purposes.
- H.R. 7496 – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to install a plaque at the peak of Ram Head in the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, United States Virgin Islands, to commemorate the slave rebellion that began on St. John in 1733 (Rep. Plaskett – Natural Resources).
- H.R. 7952 – Valley Forge Park Realignment Permit and Promise Act, as amended (Rep. Dean – Natural Resources). The bill would authorize the Interior Department to issue a right-of-way permit to relocate the main segment of a natural gas distribution pipeline in Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pa.
Tuesday – Thursday, the House will meet for legislative business and to consider additional bills under suspension.
- Bills expected under a rule
- H.R. 3648 – EAGLE Act of 2022 (Rep. Lofgren – Judiciary). The bill would eliminate a per-country cap for employment-based green cards. The measure also would increase a per-country cap on family-based green cards and make several changes to the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.
- S. 3905 – Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act (Sen. Peters – Oversight and Reform). The bill would require federal procurement regulations to be updated to mitigate organizational conflicts of interest tied to government contractors’ work for other entities.
- S. 4003 – Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022 (Sen. Cornyn – Judiciary). The legislation would require the Justice Department to develop a national de-escalation training program for law enforcement officers and award grants to states to implement the training.
- Possible Consideration of H.R. 1948 – VA Employee Fairness Act of 2021 (Rep. Takano – Veterans’ Affairs). The bill would expand collective bargaining rights at the Veterans Health Administration for certain health care professionals.
- Bills expected under suspension
- H.Res. 1156 – Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to building on the 20 years of success of the George McGovern-Robert Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (Rep. McGovern – Agriculture).
- S. 5060 – Paul D. Wellstone Building Act of 2022 (Sen. Klobuchar – Transportation and Infrastructure). The legislation would designate a “Paul D. Wellstone Federal Building” in Minneapolis.
- H.R. 1082 – Sami’s Law, as amended (Rep. Chris Smith – Transportation and Infrastructure). The bill would make it unlawful for individuals—other than those authorized by ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft—to sell signage that’s designed to help passengers identify a vehicle.
- S. 7 – VAWA Technical Amendment Act of 2022 (Sen. Hirono – Judiciary). The bill would modify the Violence Against Women Act to specify that Native Hawaiians are eligible for tribal coalition grants provided by the law.
- S. 2991 – Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2021 (Sen. Peters – Judiciary). The legislation would codify into law the Homeland Security Department’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking.
- S. 5229 – A bill to direct the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to remove the bust of Roger Brooke Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the Capitol and to obtain a bust of Thurgood Marshall for installation in the Capitol or on the Capitol Grounds (Rep. Hoyer – House Administration).
On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves to be a judge for the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Schumer has indicated the chamber may also consider the nomination of Dana M. Douglas to the Fifth Circuit and Jay Curtis Shambaugh to be a Treasury Department undersecretary.