Government funding and Congress after midterms


Government Finance Bill. The Senate was able to pass bipartisan legislation to extend government funding until December 16, after a controversial provision allowing energy infrastructure was removed from the package. The House will follow suit today, clearing the way for President Biden to sign the bill into law. Passing the bill, which temporarily funds government agencies at their current spending levels, averts a government shutdown for the next two and a half months. The bill also contains funds to deal with various emergencies, including in Ukraine, fires in the west and southwest, and a lack of clean water in Jackson, MS. Congress will resume the fight over government funding for the last ten months of the new fiscal year in December. Any final solution will have to be bipartisan. This will likely result in a final bill that suits both parties with higher levels of defense spending (to appease Republicans) and plenty of national spending programs (to appease Democrats), though inflation continues. reduce both.

January 6 Final stages of the select committee. The January 6 House Select Committee will soon complete its investigation. The committee’s ninth (and likely last) public hearing was scheduled for this week, but was postponed due to Hurricane Ian. In eight previous hearings, the committee has laid out a case that former President Trump played a central role in the violence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, with most of the evidence coming from the testimony of former US officials. Trump administration and the entire state. Republican officials. These hearings have slightly shaken the former president’s preference as recorded in national polls. His favor rating was 43.8% at the start of public hearings in June and currently stands at 41.5%. The committee also plans to publish an interim report of its investigation findings in the coming weeks and a final report before the end of the year. The final report will include testimony from more than 1,000 witnesses as well as findings and legislative recommendations to enact new voter protections and other reforms. If Republicans regain a majority in the House after midterm elections in November, that committee will be disbanded and those recommendations are unlikely to be acted upon.

Congress after midterm. After the midterm elections, Congress will return to Washington in November and December to try to wrap up must-do legislation and other bills that may be nearing finalization. The first order of business will be the extension of government funding beyond Dec. 16, which will again feature controversial jumpers and partisan wrangling. The annual Defense Authorization Bill will also be another important priority, and we believe this measure will also be approved. There will also be interest in addressing consumer privacy legislation, new restrictions on the tech sector, a federal right to same-sex marriage, Electoral College reforms and energy infrastructure enabling reforms. (after a controversial provision about it was dropped from the government’s funding bill this week). Congress sometimes has a stronger bipartisan appetite after the election, and while a small handful of bills other than the government funding bill expansion and defense bill have a good chance passed, most will be sent back to the new Congress in 2023.

Secretaries of State. With Congress now out of session and unlikely to accomplish anything else legislatively before November, all eyes have turned to the midterm elections. The battle for control of Congress is certainly the most notable scenario before the election. One category of important elections that flies under the radar is the races for Secretary of State. Only three states do not employ a secretary of state, and in 38 states the position is responsible for administering state elections. As such, they often have wide latitude in establishing election day procedures. In November, the office of secretary of state will be on the ballot in 27 states, including key swing states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. These races are generally much more low-key than their statewide companions, but as we saw after the 2020 election, the responsibilities of Secretaries of State have an outsized impact. Over the next two years, the Secretaries of State will begin important planning procedures for the 2024 elections, including the implementation of any new electoral law, determining the location and frequency of polling stations and determining the use of a state’s limited electoral resources. While the 2024 election may be just over two years away, the 2022 election will shape it.

Read the full Washington Weekly, September 30, 2022.

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Approval date: 09/30/2022

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