A United States Capitol police officer stands on the steps of the Senate as storm clouds roll over the United States Capitol in Washington on July 18. The Democratic leadership in the Senate could add language protecting same-sex marriage rights to an interim bill seeking to keep federal funding in a bid to increase pressure on Republicans to support it, a lawmaker said on Tuesday. Democratic source. (Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
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WASHINGTON — The Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate could add language protecting same-sex marriage rights to an interim bill to keep federal funding in a bid to increase pressure on Republicans to back it, a report said. said a Democratic source on Tuesday.
Such a move could increase pressure in the equally divided chamber as it faces a September 30 deadline to avoid partial shutdowns of federal agencies when money runs out at the end of this month.
Congress has less than four weeks to pass the measure before resuming campaigning for the Nov. 8 midterm elections, in which President Joe Biden’s Democrats are expected to lose their slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Control of the Senate is also up for grabs.
Republican cooperation will be needed in the Senate to pass the interim funding bill that could last until December, which is necessary because the two parties have yet to agree on a dozen regular funding bills. Democrats control the Senate 50-50 thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ decisive vote.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has promised to hold a vote on a House-passed bill codifying the right to same-sex marriage.
It’s unclear whether the bill will get the 10 Republican votes needed to pass. In recent days, senior Democratic officials have considered adding it to the must-have funding measure in hopes of gaining its approval, the Democratic source said.
Over the August recess, the two sides worked on revisions to the measure, which could improve its prospects, according to a source familiar with the talks.
Aid to Ukraine, disaster funding on the table
Many contentious issues could confuse Congress as it grapples with a massive spending bill.
On Friday, Biden requested $47.1 billion in new spending, including $11.7 billion in emergency funds to help Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces and $22.4 billion in government aid. COVID-19.
As many parts of the United States suffer from climate change-related flooding, western wildfires and other natural disasters, Biden has asked for $6.5 billion in aid, along with $4.5 billion. dollars to help deal with an outbreak of monkeypox.
A House select committee may hold at least one additional hearing as part of its investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. A separate investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents has been in the headlines for months, worrying some Republican candidates about the fallout from the election.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin could step up his push for a bill to reform how permits are approved for energy infrastructure projects ranging from pipelines to export facilities. It’s a move that may worry some Democrats due to concerns about climate change.
Democrats rather optimistic
Heading into the final two months of the campaign, congressional Democrats were feeling a bit more optimistic about avoiding massive losses to Republican challengers.
Gas prices have plummeted and there are signs of a public backlash against the conservative Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights, which had been a goal of the Republican Party for decades.
Democrats have won victories this year on grassroots initiatives, such as gun control, capping the price of some prescription drugs and cutting carbon emissions that cause climate change.
Nonetheless, Biden’s popularity has been hurt by Americans’ economic worries and fatigue from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republican lawmakers will no doubt spend this upcoming business session hammering home these issues.
“These are difficult times for a lot of people,” Republican Senator Mitt Romney said in a statement last week. “With record inflation, we are seeing rising prices for food, electricity, gasoline, etc.”
Contributor: David Morgan