Timing is Everything


Timing is Everything

Washington, DC is never dull. Just as the Georgia Special Election concluded, with Senator Warnock securing a full six-year term, Sen. Sinema (D-AZ) will change her party affiliation to Independent. While this on paper shouldn’t shake things up from a Democratic majority perspective (i.e. the D’s will still remain in control of the Upper Chamber) it does tie their hands somewhat on their ability to issue subpoenas and clear bills out of committee.

And yet, that isn’t the most interesting thing that has happened in the last week.

The negotiations around an Omnibus appropriations bill seem to be stuck. The dynamics of the Republican House Caucus seemingly are having an outsized impact on the ability for the Senate to come to agreement, and there is increased pressure by a small minority of Republican Senators to punt this to the new Congress. All eyes are on McConnell who, I believe, has a tough decision to make. It would seem to make the most sense for the Senate to cobble together an Omnibus package and move into the new Congress without having to immediately address government spending, on top of a debt ceiling vote. We have had some indications that this is the path the Congress is marching down, but all eyes on the Senate to see what shakes out.

However, McConnell seems to be entertaining a Continuing Resolution, CR, as in some small way to help McCarthy in his Speaker bid. Frankly, a CR into the new Congress seems to be a bad idea and increases fears for a federal government shutdown.

Right now, the Congress will have to act on a short-term CR as the current federal spending bill ends on Dec 16, we believe based on recent intel, there is an agreement for a one-week CR through December 22, with the goal of a full Omnibus clearing Congress before the end of the calendar year.

The one thing I know we all can agree on is a CR for an entire year would be a disaster as it freezes funding levels at the FY 22 levels.

Meet The Author:

Katie Vlietstra

Katie Vlietstra

As Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, I work to explain how actions on Capitol Hill can impact the self-employed. I love D.C. and have made my home in Capitol Hill, where I live with my husband and black Labrador, Coltrane. We love playing volleyball and softball on the National Mall.

Courtesy of NASE.org