Congress has a busy legislative agenda, with the goal of passing a funding package and a defense authorization measure before the start of the new congressional session.
The current continuing resolution (CR), sometimes known as a stopgap budget package, will expire on December 16. According to reports, Democratic leaders are exploring extending the CR for one week to allow lawmakers more time to reach a long-term funding package resolution.
Congressional leaders might choose to adopt a longer-term budget package that would finance the government until 2023, or they could try to pass a full omnibus spending bill, which would face severe obstacles.
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has typically avoided the possibility of government shutdowns, and retiring Senate Republican appropriations leader Richard Shelby (R-AL) would certainly want to stamp a government spending measure one more time.
According to reports, Congress may try to include up to $37.7 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian help to Ukraine. However, many House Republicans have pledged to audit more Ukrainian aid. Some Republicans and Democrats have introduced legislation to investigate billions of dollars in Ukrainian aid.
Secretary Of defense Lloyd Austin urged Senate Majority Chair Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Leader Pat Leahy (D-VT), House Budget Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and their Republican leading members to adopt a full-year budget bill in a letter.
Austin claimed that failing to enact an omnibus package would “significantly hurt our people and services, as well as harm our national security and competitiveness.”
Leaders in congress have also explored raising the debt limit, the government’s spending limitation, during the lame duck session; however, Punchbowl News reported that Congress doesn’t have the time.