Bipartisan Negotiators Chip Away at Funding Deal as Friday Deadline Looms Closer

Congress returns today for a big week. Government funding runs out on Friday.  Both the House and Senate will need to act this week to keep the government open.  It seems certain at this point that the specific action will be a short-term continuing resolution (CR) – probably one week, to give negotiators time to complete a full-year Omnibus spending bill. 

Over the weekend, the bipartisan negotiators made progress toward the larger funding bill.  Enough progress, in fact, that House and Senate Democrats have decided not to introduce their own version of the omnibus bill, but instead will continue to negotiate to reach a bipartisan deal.  The overall “top line” remains the major sticking point – Democrats want a larger number for domestic spending than Republicans are willing to accept.  Republicans believe the Democrats have gotten plenty of domestic spending through the Inflation Reduction Act, the American Rescue plan, the infrastructure law, and the semiconductor legislation. But the negotiations continue, and all sides believe these are real negotiations.

House Republicans continue to prepare for the transition to a new, but small majority in the 118th Congress.  Last week, the Republican Steering Committee approved all the uncontested chairmen.  But it appears they will delay the contested races – Ways and means, Homeland Security and Education and Labor Committee until after the January 3rd Speaker vote.  Leader McCarthy also announced the appointment of Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) to chair a new select subcommittee on China.  McCarthy and Gallagher wrote a joint Op-ed laying out the vision for the Select Committee, which included:

“Here's the good news: when the threat is dire, Americans have a proud history of coming together. There is a bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting Communist China is over. Two years ago, House Republicans proposed to create a bipartisan China Task Force. Sadly, Democrats refused to participate, but the Task Force released a comprehensive blueprint built on bipartisan proposals on how to confront the CCP. The establishment of the Select Committee on China will build on the work first laid out by that China Task Force, and it will do it in a bipartisan way.”

The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday afternoon to draft a rule for the Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act (S.3905), VA Employee Fairness Act of 2021 (H.R.1948), and Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022 (S.4003), which failed on the suspension calendar in November. The House is also slated to vote on the EAGLE Act of 2022 (H.R.3648) under a rule that passed the House last week.

Additional nomination votes are expected in the Senate, as well as a vote on the conference report of the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act.


This week: Congress faces government funding deadline

The Hill 

By Mychael Schnell 

December 12, 2022 – 5:00am 

Congress Faces Deadline for Keeping Government Funded

Negotiators are hoping to reach a deal on a full-year spending bill but they disagree on nondefense spending 

The Wall Street Journal 

By Katy Stech Ferek 

December 11, 2022 – 7:21pm 

Leaders Back Away From Raising Debt Ceiling, Punting Clash to New Congress

Some Democrats had hoped to act on the issue before their party loses unified control of Congress, but a lack of political will and time appears to have sapped momentum for doing so. 

The New York Times 

By Emily Cochrane 

December 9, 2022 

What Sinema’s party switch means for the next Congress and 2024

Her next campaign, if she runs, was always going to be competitive 

Roll Call 

By Daniela Altimari and Niels Lesniewski 

December 9, 2022 – 5:19pm 

Biden aims to narrow trust gap with US-Africa leaders summit

The Associated Press 

By Aamer Madhani, Farai Mutsaka and Mogomotsi Magome 

December 11, 2022 

Dems stuck on naming 2024 House campaign chair

The decision rests with new party leader Hakeem Jeffries, and picking either of the two main candidates could frustrate some Democrats. 


By Nicholas Wu and Ally Mutnick 

December 12, 2022 – 4:31am