One-Week CR Expected to Buy Congress Time and Avoid Government Shutdown
Ten days until government funding runs out. No one expects or wants a government shutdown, but the December 16th deadline is real in the sense that Congress needs to pass something by then to prevent a shutdown. Right now, the most likely scenario is a short, one-week continuing resolution to give congressional leaders more time to reach an agreement on a full-year funding bill.
Congress also needs to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA appeared ready to go this week in the House after Armed Services Committee staffs worked through Thanksgiving recess to reconcile the House and Senate bills to craft a final agreement, using the revised substitute amendment filed in October by Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and the measure that passed the House floor in July on a bipartisan vote of 329-101. But consideration will be delayed until later in the week due to both uncertainty that an Omnibus can happen – meaning NDAA could be the last train out of the station for the year – and issues involving cannabis banking, military vaccine mandates and the possible inclusion of “The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.” (JCPA) Meta strongly opposes the JCPA and issued a statement saying:
“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act fails to recognize the key fact: publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves because it benefits their bottom line - not the other way around. No company should be forced to pay for content users don't want to see and that's not a meaningful source of revenue. Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses."
Progress on the Omnibus is slow. At this time, Republicans are not engaging in any CR discussions until the Georgia Senate race is determined, while Senate and House Democratic Appropriators are meeting to determine what they believe their Republican counterparts will agree to if and/or when a topline number is determined. Again, appropriators’ ability to do their work depends on leadership agreeing to a topline number.
Other items many in Congress would like to complete – but probably need to attach to either the NDAA or the appropriations bill -- include the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act (S.4573), a “Tax Extenders package” and additional military and economic assistance for Ukraine. Members and staff have begun preparing to be here right up until (and perhaps beyond) Christmas.
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