Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Address Joint Session of Congress Tonight 

“On my way to the US to strengthen resilience and defense capabilities of Ukraine. In particular, @POTUS and I will discuss cooperation between Ukraine and the U.S. I will also have a speech at the Congress and a number of bilateral meetings.”  (Ukrainian President Zelensky)

The rush to complete the work of the 117th Congress will take a pause tonight for history.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address a joint session of the Congress at 7:30 pm.  President Zelensky will also meet with President Biden earlier in the day.  Both Houses of Congress are set to vote on an Omnibus spending bill that includes $47 billion in additional military and economic assistance for Ukraine.   This will be his first known trip outside of Ukraine since the Russian Invasion.  This has the potential to be one of the most historic speeches before a Joint Session of the Congress.

But the legislative grind will continue.  The Senate agreed to a motion to proceed to the Omnibus spending bill.  The motion received 70 votes – including 20 Republicans, easily clearing the 60-vote threshold needed.  This indicates the Omnibus is on a path to pass the Senate.  While the margins will be tighter in the House, where there is strong GOP opposition, it is also expected to be approved and sent to the President by the end of the week.   House conservatives want the bill defeated and work on an omnibus to wait until Republicans take control of the House on January 3rd.  But there is little House conservatives can do to stop the bill when 20 Republican senators support the measure.  In fact, it is likely that the caustic nature of House conservative complaints – threatening to block Senate Republican priorities next year of any Republican senator who votes for the Omnibus – pushed some senators towards supporting the bill.  Senators generally don’t react well to criticisms from the House – although it is a long tradition in both parties. {See House Democrats' criticisms of Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema throughout 2021/2022.]

Around this time of year “jet fumes” begin to work their magic.  Members want to get home for the holidays, and they can’t leave until the spending bill passes.  The “jet fumes” help speed up the process.  This year they're likely being further aided by the massive winter storm that threatens to disrupt holiday travel.


Ukraine’s Zelenskiy goes to Washington seeking ‘weapons, weapons and more weapons’ 

Reuters 

By Tom Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk 

December 21, 2022 – 5:56am 

US to send Ukraine Patriot missile systems and precision-guided bomb technology 

The significant military aid package will be announced Wednesday. 

ABC News 

By Luis Martinez 

December 20, 2022 – 7:28pm 

Senate lurches toward conclusion on massive spending package 

Consent needed to speed up process as lawmakers seek to get out of town ahead of winter storm 

Roll Call 

By Lindsey McPherson, David Lerman, and Aidan Quigley 

December 20, 2022 – 7:03pm 

Omnibus Spending Bill Energizes Kevin McCarthy’s GOP Critics in Speaker Race 

The $1.65 trillion omnibus is set to be approved by Congress later this week over some Republicans’ opposition 

The Wall Street Journal 

By Natalie Andrews 

December 20, 2022 – 9:40pm 

 

What’s in and what’s out of Congress’ $1.7T spending bill 

From the lobster industry to TikTok to telehealth, the massive year-end government funding packages casts a wide net across public policy. 

POLITICO