Congress Looking at Packed Agenda in January

December 21, 2023

The Senate wrapped up its work yesterday without pairing billions of dollars of foreign aid with border security changes, adding one more unresolved issue to a packed agenda when Congress returns in January.

Perhaps in recognition of the big-ticket agenda items ahead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had called senators back this week in the hopes that they could reach an agreement on the supplemental aid package before the holidays. Negotiators are still far apart, however, with Republicans seeking to unlock aid for Ukraine from any border deal.

The problem with the supplemental slipping to January is that Congress already faces a pair of government funding deadlines next month. The first deadline, which deals with funding the departments of Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Energy, is set for Jan. 19, less than two weeks after Congress is back in session on Jan. 9. The rest of the government, including Defense, is funded for an additional two weeks, through Feb. 2. Party leaders and the White House have not yet decided on a top-line funding level for the 12 annual spending bills.

“It’ll be very intense,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told The Hill. “Unfortunately, folks who actually just want continual chaos so we can’t move forward and solve problems have been successful by having these multiple dates on appropriations and so on.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has also vowed not to support any more stopgap spending bills in the future, limiting lawmakers’ options to address government funding and avoid a shutdown.

Share This...