Congress is entering a jam-packed year with sky high aspirations, but serious roadblocks stand in the way of significant legislation passing into law.
The Federal government is currently operation under a continuing resolution (CR), which expires February 18. Congressional appropriators are still attempting to find agreement on spending plans that would fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2022 (FY22). Little progress has been made, however, and concerns of a year-long CR persist.
This delay has repercussions for the FY23 process as well. Without resolution of the current negotiations, Congressional committees are likely to delay hearings and negotiations on FY23 spending. Biden’s State of the Union address has already been delayed until March 1st and the President’s budget request to Congress until March 7th at the earliest, according to administration officials.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have a number of other issues that they hope to address this year. Senate Majority Leader Schumer and President Biden are pushing for action on voting rights, and Biden hopes to revive some version of his social and climate policy agenda, the Build Back Better Act. Senator Schumer intends to pass legislation aimed at competition with China, which includes authorizing new programs at the National Science Foundation.
All of this is happening in the context of a midterm election year. Lawmakers will spend less time in Washington, as they return to their districts to campaign. Additionally, Republicans are expected to gain seats in Congress, increasing pressure on Democrats to make progress sooner rather than later.
On January 27, at 1:00 pm ET, FABBS will host a webinar to provide a 2022 Advocacy Outlook. Join us for a primer on the federal budget process, a review of the challenges and opportunities ahead of us in 2022, and a breakdown of FABBS advocacy activities. Register Here.