Congress’ September sprint

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The next few weeks will be crucial for implementing President Biden’s agenda — and determining how Democrats perform in the midterms of next year.

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running news: The Senate benches from the recess starting Monday, and the deadline for everything from infrastructure to government shutdowns to US debt limits is in the face of lawmakers. These are creating tests for the president and his bare congressional majority as Democrats try to hang on.

What are we watching:

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Monday and Tuesday: Several House committees will drop the bulk of Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package and continue to mark the bill a series of legislative marathons.

Wednesday: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set this as a “soft” deadline for Democrat-run committees to draft their portion of the budget bill. As of now, it looks like we won’t have the full bill text by this date.

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Saturday: On January 6, supporters of jailed rioters will hold a “Justice for J6” rally on Capitol Hill.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will host “Big 4” congressional leaders in her office Monday morning for a security briefing from US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger.

September 27: The House has committed to vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate by this date. For now, this deadline is in jeopardy.

  • Pelosi promised Democrats that they would vote on the reconciliation bill – which is still subject to tense talks – before considering the $1.2 trillion bill.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday: “If we do our job there’s no way we can get it done by the 27th. …

September 30: The federal government runs out of money. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said during Friday’s caucus call that the House will consider a short-term spending bill when it returns on Sept. 20.

  • The continuing resolution is likely to be extended until December 10, although that date may change.

At some point in October: According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the government is expected to exhaust all of its funds. Congress is debating when and how much to increase the loan limit.

  • The Democrats’ unofficial plan is to include it in their CR – which Republicans vehemently oppose.
  • The GOP insists that Democrats should instead tie the debt limit to their reconciliation package, which requires only a simple majority vote. Pelosi reiterated last week that strategy is off the table.

Pelosi has also pledged 20 shortly after the House returned to vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion rights into federal law following the Supreme Court’s Texas abortion ruling.

  • The bill is expected to pass the House in the coming weeks, but stands no chance in a 50-50 split Senate.

What are we watching: Expect more hearings by the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol – and pressure from Democrats to pass voting rights protections Senate failed to advance its signature election bill.

What are they saying: Democratic adviser Stacy Kerr, Pelosi’s former senior aide, said Democrats have almost no room to maneuver internally.

  • “We have always had moderates versus progressives, we have always had weak versus secure members. … we’ve never had such dynamics with these numbers,” she said, adding, “If anyone can do that, it’s Nancy Pelosi.”

On the other end: “The Democrats just made a mess,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Nerdshala. “We’re going to have to fund the government at some point by the 30th. We’ve got a debt limit issue that they have to deal with. And then they’ve got all their crazy left-wing stuff they want to do.”

  • “You trapped Americans in Afghanistan, you have a wide open border, you have crime rising, you have inflation almost at record highs. And what are Democrats getting ready to do? Spend a boatload of money.” “

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