Politics

Congress preparing for Donald Trump

Congress preparing for Donald Trump

Congress preparing for Donald Trump 2016 images

While Donald Trump makes use of his Twitter account, Congress is preparing for its final work session of 2016 as lawmakers are facing a looming Dec. 9 deadline for spending legislation to keep the government running.

Republican leaders want to pass a short-term spending bill to extend existing funding levels into next spring, allowing a new President Donald Trump the opportunity to play a bigger role in crafting agency budgets.

Congress is also trying to finalize legislation to address lead-tainted water in Flint, Michigan, and pass a bipartisan bill to promote medical research and innovation. And House Democrats will be voting in a new leadership team Wednesday after a delay sought by lawmakers angry over Democrats’ poor showing in this month’s federal elections. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California is expected to prevail, but must answer demands for change from a Democratic caucus that has been led for years by the same aging lawmakers and committee chairmen.

A number of other odds and ends await action as well. And throughout, GOP leaders will be working with Trump’s transition teams to craft an agenda for next year, when Republicans will control both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade.

“We’ve got a lot to do,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

A look at the pending legislation:

SPENDING

Work on 11 of the 12 annual agency spending bills has sputtered and a stopgap spending measure is keeping the government running until Dec. 9. Republican leaders have decided to punt the remaining measures into next year, in part because they may have better chances of winning additional Pentagon spending from the incoming Trump administration. Another temporary spending bill is in the works that would keep the government open until the end of March or later.

FLINT’S WATER

A popular water projects measure, including $220 million to help Flint, Michigan, and other cities repair aging water systems that are poisoned by lead, is in House-Senate talks.

McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have promised that Flint assistance will be approved in the lame-duck session.

CURES ACT

The House plans to vote Wednesday on legislation beefing up brain, cancer and other research at the National Institutes of Health and accelerating the Food and Drug Administration’s approval processes. A Senate vote could come next week.

The 21st Century Cures Act would provide $6.3 billion over the next decade, including $1 billion for state grants for programs for preventing and treating the abuse of opioids and other addictive drugs. It would also expand government mental health programs.

The measure is supported by pharmaceutical and other medical industry groups. But some consumer advocates say it goes too far in relaxing testing standards, and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts attacked it Monday as “political cover for huge giveaways to giant drug companies.”

DEFENSE

House and Senate negotiators hope to wrap up the defense policy bill, which Congress has passed every year for more than five decades.

House Republicans are seeking to use the must-pass $602 billion bill to reverse protections against workplace discrimination by Pentagon contractors based on sexual or gender orientation. Another battle is over how much additional money to spend on weapon systems that the Pentagon didn’t request in its budget.

IRAN SANCTIONS

Congress must act to renew a decades-old law that allows the United States to hit companies with economic sanctions for doing business with Iran. Congress first passed the Iran Sanctions Act in 1996 and has extended it several times since then. The sanctions law, which is separate from the landmark nuclear deal, is to expire at the end of the year and there is strong bipartisan support for legislation that would extend it by another decade.

COAL MINERS

Lawmakers are pushing a bill to protect health care and pension benefits for about 120,000 retired coal miners and their families.

Several Republican incumbents supported the bill during the fall campaign, including Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who both won re-election. But McConnell and others are wary of bailing out unionized workers.

ENERGY BILL

The House and Senate remain far apart as they seek to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade. Prospects for completion look dim as senators push provisions opposed in the House. These include speeding exports of liquefied natural gas and long-term authorization for a fund that promotes land and water conservation.

Politics
@movietvtechgeek

Movie TV Tech Geeks News staff edited stories and team contributions.

More in Politics

will donald trumps wall hold congress budget up

Donald Trump’s wall could lead to government shutdown over budget

Shanka CherylApril 21, 2017
alex jones making money by playing a character

Infowars Alex Jones paints himself into corner with lawsuit

Jackie WarnerApril 20, 2017
donald trump signing h1b visa program

Understanding the H-1B visa program Donald Trump is concerned about

Shanka CherylApril 20, 2017
jon ossoff vs republican party in georgia

Understanding why the Georgia special election is so important

MTTG StaffApril 18, 2017
jon ossoff georgia democrat 2017

Jon Ossoff seems to be making Donald Trump nervous

Shanka CherylApril 17, 2017
understanding all those donald trump russian connections 2017 images

Understanding all those Donald Trump Russian connections

Jackie WarnerApril 15, 2017
Donald Trump has signed plenty of bills that will affect you 2017 images

All bills signed into law by Donald Trump that will affect you

MTTG StaffApril 14, 2017
whats up with donald trump constant policy changes 2017 images

What’s up with Donald Trump’s constant policy changes?

Shanka CherylApril 14, 2017
ardian syaf

From Anti-Diversity to Anti-Semitism, Marvel Comics Has its Hands Full

Marius MaronillaApril 14, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription