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On the Hill: Lawmakers Face Deadlock on Government Funding

The deadline for Congress to pass a government funding measure is Dec. 16. Despite progress last week on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — the other legislative item that must pass before the end of the year — Congress is at a standoff over topline funding numbers and a host of policy riders under consideration for the year-end omnibus funding package.

With no agreement on an omnibus, House majority leaders will introduce a short-term spending bill to fund government operations through Dec. 23. The House Committee on Rules will take up the continuing resolution Dec. 13, and it is slated to go to the floor Dec. 14. The Senate then will consider the measure before Friday’s deadline.

Americas’ Essential Hospitals is urging Congress to address several outstanding legislative priorities before the end of the year, including:

For additional details, view the association’s legislative priorities letter to Hill leadership.

On the political front, Democrats last week celebrated Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.)’s victory over Republican candidate Herschel Walker, which furnished Democrats a 51-49 seat majority in the Senate. However, also last week, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) announced that she was switching her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent, muddying the waters and making things more challenging for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Sinema underscored that she does not intend to caucus with Republicans but did not commit to caucusing with Democrats, and she stressed that she did not expect her party affiliation to change her values or voting behaviors.

This Week in Congress

The Senate and House are both in session this week. The Senate will consider the House-passed NDAA with the hopes of sending it to the president before the end of the week.

On Dec. 13, the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research held a hearing on “Food as Medicine: Current Efforts and Potential Opportunities.”

On Dec. 14, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will mark up H.Res. 1476, a resolution to request the president provide documents or records relating to the coordination between social media companies and the Biden administration on a variety of topics, including COVID-19 and Hunter Biden.

On Dec. 15, the Senate Committee on Aging will hold a hearing on “Setting the Table: Promoting Healthy and Affordable Food for Older Americans.” 

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About the Author

Margaret French is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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