Congress Plans Post-Election Legislation

Congress Plans Post-Election Legislation

As has been the practice for years now, no matter which party controls Congress, it failed to pass the legislation that is needed to fund the government for the next fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.

That means that after the elections tomorrow, Congress will be back in session, called a lame-duck session, to try and pass the needed legislation. If the Democrats lose the majorities in one or both houses of Congress, this will be their last chance to pass the kind of legislation they want. The lame-duck session is scheduled to start on Nov. 28.

Because of that, Democrats are floating a combined FY2023 spending bill for the entire federal government, along with a separate bill for the Defense Department that will authorize it to spend the money it says is needed for the nation’s defense.

As a result, lawmakers are flooding leaders with items they want attached to both bills they are seeking to pass in December. Leaders in both parties are reviewing long lists of priorities—including many touching on health-care—to be part of either bill.

Details of the spending bill will not be known for weeks, as Democrats and Republicans have not agreed on the total amounts for defense and nondefense spending.

Among the spending priorities being discussed are extensions of expiring Medicare and Medicaid programs, including the continuation of Covid-era bonus Medicare payments to avert a looming 4% cut to them.