Congress has until the end of this Friday to pass legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2021. Very few people think they’ll get it done.
There are reports that the Senate is now targeting roughly Dec. 18 as its adjournment date, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still looking to confirm judicial nominees this week while other members of the Senate work to find compromises on both the government funding legislation and a new coronavirus economic stimulus bill.
The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for this coming Wednesday on a new CR that will last until Dec. 18, as well.
This will give them an additional week to try and get something done. If they can’t by then, they’ll either pass another short-term CR giving them additional time to work until probably Christmas, or they’ll give up and go home for Christmas and push everything off to the new Congress and new President in January.
The third piece of legislation they should pass is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2021. It has always been considered to be “must pass” legislation because it authorizes so many things for the military, including pay. But as we reported last week, President Trump has threatened to veto the bill because it doesn’t contain a measure that he wants passed having to do with the regulations of social media like Twitter and Facebook.
Even Republicans who support changing the regulations are opposed to putting it in the NDAA and they may support an effort to pass it and try to override the President’s veto, which would be the first of his presidency.
Because of that, it now appears both the House and Senate will pass the NDAA and attempt to override the President’s veto if he keeps his threat.
The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has announced that if the bill is vetoed the House will come back into session over the holidays and vote to override.
If the bill doesn’t pass into law one way or the other it would be the first time in 60 years the legislation has failed to be enacted.