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This Week in Congress

The Senate returned this week after their August Recess with a packed agenda before November’s midterm elections, including voting on funding packages for Ukraine and pandemic aid.  Congress has a number of “must pass” bills before September 30th including reauthorizing FDA user fees and the continuing resolution (CR) to keep Federal agencies funded at the FY22 levels beyond September 30th.  It is expected that the CR will extend programs through to either December 9th and/or 16th.  In preparation for the CR, the White House sent to Congress two lists of “anomalies,” which adjusts spending in certain accounts to avoid technical or administrative problems because of current rate funding.  Also, the lists include an additional $47 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine ($13.7 billion), COVID-19 preparedness ($22.4 billion), monkeypox ($4.5 billion) and natural disasters ($6.5 billion).  Other provisions that could be attached to the CR include language to codify same sex marriage protections and Sen. Manchin (D-WV)’s permitting reform proposal.

The Senate could consider the $857.5 billion 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 4543), the House approved its version in July including language to add federal protections for abortions after Roe v. Wade was overturned and to overhaul the Electoral Count Act. All three issues have bipartisan support and could get floor time this month, or spill into October. If consensus is not reached, any or all of these bills could receive consideration during the lame-duck session.

The House returns next week.