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This Week in Congress

Congress entered the final stretch of the year negotiating a bicameral compromise on the FY24 NDAA, which sets national defense policy, and other legislative priorities.  Additionally, the Senate debated a $100 billion supplemental bill in the hopes of passing it before Congress adjourns for the year.  A dozen mostly progressive members filed an amendment that would condition aid to Ukraine and Israel on compliance with international and humanitarian law.  The White House endorsed several new immigration restrictions as part of the negotiations including: tightening the screening process for those seeking asylum, designating countries as “safe third countries” to which the government can deport migrants, “and expanding rapid deportations to be used nationwide rather than just at the border.”  Meanwhile, the House considered legislation to impeach President Biden, and the Ensuring Agency Accountability in Rulemaking Act, which would require the head of an agency to sign off on any new rule, as well as two bills dealing with a more permanent Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform and reauthorization, as opposed to the extension within the NDAA.

Congress passed a short-term extension for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s funding authority through March 8th, buying members a few more months to reach an agreement on a longer reauthorization. Without an extension, the FAA on January 1st would lose its authority to collect revenues from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is financed by excise taxes on passengers, cargo, and fuel that funds airport infrastructure projects and other aviation programs.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy met with President Biden, along with the Senate to discuss supplemental aid to Ukraine.