Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 2, 2023

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of October 2, 2023

Shutdown Averted … For Now:

In a surprise turn of events, Congress avoided a government shutdown over the weekend by crafting and passing a stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government open through November 17th and give lawmakers more time to negotiate a full appropriations package.

House Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the bill after Speaker Kevin McCarthy removed several policy riders that had prevented Democrats from lending their support. The new stopgap measure extends current funding levels for 45 days, provides $16 billion in disaster relief funds, and extends authorizations of the FAA and the National Flood Insurance Program. However, it does not include any funding for Ukraine. Now, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to face a vote from some Members in his conference to strip him of his leadership role, and would require 218 votes to be successful.

In the Senate, Members are mourning the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who died late last week at age 90. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) announced over the weekend that he would appoint EMILY’s List president Laphonza Butler as Feinstein’s temporary successor ahead of the 2024 election.

With a shutdown averted, lawmakers are pivoting this week to regular business including nominees in the Senate and legislation in the House such as the Energy & Water and Legislative Branch appropriations bills. There are also several committee hearings scheduled, including the following:

  • The Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee will examine the implementation of the CHIPS Act and take up FAA nominations
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will review security initiatives on the Korean Peninsula

The Administration:

President Joe Biden signed the stopgap funding bill over the weekend while calling on lawmakers to pass a full year funding package that honors the debt limit agreement he reached with Speaker McCarthy earlier this year.

This week, the President will hold a cabinet meeting to receive an update on AI and gun violence to inform the Administration’s ongoing efforts to craft policy regarding those areas.