Where Congress is Currently At:
- Showdowns over the federal budget have been largely averted with just a few spending bills hanging in the wings until December 7 due to a combination of year-long funding for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Defense and short-term funding until December 7, 2018 for the remainder of government.
- Both the House and Senate passed opioids legislation that had been eating up most of their bandwidth for 2018.
- The Senate confirmed a new Supreme Court Justice. They will not likely make any major pushes – but we know from our Hill contacts that a farm bill is on the wish list for 2018.
- This leaves both the Senate and House free to focus on election campaigns. The House has already recessed until after the election, the Senate has yet to announce its recess dates.
What Remains After the Election:
- According to Politico Pro, The House and Senate will have to come to an agreement on funding for the farm bill. They will also have to agree on funding for the Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, State, and Interior, as well as foreign operations, the IRS, science programs and the EPA. They will have to do so before December 7, 2018 to avoid an end-of-year shutdown.
Why it matters: With the House already on recess and the Senate having wrapped up key business last week, now is a good time for I/DD providers to leverage Congress’ interest in election-year constituent outreach. Please visit our Digital Advocacy Page for suggestions on key policy issues to discuss and ask to meet with your members of Congress while they are home. If you need help with your grassroots outreach, please contact Doris Parfaite-Claude, Federal Advocacy and Research Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.