Capitol Corner December 2021

In Washington, Congress is acting quickly to address a number of must-have spending measures before the end of the year while simultaneously trying to complete work on the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). BBBA is a social programs and climate bill that completes the President’s three-part economic agenda.

The President signed into law on December 3rd a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the U.S. government through February 18. The short-term spending bill generally continues federal program funding at existing levels, with a few exceptions. Once the stopgap spending measure expires, Congress must adopt another short-term extension or complete work on regular appropriations bills to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY22.

The House passed a measure on Tuesday, December 7th, that will allow Democrats to unilaterally raise the nation’s debt limit. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed enough GOP support for a procedural maneuver that limits debate and creates a loophole in that chamber’s 60-vote legislative filibuster rules.

In an effort to gain House passage of the ARPA flexibility bill (H.R. 5735), the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties, as well as a number of other advocacy groups, sent a letter to House leadership calling for the bill language to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA is one of the few final legislative vehicles that are likely to pass this year. An identical bill, S. 3011, passed the Senate by voice vote in October.