March 11, 2022
Welcome to the Georgia edition of This Week in Washington. Thank you for your interest in politics and policy from the Peach State to the Potomac.
Well, Congress just beat the buzzer in funding the federal government before money ran out at midnight tonight. The House of Representatives passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill on Wednesday. The President and the Democratic leadership originally wanted to include $15 billion in additional pandemic relief funding, but House Democrats from several states objected to the legislative maneuvering because they believed their states were getting shortchanged on unspent COVID aid. Therefore, Speaker Pelosi pulled the additional COVID funding from the appropriations bill. Some Republicans had been objecting to this additional funding without an audit to determine where the trillions previously appropriated had gone. So, by removing the measure from the omnibus the prospects for an ‘easier’ path to passage in the Senate became more likely. As such, the Senate passed the $1.5 trillion package Thursday night. It now awaits signature by the President.
Both parties claim they each got something in the $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill. Democrats tout the nearly 7% increase for non-defense agencies, thus increasing that funding to $730 billion. Republicans tout the $782 billion for national defense, which is just shy of a 6% increase from current spending. Steve Ruhlen, a Total Spectrum Partner who has spent years working and understanding the appropriations process, will explain in more detail.
Heard on the Hill covers Washington’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a possible new legislative agenda for Senate Democrats, final passage of postal reform in the Senate, and a few parting words about the end of the worst part of COVID.
Remember that $1.5 trillion package we told you about? Congressman Erik Paulsen, who served on the House Ways and Means Committee and as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, is concerned about the impact of our ever-growing national debt on each of us, and we think you will be concerned too. Ramona Lessen gives a report on a hearing that took place this week, which is timely given this weekend’s shift to Daylight Savings Time. The hearing is entitled, “Changing Times: Revisiting Spring Forward and Fall Back.” and was before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.
We’ll be back in two weeks for the next issue of This Week in Washington.
As always… stay safe, healthy, AND sane.