It’s days before the “school year” ends and Congress goes home for the holidays. Our national leaders have a lot of unfinished work with a lame-duck president headed out of the White House and a new administration assembling its team.
The biggest subjects include avoiding a government shutdown and healthcare reforms. Staff and members may have to pull all nighters to finish everything. Retired Gen. James Mattis has been tapped by Donald Trump as Defense Secretary. Yesterday, Congress moved to expedite his confirmation, which could shape up to be a contentious battle with Democrats. Mattis is a retired general and would otherwise need to be retired for seven years (he’s been retired since 2013) to run Defense; the bill to avoid a government shutdown now includes a provision that would grant the needed waiver to allow Mattis to serve.
Don’t expect the voting sessions to be a walk in the park. When members of Congress gavel back in January, the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats will be different and Republicans with new powers are eager to see their agenda moved forward. We can expect one side to hold off on substantial policies that the next administration and Congress will have to contend with. The other side will seek as many concessions as possible. And there’s still a chance for bad policies to be snuck in.
I chatted with David Barnes, Policy Director of Generation Opportunity, about Congress’s cram session and what policies we should be on the lookout for.
Patrice Lee Onwuka is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and a contributor to Bold Global Media.
Patrice has worked in policy, media, and consulting roles on youth and women’s issues. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, CNBC, Bloomberg, the Washington Times, the New York Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and other outlets. She is a regular guest on Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, and PBS programs.
Patrice holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Tufts University and a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston College. Follow her @PatricePinkFile