Congress returned to Washington this month and quickly got to work on a hefty to-do list of legislative priorities that must be passed by the end of the year. Just days after returning, Congressional leaders and President Trump agreed to a three-month deal that would raise the debt limit, extend funding for the government, and provide initial aid to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Congress now has until December 8 to negotiate long-term spending solutions.
Although a short-term spending deal has been reached, there could still potentially be major changes to federal financial aid programs this fall due to a process known as budget reconciliation. The Republican majority could also use the reconciliation process to pass two major priorities, tax reform and repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, because the opportunity to use the fiscal year 2017 reconciliation process terminates on September 30, and only one of these priorities can be passed via each reconciliation bill, the Republican majority will push very hard to pass a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018.
And finally, Congress must address extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which expires on September 30, and allocate more funding for the National Flood Insurance Program, which will likely run out of money at the end of the month.