Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Congress Will Wrap Up with Lame-Duck Session

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Congress Will Wrap Up with Lame-Duck Session

Article excerpt

Congress is scheduled to re-convene for a brief lame-duck session on November 15 to address the current spending resolution, which is set to expire on November 20.

In addition to the budget, it is expected that Congress will also attempt to reconcile House and Senate bills to reform the country's intelligence agencies in response to recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

A number of strategies for completing the budget bills have been discussed--but there is a strong likelihood that some if not all nine bills will be carried over to the 109th Congress.

Congress adjourned for the election in mid-October with only four of the 13 appropriations bills completed. Congress enacted a short-term stop gap spending measure to fund the nine remaining bills, which include many of NLC's priorities, until November 20.

Prior to the recess, Congress once again extended the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, both of which will be addressed in the 109th Congress.

Given the very brief lame-duck session scheduled, it is unlikely that Congress will be able to resolve the more controversial spending bills before final adjournment this year.

These include the appropriations bills that fund Labor-HHS-Education and VA-HUD, which contain key NLC priority programs.

A more likely scenario, particularly for these more controversial bills, is another continuing resolution that funds these programs into February or March of 2005. …

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