Congress to Focus on Government Shutdown, Committees Priorities

The House and Senate are in session this week. The focus will likely be on trying to come to an agreement to end the partial government shutdown now approaching its third week. In addition, party leaders in both chambers are wrapping up committee assignments for the 116th Congress.

In the latest move in the funding face-off, House Democrats this weekend unveiled four separate spending bills to fund departments such as Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and some other agencies through Sept. 30. This piece-meal strategy comes as the Senate and President Trump said they would not support a funding package passed by the House last week that included six full-year appropriations bills and a continuing resolution through Feb. 8 for the Department of Homeland Security.

The president has said he will not sign a bill to fund the government unless it provides money for his proposed border wall. The House has thus far refused to allocate funding for the wall along the border with Mexico.

As member assignments are finalized, House and Senate committees are expected to begin internal meetings this week to discuss priorities and issues to address this year.