Impeachment Crowds Congress’s Already Short Legislative Window
As Congress returned to Washington this week, there were only eight legislative days remaining in the 2019 calendar year. During that time, Congress needs to address the National Defense Authorization Act and extend funding for the government beyond its December 20 expiration, as well as hopefully address the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, extend flood insurance and agree to and pass a tax extenders package. On Monday, December 2, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that Congress would be in session an additional week before Christmas.
At present, the House is in full impeachment mode, with hearings beginning this week in the House Judiciary Committee. Impeachment has taken up most of the oxygen in Washington and left precious little latitude for bipartisanship, let along working on policy. However, as Presidential approval climbs and impeachment dips in the polls, especially with independents, and rumblings of some Democrats souring on impeachment and others facing tough townhalls back home, the pressure to reorient to policy will increase. Speaker Pelosi is under great pressure from the left wing of her party to see the impeachment proceedings through while there is discussion of alternatives to impeachment, such as censure. Stay tuned.
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