Congress

Report: Reconciliation Delayed to December

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

I had no intention of leaving this space blank last week, but there simply wasn't a damn thing happening in the world while both chambers of Congress were on recess.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately depending on your perspective -- we can expect to see more of the same over the next couple weeks including the Thanksgiving holiday.

Politico reports that action including potential floor votes on the large reconciliation spending bill have been delayed until December because passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is now the highest priority.

“Due to the House pushing back consideration of the [Build Back Better Act ] to the week of November 15th, it is likely that the Senate considers the NDAA this upcoming week as we await House passage of the BBBA,” Schumer told Democrats in a Dear Colleague letter on Sunday morning. After one week in session, Congress is scheduled for a Thanksgiving break next weekend. [...]

Though reconciliation continues to hang over Schumer’s caucus, moving to NDAA will pacify some restive Democrats. House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has criticized Schumer for not moving more quickly to the bill, and several Democrats on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee have privately lobbied Schumer for action.

As routine as passage of the annual NDAA is, this year's may not be entirely ordinary.

According to Politico, Schumer wants to attach the stalled "competitiveness bill" to the NDAA and that will provide a generous amount of funding to research and development along with incentives for semiconductor manufacturers. A shortage of semiconductors which you've probably seen referred to as the "chip shortage" is one significant factor driving the inflation that's making us all crazy.

Congress must also extend funding for the federal government to avoid a shutdown on December 3rd and raise the national debt ceiling, again, but there's no reason to think Republicans will block either of those efforts. They talk a big game, but no one actually wants to push the big red button and trigger a global financial crisis. Republicans who largely represent the investor class have the most to lose by defaulting.