Congress is increasingly resorting to a kick-the-can-down the road strategy on the big legislative issues.The House scrapped a plan to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and instead voted to extend Highway Trust Fund (HTF) authorizations and Federal-Aid Highway Programs through October 31. This is the second extension of the FAST Act, and the HTF will not support any more clean extensions unless additional revenues are deposited into the HTF account. This gives the Democrats more time to put together a social-spending, tax increase reconciliation package that can pass the Senate.
Before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) to extend government funding through December 3, averting a Federal government shutdown. Meanwhile, The Treasury Department is scheduled to run out of cash on October 18 and needs the Federal Government’s borrowing authority cap to be increased to avoid default. Senate leaders are working on a short-term solution to suspend the debt limit through November.
Once Congress deals with the debt limit, lawmakers will turn their attention to the multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation package, which is the key to unlocking the vote on the IIJA. Moderate and progressive Democrats are wrangling over the size and policy provisions that will be included in the final package. Contact Jay Hansen or Ashley Jackson for more information.