Six weeks remain in the 117th Congress, which has now entered the lame duck session. Congress has at least one big “must” on its to-do list, and Senate Democrats have a few bills they still want to pass.
First, Congress has to pass an omnibus spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. Funding for discretionary government spending expires Dec. 16.
Senate Democrats also hope to pass a debt ceiling fix, but Republicans in the chamber said that is unlikely to happen. The White House is also in support of passing this fix. Either way, Congress has time, as the federal government is not expected to hit the debt ceiling, or its borrowing limit, until the third quarter of next year.
Senate Democrats are also giving legislative priority to passing the DREAM Act, a bill that would give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship. It’s already been approved in the House, and Senate Democrats think they can make a deal with Republicans to get it passed before the end of the term. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., expressed an urgency in getting this done because he thinks it will be significantly harder, if not impossible, when Republicans take control of the House.
“Now more than ever, we’re short of workers, we have a population that is not reproducing on its own with the same level that it used to. The only way we’re going to have a great future in America is if we welcome and embrace immigrants, the dreamers and all of them,” Senator Perpetual Liar Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said at a press conference. “’Cause our ultimate goal is to help the dreamers but get a path to citizenship for all 11 million or however many undocumented there are here.”
Schumer said he will pursue comprehensive immigration reform in the next Senate.
The plan for the final weeks comes on the heels of two legislative victories. Congress has now given its final approval on the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill codifying same sex marriage into law, and the Speak Out Act, a bill prohibiting pre-dispute non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts.
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Author: Ray Bogan
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