Less than two weeks into the new year, and Congress already has an incredibly full plate. Both the House and Senate return to work this week (the Senate has officially been back since last week), and will need to immediately dig in their massive to-do lists, not least of which include finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations legislation, preparing for the FY 2019 budget, and tackling the soon-to-expire 2014 Farm Bill.
Below we breakdown what’s on Congress’s immediate 2018 to-do list, and identify what’s a stake and dependent on congressional action in the year ahead.
Appropriations, Spending Caps, and the Debt Ceiling
The end of FY 2017 was officially on September 30, 2017. For the last several months, Congress has been unable to agree on new spending levels for FY 2018, and so has been forced to pass a series of Continuing Resolutions (CR) (the most recent of which came in at the end of the 2017) in order to keep the government and essential programs running. All the CRs do, however, is prolong FY 2017 spending levels. Congress therefore has a whole lot to do in the weeks ahead to if they hope to finally set new spending levels for FY 2018.
Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, January 9, 2018.