WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers have returned to Washington after their Thanksgiving break and have just three weeks to tackle a long list of priorities, including keeping the government funded.
Starting this week it’s a race against the clock, especially for Democrats who will no longer have control over both chambers of Congress next years.
It’s set to be a busy few weeks for lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Democrats are working to pass the Marriage Equality Act and a bill to clarify the electoral college process. Following back-to-back mass shootings, President Joe Biden is also calling for gun reforms.
On the Senate floor Monday, Senate Majority Leader Rep. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats and Republicans must pass a government funding bill before the Dec. 16 deadline.
“There’s a lot we must do before the end of the calendar year,” Schumer said. “The last thing we can afford right now is to turn government funding into another political tit for tat.”
Schumer also said they must pass the Marriage Equality Act, “because millions of Americans deserve equal justice under the law.”
Following a spree of mass shootings in the days before the Thanksgiving holiday, Biden is now also urging Congress to pass gun reform.
When asked if he can do anything about gun reform during the lame duck, Biden said “I’m going to try … to get rid of assault weapons.”
But on NBC’s Meet the Press, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., pushed back.
“Simply passing more bills isn’t going to solve the problem,” he said. “We need to invest in more law enforcement.”
While tackling gun reform remains an uphill battle, Democrats and Republicans largely agree on getting more funding to the U.S. Military, as well as getting more aid to Ukraine.
But Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said there needs to be more oversight of the $37 billion in new aid the president is requesting.
“When we give them what they need, they win,” McCaul said on ABC This Week. “We’re not going to write a blank check.”
McCaul is promising to ramp up that oversight once Republicans take control of House in January. The shift of power in the House could make the next few weeks interesting on Capitol Hill.
The federal government runs of out of funding on Dec. 16. Democrats and Republicans will have to broker several deals to avoid turmoil.