Congress is just about finished for the year with the Senate trying to confirm a group of 20 nominees for various Administration positions including some key Ambassadors to nations such as China and Japan. Majority Leader Schumer is trying to use the push to get home for Christmas as a wedge to get a handful of Republican Senators to stop filibustering each and every Biden nominee.

One positive note was that Congress did have two significant bipartisan accomplishments in the past few weeks. First, Senators Schumer and McConnell developed a plan to allow the debt ceiling to be passed and to do it in such a way that no Republicans voted for the increase. Democrats raised the ceiling by $2.5T which should be able to carry government financing into at least 1Q23 and avoid the drama of a government default during a midterm election year.

The second big bill passed was National Defense Act Authorization (NDAA) which passed the House and Senate on large bipartisan votes. The Senate vote was 88 to 11, and the House 363 to 70. The NO votes were largely cast by Democrats who thought the DoD budget should be cut, instead the bill totaled $770B which was $25B more than the Biden Administration had requested.

What is not getting accomplished on a bipartisan basis is passage of the B...

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