After a three-week break for the holidays, Congress returns to DC next week with the first of two government shutdown dates quickly approaching – January 18.  The first date is for some of the smaller departments such as the VA, Housing, Transportation, etc.  The big departments such as the Departments of Defense and of Health and Human Services (HHS) have a deadline of February 2.

On top of the budget deadlines, Congress will try to get the Supplemental Spending Bill for Ukraine, Israel and the Southern Border passed. All in all, this creates a daunting schedule for a sharply divided Congress in an election year.

Adding to uncertainty in DC is a renewed commitment by House Republicans to fight for tougher action on the Southern border.  In a well-publicized trip, a group of 60 Republican House members led by Speaker Mike Johnson went to the Southern border this week to see firsthand the chaos that is occurring.  In fact, as the delegation was holding a press briefing, a family of five walked across the Rio Grande River within camera range of the briefing. (Border Patrol agents promptly detained the five.)

While the White House and a bipartisan Senate group have been negotiating for weeks on a border package to add to the Supplemental Spending Bill...

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