Congress Returns to Washington for Lame Duck Session
Congress has returned to Washington this week after spending a month away from Capitol Hill campaigning for the recent elections. The lame duck session consists of roughly four weeks before the end of the 115th Congress and the Democrats take over control of the House of Representatives in January. During this time, Congress is expected to pass the seven remaining appropriations bills or a continuing resolutions to prevent a partial government shutdown, and could include an emergency relief package in response to Hurricane Michael's impact in the Southeast and fires in the West. Funding for the EPA in Fiscal Year 2019 has yet to pass, and is expected to continue to direct the EPA to consider biomass a carbon neutral energy source. Farm Bill negotiations continue to take place between the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, with additional work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility continuing to be a sticking point. Agriculture Committee staff has said that language of the Timber Innovation Act is still intact in the bill.
In addition to the legislative items that Congress must work on in the remaining days of this Congress, Democratic and Republican Members are vying for committee and leadership positions in the House and Senate for the next Congress. SLMA's farm bill consultants at Michael Torrey Associates shared a presentation analyzing the election outcomes, available here.