GOP leaders load up lame-duck agenda.
With the contentious midterm elections behind them, Republican lawmakers are working through a packed agenda for the lame-duck session while Congress remains under GOP control.
Top priorities for Republicans include spending legislation, a package of tax extenders and corrections to the tax law, criminal justice reform, and an immigration deal. Senate Republicans also want to confirm as many executive and judicial branch nominees as possible.
A potential compromise on immigration is certainly possible, should President Trump and GOP lawmakers be willing to provide protections for so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for border wall funding. Trump announced last year that he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. The courts have temporarily blocked the administration from rescinding the Obama-era DACA program, but congressional Democrats are anxious to secure a permanent solution for DACA.
The wall factors into ongoing debates over federal agency funding. The president signed a government spending bill in late September that fully funds the Defense Department as well as the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education through fiscal 2019. The package includes a continuing resolution for the remaining government funding bills that Congress failed to agree on, including for the Department of Homeland Security, which would have jurisdiction over any border wall.
As for corrections to last year’s tax law, ASAE and the UBIT Coalition have been pushing for repeal of an unrelated business income tax that nonprofit employers must pay on parking and transportation benefits they provide to employees.
Chris Vest, CAE, is director of public policy at ASAE. Email: [email protected]