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The 118th Congress is now OFFICIALLY underway now that a Speaker has been selected. Today, they will attempt to finalize and pass the Rules of the House, and later this month they will finalize committee and caucus assignments.

While it is clear that the House and the Senate will both pass a lot of bills that will inevitably die in the other chamber, what remains to be seen is exactly what bills can they complete that can get all the way to becoming law. There are about 14 must pass bills each year - the 12 appropriations bills which fund most of government, the National Defense Authorization Act and this year, the raising of the debt limit. The fights regarding overall funding levels are already getting started with some members of the Republican majority actually calling for a reduction in defense spending. This will of course have implications for Ukraine, but also for defense spending overall. Given the Senate and the Administration will likely support continuing funding for Ukraine, it will remain to be seen just how long it will take to reach an agreement.

Overall, the AM Coalition anticipates that we will be able to finalize the appropriations bills that cover DOD, DOE and Commerce, as well as the NDAA, but it won't be a quick process.

Amber Thomas


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