Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | February 2, 2022

Dear Friends:

It’s Groundhog Day, so I suppose it’s not surprising that a lot of what’s happening on the Hill feels pretty familiar. Will there finally be an agreement on funding the government for the fiscal year that began over four months ago? Can the Build Back Better agenda – or some piece of it – be revived? Will the House and Senate find a path forward on the long-stalled China competition package? Is there a chance of passing some election reform legislation after all?

But, as always in Congress, a few curveballs have been thrown as well. The biggest, certainly, was Supreme Court Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement, which kicked off a nomination and confirmation process that will require a lot of Senate time and attention. Sharply increasing concern over Russia’s intentions with regard to Ukraine have prompted a flurry of activity on sanctions legislation. And though thankfully he is expected to make a full recovery, the news that Sen. Ben Ray Lujan suffered a stroke this week has sent shockwaves through the Senate.

In this month’s newsletter, Senior Fellow Josh Huder takes on another of Capitol Hill’s “Groundhog Day” issues: the filibuster. Josh walks us through the history of the Senate filibuster, looks at recent attempts to further dilute it, and predicts what they could mean for a future Senate. It’s a great analysis that goes beyond what you’ve probably read in the news.

Earlier this week, Senior Fellow Laura Blessing joined the Marketplace Morning Report to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda (read: logjam). And keep an eye out later this week for a new edition of our Congress, Two Beers In podcast focused on the upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Finally, we are eager to share more virtual training opportunities with you, including upcoming classes on Congressional Operations, Communicating With Congress, Legislative Procedure, and Budget and Appropriations. As always, we can tailor any of our classes especially for your team.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates