Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | June 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

As summer begins, Congress finds itself – like many Americans – grappling with overlapping crises and historic events. A global pandemic still rages, the U.S. economy has been devastated, and hundreds of communities across America have seen protests and demonstrations in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

House Democrats are coalescing around a broad package of police reform legislation to be introduced next week, and while many of their proposals are unlikely to be embraced by congressional Republicans, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has signaled a willingness to work on a bipartisan response.

In May, the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus recovery package that was shrugged off by the Senate and received a White House veto threat. Further action is still likely, but not without fights over state and local aid, expanded unemployment assistance, liability protection for businesses, among many other issues.

Meanwhile, the show must go on when it comes to appropriations. With the annual timeline of hearings, mark-ups and passage delayed by the coronavirus slowdown, the House has now set an ambitious schedule that envisions committee mark-ups and floor consideration of funding bills through the month of July. The Senate has not shared its plans, but we’re likely looking at yet another continuing resolution before the new fiscal year begins on October 1.

And lest we forget, there’s an election coming. In this month’s newsletter, Non-Resident Senior Fellow Susan Sullivan Lagon discusses the challenges posed by holding national elections in the midst of a pandemic and walks through the state of play on voting by mail – from state efforts to partisan concerns to recent court rulings.

Finally, at GAI we continue to build our virtual training capacity. In addition to our upcoming online Advanced Budget and Appropriations Process and Advanced Legislative Process classes, we will be offering an online version of our Congressional Operations Seminar from July 20-23. We would also love to work with you to tailor virtual short courses like the Congressional Update  and Understanding and Working With Congress

Our best wishes to you all,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: 116th Congress, Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates