Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | September 8, 2020

Dear Friends,

How did that happen? It’s suddenly September, and summer is receding into the rearview as we gear up for an unpredictable fall. I hope all of you were able to grab small moments of fun, family, relaxation, and whatever else you need to meet the challenges to come. I hope members of Congress were too, because they have a serious to-do list waiting for them.

The Senate returns today, and Leader McConnell will try to pass a so-called “skinny” coronavirus relief package as early as this week, though it is unlikely to advance. The full House is not in session this week, but committees will be at work, with a host of hearings and mark-ups scheduled. Meanwhile, discussions between White House negotiators and Democratic leaders on additional stimulus measures, largely dormant for much of August, will continue – with mixed opinions on the likely outcome.

Lest anyone forget, the fiscal year ends on September 30, and although a Continuing Resolution is a near certainty, it’s unclear whether it will last through the November elections, into 2021, or somewhere in between. The FY21 National Defense Authorization Act has been passed by both chambers and is currently in conference negotiations, which are expected to wrap up during the post-election lame duck session.

There is also an effort to revive policing reform legislation in the House, with some members eyeing one more opportunity for progress in the waning days of the fall session. In this month’s newsletter, GAI Senior Fellow Laura Blessing offers a deep and thoughtful look at the history behind the current movement, and some of the factors critical to understanding its challenges and chances for success.

At GAI, we are excited to be expanding our virtual offerings, and we continue to fill our calendar with training opportunities. Don’t see what you need? Let us know how we can tailor a program for your agency or organization. We wish everyone a safe and healthy fall and look forward to seeing you soon.

All the best,




Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates