Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | October 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to know where to begin these days. The relentless pace of news leaves little room to process any one development, and it can be difficult to track what’s happening on Capitol Hill – or anywhere else for that matter.

One thing we do know is the threat of a government shutdown is off the table for a while. President Trump has signed a Continuing Resolution through December 11, providing some breathing room but setting up another pre-holiday appropriations scramble. Much less certain is the fate of additional pandemic-related assistance. Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin had ramped up negotiations in recent days, though they remained far apart on significant issues. Last night, however, President Trump tweeted that he was ending negotiations on an aid package, but later appeared interested in additional targeted measures. It remains to be seen whether any legislation will have either the time or support to move this month.

It does seem clear that Leader McConnell will find a way to proceed with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, despite some procedural uncertainty driven by recent positive Covid tests for several Republican Senators. Last week, Senior Fellow Josh Huder wrote about the norms and precedents entwined in the confirmation process – and the difference between the two. And in today’s newsletter, Non-Resident Senior Fellow Susan Sullivan Lagon looks at the potential policy implications of the Barrett nomination and proposals for reform of the Court.

At GAI, we have scheduled a wide variety of online courses through the first half of 2021, so be sure to check the calendar. If you don’t find what you need, please let me know how we can help put together the right training for your organization.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates