Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | September 7, 2022

Dear Friends:

I hope you all had a wonderful summer. It’s now September of an even-numbered year, and Hill observers know what that means: the race is on for Congress to dispose of its most pressing business and release members for a final burst of campaigning before November 8.

At the top of the must-do list is a Continuing Resolution to buy more time for appropriators to work on FY2023 funding. The stopgap bill is likely to run through December 16, but we don’t yet know what else might hitch a ride on the funding train. While Democratic leaders have floated attaching a same-sex marriage bill, that proposal has run into headwinds on both sides of the aisle. The Biden Administration is also hoping to see emergency funding included for priorities like Ukraine aid, monkeypox vaccines and additional Covid aid. And Senator Joe Manchin is insisting on attaching permitting reforms that he was promised during negotiations over the Inflation Reduction Act.

Action will also be required on a key Food and Drug Administration user fee program that expires at the end of this month, but significant differences remain between the House and Senate approaches to reauthorization. Other big ticket items, including the National Defense Authorization Act, a big tech antitrust bill, and legislation capping insulin costs may have to wait for a post-election lame duck session.

We at GAI are big believers in ensuring Congress has the resources it needs to effectively execute its responsibilities, from serving local constituents to overseeing federal agencies and programs. On that note, I want to highlight a resolution introduced yesterday by the House Select Committee on Modernization that includes dozens of recommendations to boost congressional capacity. The Modernization Committee has done important and valuable work to identify areas in need of reform and recommend improvements in staffing, training, budgeting, technology, accessibility and more.

Speaking of congressional capacity, this month Senior Fellow Matt Glassman shares an excellent piece on President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan, what it means for Congress, and why that should be cause for concern – regardless of your views on the policy itself. With that, and in the “back to school” spirit, I invite you to check out our upcoming classes, join us at a training this fall, or let me know how we can help create a tailored class just for your team.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates