The lame Congress returns to Washington with a full agenda pending

But Congress must also pass more routine legislation in the coming months, which could consume enough time and energy to prevent Democrats from addressing other priorities in their final months in control of the House.

The most important task for legislators is to pass a spending bill – either an omnibus or a continuing resolution – to keep the government going. It would be the last such bill drafted in part by retired senators Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), both appropriation veterans.

President Biden has also requested nearly $40 billion in aid from Ukraine and $9 billion in covid funding. Aid to Ukraine is a priority for most lawmakers, but Republicans have opposed increased coronavirus financial aid and blocked it for months.


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