08 Jun May Outlook 2022
Following a relatively quiet April by DC’s standards, Congress is gearing up for a jam-packed May. The Senate will remain in Washington for a four-week stretch before the Memorial Day recess, while the House will return next week with just 11 session days on the docket for the
month. Meanwhile, midterm election season will really kick off, with a series of primaries occurring over the next few weeks. With Democrats’ control of both chambers at risk, lawmakers are rushing to pass bills that they can run on in November, and Democratic Senators
are working to confirm President Biden’s nominees while their fragile majority holds.
One of the major issues Congress will look to tackle this month is a pandemic aid measure to provide the Administration with $10 billion of previously unspent COVID-19 funds to prepare for potential future variants (think additional Covid tests, vaccines, and PPE). The measure hit a roadblock late last month following a divide over tying it to lifting Title 42 – a Trump-era immigration policy that allows the government to deny entry at the border using a public emergency health order. We can expect the Biden Administration to renew its push for these additional funds as Congressional inaction is already taking its toll across the country. Another area of contention is more aid for Ukraine. Before Congress left town last week, President Biden requested $33 billion in additional aid, which was followed by a visit to Kyiv led by Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and members from her caucus. We expect the measure will receive bipartisan approval from Congress once the House returns and if pursued through a stand-alone vote. Challenges could ensue if lawmakers attempt to link the measure to pandemic relief funding or the reversal of the Title 42 policy.