01 Feb February 2023 Outlook
| Lawmakers returned to Washington this week and will officially kick off the work of the 118th Congress after nearly a month spent in an organizational period. With committee rosters and subcommittee assignments nearly official, we are looking forward to some semblance of normalcy over the coming weeks. That said, given the delayed start in committee operations, as well as a limited calendar, February will still be a relatively light month in terms of overall legislative activity as lawmakers continue to staff up and craft agendas.
The House in particular will be working off a very limited legislative window – in town for just six days in the first half of February, as well as on the 27th and 28th. The Senate will be in Washington for most of the month, except for the week of February 20th for the President’s Day recess. Meanwhile, the President will deliver his 2nd State of the Union Address on February 7th. We do not anticipate any major surprises – Biden will tout his accomplishments (Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law); touch on pressing issues like the economy and the debt ceiling; call for action on more controversial issues like gun policy and police reform; and reiterate his key agenda items (climate change, consumer protection, racial equity), despite a clear understanding that Congress will largely remain in a stalemate for the foreseeable future on most of these items.