Congress returns, focusing on government funding and border security

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By Carina

As Congress returns to session, it faces a high-stakes week marked by critical issues of government funding and border security. 

These two politically sensitive matters hold significant implications and challenges for lawmakers.

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Congressional leaders reach spending deal as government shutdown looms

Congressional leaders have announced a deal on top-line spending numbers, reducing the likelihood of a government shutdown as the Jan.19 funding deadline approaches. 

While this deal provides some relief, several hurdles remain on the path to securing government funding, including the stance of some House conservatives who are demanding substantive border security policies as a condition.

Read More: Michigan GOP divided over vote to oust state GOP Chairwoman Karamo

Progress made in Senate on long-awaited border security deal

Simultaneously, Senate negotiators are making progress on a long-awaited border security deal. Sen. James Lankford, the lead GOP negotiator, has indicated that text for a border security agreement could be released this week. 

This development follows months of bipartisan negotiations in the Senate.

A successful border security deal would have broader implications, including unlocking aid to Ukraine, which has been held up by some Republicans pending action on southern border legislation. 

Impeachment hearing for Secretary Mayorkas amid border security concerns

The issue of border security has also become intertwined with government funding discussions, making the legislative landscape more complex.

This week, the House Homeland Security Committee is set to hold its first impeachment hearing for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

The hearing, titled “Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas’ Failed Leadership Has Impacted the States,” marks a significant step in efforts to address concerns about the situation at the southern border. 

Also Read: Michigan GOP divided over vote to oust state GOP Chairwoman Karamo

House GOP criticizes Mayorkas, plan contempt resolution for Hunter Biden

House Republicans have been critical of Mayorkas’s leadership, alleging a “dereliction of duty.”

Additionally, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the House Judiciary Committee plan to mark up a resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress. 

This move comes after Hunter Biden defied a congressional subpoena and did not appear for a deposition as part of the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Challenges remain in government funding and border security

The path forward for government funding and border security negotiations remains uncertain.

While a top-line spending deal has been reached, some House conservatives have voiced opposition, complicating the funding process. 

The interconnected nature of border security and government funding further adds to the complexity of the legislative landscape.

Speaker Mike Johnson’s role in a divided Washington

Speaker Mike Johnson’s role in deciding whether to put the Senate’s border security deal up for a vote in the House underscores the challenges of governing in a divided Washington. 

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The dynamics of a Democrat Senate, a Democrat White House, and a Republican House come into play, emphasizing the need for agreements to work effectively.

Pivotal week in Congress: Government funding, border security, oversight actions

This week in Congress is marked by pivotal decisions on government funding, border security, and oversight actions. 

The outcomes of these deliberations will have far-reaching consequences and shape the legislative agenda moving forward.

Read Next: Democrats assert that Biden is being underestimated

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