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The Congressional Workload and Deadlines of 2019

(Larry Downing/Reuters)

In today’s Morning Jolt, I wrote about how the U.S. Senate will need to take time early in the year for confirmation hearings and votes for a new attorney general, a new secretary of defense, a new secretary of the interior, a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and a new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

There are about 30 judges awaiting confirmation votes from the Senate. About 17 nominees for various Department of Transportation positions, including the administrators for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Transit Administration, two assistant secretaries, three members of the Amtrak Board of Directors, and two members of the National Transportation Safety Board, are waiting for a confirmation vote.

About 45 nominees to be U.S. ambassadors are also waiting for a confirmation vote, including potential ambassadors to Iraq, Ireland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, and Yemen.

Also waiting for a Senate vote are the nominees to be director of the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Marshals Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and inspector generals for the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, HUD; director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and White House director of National Drug Control Policy. Almost 200 Trump nominees throughout the executive branch are still waiting for a vote, or in some cases, a hearing.

(Remember, we are now roughly two years into Trump’s first term.)

The debt ceiling will be reinstated on March 2, 2019; Congress will need to raise it before the summer to avoid the Treasury Department enacting “extraordinary measures” to finance government operations.

The Violence Against Women Act expired December 18; legislative language to reauthorize it was in the various spending bills that failed to pass before the shutdown.

And this is after they work out a deal to reopen the government!

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