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Congress back to work as chance for partial government shutdown looms

Congress is back to work following the holiday break, with a long and complicated January agenda.
Congress back to work as chance for partial government shutdown looms
Posted at 1:44 PM, Jan 02, 2024

With the holidays over, it's back to work for millions of Americans. 

If you are dreading the return, imagine being a member of Congress, with a January to-do list that is long and complicated.

The most urgent priority is the possibility of a partial government shutdown on Jan. 19 — emphasis on partial. That's because some government agencies and programs don't expire until Feb. 2, while others are up on Jan. 19.

Potential programs impacted include low-income assistance programs at the FDA, some Department of Agriculture programs impacting farmers, and potentially some veterans services.

Active duty members of the military aren't impacted until Feb. 2, which is when the Department of Defense funding expires.

And it's not just a funding fight Congress is dealing with. The same debate from early December is back this month: what to do about Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and the southern border. 

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson will be in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday to highlight ongoing issues at the southern border. Republicans would like to see substantive policy changes at the border in exchange for funding the Ukraine war.

If January wasn't busy enough, the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary are on Jan. 15 and Jan. 23, respectively. 

Presidential politics has a way of impacting Congress. For instance, if former President Donald Trump has convincing wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, suddenly, what he says about the border and Ukraine on the campaign trail will have the potential to impact high-stakes negotiations in Washington.

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