After several days of will they or won’t they, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives elected a new Speaker and began the process of organizing the lower chamber in this 118th Congress. The question now is, what next? Most expect an initial period of relative quiet in January before the storm of hearings, investigations and accusations begin by the spring.
The Senate will spend much of its time moving Biden administration nominations, but what to expect from the House? Fights over federal spending will dominate much of 2023 as a handful of conservative Republicans are insisting on possible cuts to defense spending as part of an overall effort to reduce the federal deficit during the debt-ceiling fight. The Senate will not agree to the $100 billion or more in social-program spending reductions sought by some, and defense hawks will raise objections as well. However, the deal put in motion this past week will have broad ramifications in September and October when both the federal government likely reaches its debt borrowing limit and the fiscal year ends as a government shutdown looms.
When the self-imposed crisis begins later this summer and fall, remember this fateful week.