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Congress Grapples with Complex Year-End Agenda Amid Political and Economic Tensions

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Wojciech Zylm
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Congress Grapples with Complex Year-End Agenda Amid Political and Economic Tensions

As the year-end approaches, Congress is in a whirlwind sprint to tackle a complex set of issues that have significant implications for both domestic and international politics. At the top of the agenda is President Joe Biden's $106 billion request for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and U.S. border security. The fate of this package will likely dominate the discussions in the coming weeks and reflect on the country's commitment to its allies and its own security.

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Defense Policy and Cryptocurrency Regulations

Alongside the funding request, Congress must also decide on a significant defense policy bill and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. Given the rising concerns about national security and technological advancements, these decisions will shape the country's defense and aviation sectors for years to come. Adding another layer of complexity is the proposed legislation on the illicit use of cryptocurrency and investment regulations in China, both of which have far-reaching implications for the global financial system.

The Ethics of Power

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In the midst of these policy debates, Congress also faces ethical dilemmas. New York Republican Representative George Santos is under scrutiny following an Ethics Committee report alleging misuse of campaign funds and fraud. The question of his expulsion from the House, which requires a two-thirds vote, could further test House Speaker Mike Johnson's majority. On the other side of the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is considering a temporary Senate rules change to counteract Senator Tommy Tuberville's blockade of military nominations due to the Pentagon's abortion policy.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, the government funding fight will resume in January, with Republicans and Democrats already positioning themselves for the debate. This will likely be a continuation of the ongoing saga of political wrangling, bipartisan deals, and potential impact of year-long continuing resolutions. In the midst of these pressing matters, the House Oversight Committee has rejected Hunter Biden's offer to testify publicly in response to a subpoena, and a super PAC connected to Charles Koch is supporting Nikki Haley for the GOP nomination, positioning her against frontrunner Donald Trump.

On the economic front, two Federal Reserve officials have hinted at a potential pause in interest rate hikes. This news, coupled with the urge of U.S. auto dealers for the Biden administration to reconsider federal regulations on electric vehicles, will undoubtedly stir discussions on the economy and environment.

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