With the election fast approaching, we are looking ahead to the lame duck session of Congress that follows. The biggest issue facing Congress will be the December 9 deadline to find a budget solution for the rest of the fiscal year 2017. We are unsure how Congress will proceed given the tumult of the upcoming election.
One issue Congress will be looking to finalize before the session ends is the 21st Century Cures bill passed by the House this summer. This bill, which would help accelerate the development of cures for serious diseases, is in the hands of the Senate. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) is looking to make it a priority in the upcoming session and hopes it is passed by the end of December.
Another issue to look at is the ongoing negotiations in the Energy Conference. At the moment, negotiations are going well, with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) looking to bridge some gaps between Democrats and Republicans. The bill is the result of years of work and would be the first major energy legislation in nearly a decade. It would modernize our energy system, update our energy infrastructure and protect against attacks on our power grids. This legislation may impact NFDA members because if it does get cleared in this session of Congress, the Senate Energy and Congress Committee could potentially have more time to spend on other matters extremely relevant to the issues members face every day, including the FTC funeral rule. The committee is pushing to finish this legislation before this session of Congress ends; expect negotiations to heat up as soon as Congress comes back into session after the November election.