Long list of priorities for President Trump and Congress in 2018
There are frigid temperatures outside, but inside the walls of the U.S. Capitol, the heat is on, with an ambitious legislative agenda in the House and Senate.
The first order of business will be to pass a spending bill by Jan. 19 to prevent a government shutdown after the issue was delayed in 2017 to much criticism.
“No family would budget this way. No business would budget this way and the federal government should not budget this way,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, R-Wash.
President Donald Trump has been riding a wave of momentum after signing the new tax bill into law.
"We're going to have a great year. It's going to be a fantastic 2018,” the president said on New Year’s Eve.
The White House is planning to tackle some major issues, like this country’s aging infrastructure problems -- legislation which may get bipartisan support.
“Yes I’ll work with him on infrastructure if he’ll work with us,” said Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., in an interview on CNN.
Other priorities for Congress include action on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), more emergency relief for regions impacted by natural disasters and a March 5 deadline to fix DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“You have a million kids that have only know the United States of America. This should be a simple solution and something we are going to have to take care of,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Tx.
And many are still wondering what’s next when it comes to the future of healthcare in this country. Some are pushing to have the insurance markets stabilized, now that the Individual Mandate has been taken eliminated with the passage of the new tax bill. Others want Obamacare gone for good.
And that new tax law?
Many Democrats are now warning that its huge price tag means more cuts are coming.
“It’s going to make deep cuts in the things that matter to working families - higher education job training, Medicare social security,” said Rep. David Cicciline, D-R.I., in a Dec. 20 interview.
As far as taking action on these priorities, leaders from both parties are scheduled to sit down with White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday. President Trump is also planning to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), and House Speaker Paul Ryan at Camp David next weekend.