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It might well be a lame-duck session, but Congress has much to do

December 4, 2018

WASHINGTON D.C. - Nebraska Congressmen believe there is much to do and little to do it as a lame-duck Congress wraps up its work.

Budget work remains to be done, according to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, though appropriations for Defense Department, Nation Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services have been completed.

“But there are larger chunks of the government still unfunded for 2019 and I suspect that will be finished,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Fortenberry says the sticking point might be President Trump’s insistence that money be allocated to expect the border wall between the United States and Mexico. Democrats have resisted the idea, while Trump has pushed for it.

Congressman Adrian Smith, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, wants some tax issues addressed.

“There’s some tax provisions that I’m hoping we can address, like the bio-diesel tax credit,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network, adding that he has a measure which would keep grants received by electric cooperatives from affecting the coops tax status.

TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, expires at the end of the year. Smith would like to see his proposal to add work requirements to TANF passed before it is reauthorized.

Congressman Don Bacon, a member of the Agriculture Committee, wants Congress to pass the compromise reached on the Farm Bill. He also wants money allocated to border security, including extending the wall along the southern border.

Nebraska’s Republican Congressmen, though, could run into unmotivated Democrats, according to Bacon.

“But I think there is a lack of incentive for many to not want to compromise, because they get to have the gavel and they’ll have the majority starting January 3rd.”

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