With Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, now leading a more conservatively focused majority in the House of Representatives very little is getting done in Congress.
In the past few days, the House failed to take up supplemental funding for Ukraine and Israel, did not address funding issues (except Defense) for the federal government with Continuing Resolution (CR) deadlines of January 19 and February 2, or take up a lot of pending legislation, some of which had already passed in the Senate.
As we all know, however, the House did pass an impeachment investigation against President Biden, which has as its premise looking for impeachable offenses.
All of this behavior, which has divided the House on a partisan basis, divided it from the somewhat more bi-partisan Senate, and divided it even more so from the Biden Administration, means that 2024 will be extremely polarized in Congress, as the nation starts following the presidential nomination process only a month away in Iowa.
It could mean that nothing gets done at all to keep the national government running.
In a call this week, national park advocates discussed what could happen when Interior Department funding ends with the CR funding deadline on February 2. Among the possibilities are a government shutdown, changing the expiration date of the CR, or doing an a full year CR, which will generate a 9% cut. The latter scenario would see staff and program cuts at U.S. national parks, as well as virtually no extra staffing during peak summer travel times. All of this would impact inbound operators who package national parks.
There will be a much clearer understanding of what has happened on Capitol Hill when IITA meets in February in Memphis and what the IITA agenda should be for Destination Capitol Hill this spring.
Article by Steve Richer, DC Correspondent