Message from Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard

January 4, 2021

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We have entered the new year and, with it, a flurry of Congressional activity.

Following the passage of H.R. 113, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act on December 27th (which included funding for the Postal Service), the House and Senate voted to override the Presidential veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that provides military funding. 

On December 28th, the House passed H.R. 9051, a bill which would increase the $600 direct payments provided in H.R. 113, to $2000. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate and brought forward by Senate Democrats for passage by unanimous consent. This was shot down by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell who then introduced a separate bill for the $2000, but attached unacceptable provisions (or poison pills) that all but ensure that the increased stimulus payments will not pass.

On January 4th, the 117th Congress will be sworn in. Democrats will control the House, and the fate of the Senate will be decided with the results of the January 5th Senate election in Georgia.  If the Democratic challengers win both seats the Senate will be a 50-50 split with Vice President Elect Kamala Harris acting as a tie breaker.

On January 6 at 1:00 the House and Senate will convene for a joint session to hold a constitutionally required meeting to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, 306 for Biden, 232 for President Donald Trump,  and in the process, formalize President Elect Joe Biden’s victory. Some Republicans are planning to go on the record to oppose the count. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are scheduled to be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States on January 20. 

In this new year we are encouraging our members to stay vigilant and hold their members of congress accountable.

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