On September 30, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government through December 16, avoiding a government shutdown that both sides were eager to prevent heading into midterm elections. As neither the House nor the Senate are expected to return for legislative business prior to November 8 , the full-year government funding bill will have to wait. Should Republicans take the House, they will likely want to push a full-year funding bill to the new Congressional session – while Democrats will be equally eager to get something passed during the lame duck. The other major outstanding piece of legislation for this session is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House passed its version in July and the Senate is expected to vote on final passage after the election.
Until then, the House and Senate are in full-blown campaign mode.
House Republicans continue to preview their 2023 agenda: the “Commitment to America,” which focuses on four core pillars: the economy, safety, individual freedom, and government accountability. If Republicans win the majority in the House, businesses with interests in China should be prepared for increased scrutiny, as the House GOP looks to move supply chains away from China and transform its China Task Force into an official Congressional select committee. There is already bipartisan support in the Senate for legislation that will screen U.S. investments in China – although whether Congress can pass legislation on this topic before the end of the year remains to be seen.
Also at stake in November – party control over drafting several large-scale reauthorization bills that could have major policy implications, such as the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a multi-year omnibus spending and policy package that governs agricultural and food bills, but can have widespread effects on other industries as well. For example, a change in the 2018 bill legalized the regulated production of hemp, a major victory for the industry. The 2018 bill expires in September 2023, and should Democrats keep the House – a scenario most pundits agree is unlikely – current House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA) tweeted he is “committed to addressing the issue of cannabis in our next Farm Bill.” Meanwhile, should Republicans take control, the bill will likely not be as broad sweeping as Democrats would prefer, with some senior GOP m embers stating they will limit any additional climate provisions in the bill.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to make abortion rights a heavy part of their campaign strategy in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. According to Politico, Democrats have spent three times as much on abortion ads in this cycle compared to the 2018 general election.
Notable Developments this Week
- Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) officially resigned from Congress, leaving Democrats with a three-vote margin for the rest of this session. Former Florida state Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D) is running against entrepreneur Joe Budd (R) to succeed Deutch.
- After the AP published an article alleging that GOP Ohio House candidate J.R. Majewski misrepresented his military service, the National Republican Congressional Committee cut an almost $1 million ad buy for the candidate. Majewski is challenging incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH ) in a competitive race.
2022 Midterms: By the Numbers
In the Senate
This week, the Cook Political report updated their rating for the Pennsylvania Senate race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss-Up” and the Arizona Senate race from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Democrat.”
Democrats are now favored in 12 of the races and Republicans are favored in 19, with three races considered toss-ups. However, only 14 Democrat-controlled seats are up for election, compared to Republicans’ 21 seats (this is due to the six year terms of Senators; in 2020, Democrats had to defend more seats than Republicans). Republicans will need to flip a Democrat-held seat and maintain all of their current seats in order to gain the majority.
Of the 35 races:
- 9 are classified as “Solid Democrat”
- 3 are “Lean Democrat”
- 4 are “Toss-Up”
- 3 are “Lean Republican”
- 1 is “Likely Republican”
- 15 are “Solid Republican”
In the House
Democrats are favored in 192 of the races and Republicans are favored in 212, with 31 races considered toss-ups. This means Democrats will have to win the majority of the toss-up races to secure the 218 seats needed to hold the majority.
Of the 435 races:
- 162 are classified as “Solid Democrat”
- 13 are “Likely Democrat”
- 18 are “Lean Democrat”
- 30 are “Toss-Up”
- 11 are “Lean Republican”
- 13 are “Likely Republican”
- 188 are “Solid Republican”
The Cook Political Report – a nonpartisan organization that analyzes elections and campaigns – scores races on a variety of factors as Solid Republican, Likely Republican, Lean Republican, Toss-Up, Lean Democrat, Likely Democrat, and Solid Democrat. “Likely” races are those “seats are not considered competitive at this point, but have the potential to become engaged,” while “Lean” races are “considered competitive races, but one party has an advantage.”