By Ashley Killough and Ted Barrett
December 10, 2018
As Congress faces a December 21 deadline to avert a partial government shutdown, it must also clear a stack of other must-pass bills that affect millions of people and major sections of the economy.
The lame-duck session is winnowing down with the holidays quickly approaching and the next session of Congress kicking off January 3, leaving little time to break through legislative standoffs that have bogged down progress on key issues for months.
Also at play are end-of-session dynamics such as retiring lawmakers who have little appetite for congressional fights or Democrats who see a better path to success for major issues once their party takes over the House next year.