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Congress has historically unproductive year: Will 2024 be better?

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Congress concluded a notably unproductive year, having passed only 27 bills into law, the lowest in modern times. As they adjourn for the year, a significant backlog awaits their return in January, including critical deadlines and international aid requests.

The Democrats and Republicans are each blaming the other for the stagnation, with the Democrats criticizing the House GOP majority and the Republicans pointing fingers at the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The upcoming session in January is set to be a frenzy of legislative activity. Congress faces immediate challenges such as preventing a partial government shutdown by January 19, reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, and passing a new farm bill that encompasses vital programs like SNAP.

Additionally, there is mounting pressure to approve substantial aid packages for Israel and Ukraine, which are currently stalled due to negotiations over border policy. Political analysts, like Peter Loge of The George Washington University, predict a continued slow pace in the new year, influenced by the differing political motivations in the House and Senate, especially in light of the upcoming November elections.

Both chambers of Congress are not scheduled to reconvene until the second week of January, adding to the urgency of their pending tasks.