U.S. lawmakers are planning to unveil a sprawling spending package next week, and measures addressing retirement savings and preventing another Jan. 6 insurrection are expected to hitch rides along with it.
The so-called omnibus spending bill could be unveiled as soon as Monday, and would finance government agencies’ day-to-day operations through Sept. 30.
Comments from analysts and lawmakers suggest the following measures are among those that may be included with the bigger bill:
- “Secure 2.0”: Under this retirement measure, as MarketWatch’s Jessica Hall has written, experts are hoping to see changes to retirement rules such as an increase in the required minimum distribution age to age 75, and automatic enrollment of new workers into a retirement plan with the option to opt out.
From the archives (March 30, 2022): The Secure Act 2.0 may be coming — Americans’ retirement security is top of mind for Congress this year, experts say
- Under the Electoral Count Act, a U.S. vice president’s role in certifying a presidential election would be clarified. As the Hill reported, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said this week he expects the omnibus will include this measure. The language, as the Hill explained, is intended to resolve any ambiguity about whether the vice president can overturn the vote of the Electoral College. That’s something former President Donald Trump claimed was possible around the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The bill makes clear that the vice president’s role is simply ministerial.
- Ukraine aid: The omnibus is expected to include President Joe Biden’s request for an extra $37 billion in aid to Ukraine as the country defends itself against the Russian invasion. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who’s aiming to become House speaker in the next Congress, has said his party won’t support a “blank check” to Ukraine.
Schumer is also making a final push for inclusion of a cannabis banking bill in the omnibus — but analysts see lower odds for that measure.
“We are … lowering our odds of SAFE Banking+ passage from 25-30% to 15-20%, given the current divide of Senate Republicans and Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s indication that Republicans would continue to oppose the inclusion of cannabis reform in ‘our subsequent conversations about government funding,’” wrote Benjamin Salisbury, director of research at Height Capital Markets, in a note on Friday.
The bill aims to protect financial institutions KBE, -0.90% that work with the marijuana industry MSOS, +7.82% MJ, +0.31%, with the “Plus” in the title referring to its expected inclusion of criminal-justice reform provisions.