What's on the agenda for Congress in 2018? - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

What's on the agenda for Congress in 2018?

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WSIL -- It's the question everyone wants to know. What's on the agenda when lawmakers return to Washington in January? 

Both sides feel a sense of momentum.

Republicans just got their big tax bill signed into law and Democrats picked up a major victory in the Alabama U.S. Senate race.

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, R-12th District, said he'd like to pass an actual budget instead of continuing resolutions to keep the government running.

"The House actually over 100 days ago passed our 12 budget bills to the Senate," Bost said. "And I keep harping on that, but the Senate has done nothing on those 12 budget bills." 

He said it's also a matter of national security.

"We're in really rough shape right now as far as where we're at in this world and what we're facing and our force and readiness," said Bost. 

But Republicans will control the U.S. Senate in 2018 by an even slimmer margin than they do now, meaning any big budget bills could face a tougher climb.

But President Donald Trump said there's one area everyone should agree on: repairing the nation's bridges, roads and railways. 

"Infrastructure is by far the easiest. People want it, Republicans and Democrats. We're going to have tremendous Democrat support with infrastructure," said Trump.

But Democrats said the president's proposal of $200 billion is not nearly enough.

Bost said one thing he hopes both sides can agree on is the farm bill.

He said one component in particular is important for southern Illinois farmers.

"The most important thing for our agriculture is crop insurance," said Bost. " There's several people both on the right and left that don't understand crop insurance and would pull that rug out from underneath our industry."

Speaker Paul Ryan said he wants to focus on entitlement reform, which could potentially include cuts to food stamps and Medicare.

Any changes to those programs would impact more than two million Illinosians.
 

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