Biden senior adviser says lame-duck priorities include funding for government, Ukraine, natural disasters

Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Biden, said on Sunday that funding the government, aiding Ukraine and natural disaster relief are the administration’s top priorities during the lame-duck session of Congress over the next two months.

“We have to keep the government open and funded. That is obviously priority number one then, and it’s going to take a little while still for lame-duck priorities to really be set,” Dunn told CBS’s “Face The Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, noting the unexpected wait on which political party will control the House chamber.

“Given the uncertainty about the outcomes of the election still. You know, last Sunday when you were sitting in your chair and you had guests on, I don’t think anybody would have predicted that we would still not know who would control the United States House of Representatives the following Sunday,” Dunn added.

Dunn also said that the administration will focus on policies on sending additional aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and emergency funding for natural disasters, noting the recent Hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico.

“But other lame-duck priorities will certainly include additional funding for Ukraine, which has been and the president has said he hopes will continue to be a bipartisan issue in the United States Congress,” Dunn said. “You know, obviously, emergency funding for the natural disasters that Florida and Puerto Rico suffered earlier this year and additional priorities for the administration as well. But keep the government open and running is the number one priority.”

Democrats bucked historical trends by keeping their Senate majority by one seat despite the president’s political party often performing poorly in midterm elections.

Dunn also told Brennan that Biden wants to see Roe v. Wade be codified.

“So, the president has been very clear. He believes Congress needs to codify Roe v. Wade so that it is the national law of the land. And we do not have states that have, in effect, prohibited abortion totally. And at this point, there are significant number of states that have no — everything short of outright prohibitions on abortion,” Dunn said.

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