CAPITOL HILL - The U.S. Congress is reconvening after elections that radically altered both Republican and Democratic lawmakers' assumptions about the balance of power in Washington next year and could have an immediate impact on efforts to keep the U.S. government funded over the coming months.
Republicans saw their majorities trimmed in both houses of Congress but will control the White House beginning in January when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office.
Before the election, many Republican lawmakers envisioned working with Democrats on a longer-term bill to fund the government beyond December 9, when federal spending authority expires.
But prospects for a year-long bill dimmed with Trump's victory. Many Republicans now favor a stop-gap bill, or continuing resolution, to fund the government through February or possibly March, and then forge another spending bill with the input of the new administration.
"We ought to find some way to fund the government until we can come up with a larger deal that would be signed by the next president," said Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, adding that he hoped the "larger deal" would include a long list of priorities Republicans have been unable to enact with a Democrat in the White House.
"We have a tremendous opportunity," Cramer said. "I want to get to the bigger things. I want to get to dealing with Obamacare and dealing with national security and immigration and taxes."
The Senate gets back to work later Tuesday. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that extending federal funding is a priority for the post-election period, also known as the "lame duck session" of Congress.
Minority Democrats will be able to block some but not all Republican initiatives in the Senate with a procedural maneuver known as the filibuster.
Katherine Gypson contributed to this report.