And Congress is most skilled at blowing past important deadlines. Republicans didn't entirely disregard the normal fiscal year budgeting process of passing "budget" resolutions that lead to reconciliation bills - the procedure that allows a bill to avoid fillibuster in the Senate - until 2017.
But President Donald Trump and the GOP are looking to stay on offense after closing the year with their improbably speedy rewrite of the tax code.
The GOP is starting 2018 with a lofty legislative agenda. Here are ten of its top priorities this year.
Ryan is under increasing pressure from defense hawks on the House Armed Services Committee who reluctantly backed the current stopgap spending bill on assurances a deal is near to increase Pentagon spending. The negotiations look exceedingly hard, considering the range of charged issues - including measures to stabilize health insurance markets; provide a long-term immigration fix to protect "dreamers;" address pension shortfalls for miners, food service workers and others; supply emergency funding for last year's spate of natural disasters; and lift budget caps on Pentagon and domestic spending. (Things like housing programs, Pell grants, and food and job assistance.) That could turn off some fiscally inclined Republicans, putting the whole spending bill in jeopardy, and cause a shutdown.
Political risks loom for both sides.
Unresolved issues set aside in 2017 to make way for a tax overhaul are poised to surface early in 2018, giving Trump the opportunity for the confrontation with Washington's establishment that he's promised since his election. Swing Left, for example, says they've raised more than $2 million to support Democrats who win their primaries.
The personal injury attorney is considering running for governor in Florida but said he isn't even sure he would run as a Democrat, despite having hosted Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in his home for fundraisers. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he does not see the idea making it through his chamber.
There is a bipartisan group in the Senate trying to put a deal together.
Of all of the Democrats up for reelection, the GOP sees Senator Claire McCaskill as the most vulnerable.
Witcover: GOP tax bill is a Trojan horse
How unpopular are the Republicans entering 2018, an election year? Now, he is demanding money for his border wall in exchange for extending protections.
Mr. Trump himself carefully staged the victory party on the White House lawn, for which many Republican members of Congress were shipped in by bus to be praised and to praise him.
Of course, getting too cozy with Trump carries its own risks, given NY is such a heavily blue state and Democrats are expected to continue to use him as a bogeyman up and down the ballot, the consultants agree.
He likewise urged them to not be thrifty, contending that they should "spend whatever should be spent as though 2020 depends on it". Right before the holidays, Congress infused $3 billion to keep it afloat for the next few months.
It's not clear whether this particular funding battle will be tied to the overall spending bill, but it's a policy issue that Democrats could use as leverage, if their other plans fall through.
The electronic surveillance program known as FISA section 702 - which allows spying on US citizens without court warrants - was extended through January 19 under the last stopgap spending bill.
Democratic leadership in the state is confident that the recently-signed tax reform bill will drive even more Iowans into the arms of Democrats as resentment builds among working class voters over substantial tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest individuals. They are: U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, former state economic commissioner and Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville, Franklin businessman Bill Lee and former state Sen.
In December, as attention turned to Alabama and the result of the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions's vacated Senate seat, Iowa had a special election of its own.
Chelsea Manning 'files to run for Senate in Maryland'
Manning would be challenging Democrat Ben Cardin , who has served two terms in the Senate and is up for re-election in November. Manning, who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a woman, ended her strike after the Army complied with her request.