Congress Back in Session
Lawmakers in Washington returned after five weeks of vacation for a pre-election session that will see much of what is on the current agenda, pushed back until after the November election.
Congress faces a number of different deadlines and the possibility of a fiscal cliff that could cause major problems in January. It seems that Congress however, is concerned with only the minimum; preventing the shutdown of the government when the end of the budget comes on September 30.
With the Democrats in control of the Senate and the Republicans running the house attempt to set up votes in order to score political points and make the other side look unflattering only two months before the national election, will take place. Efforts by Congress to do this might be overshadowed by the presidential campaign itself.
At the top of the list for business for lawmakers is a spending bill of six months to finance the operations day to day of the government. The process of annual appropriations for Capitol Hill collapsed halfway through this year’s election campaign.
The measure to be used as a stopgap would allow the new Congress time to implement a new plan for a full year. The worst thing Congress could do for their approval ratings is allow the government to go into a shutdown prior to the election on November 6.
The measure is expected to be presented this week in both arms of Congress, with a vote by the House possibly on Thursday. The measure will also make sure money flows into the accounts used for disaster aid.
The five-year farm bill will be much more challenging for the current Congress to agree upon. The current act expires on September 30. Republican leaders in the House are worried about bringing the legislation to the House floor.