Tags: congress | recess | government shutdown | zika

Congress Returns With Much to Do and Not Much Time to Do It

Image: Congress Returns With Much to Do and Not Much Time to Do It

House Speaker Paul Ryan (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 Sep 2016 01:17 PM

Congress returns on Tuesday with much on its plate to accomplish in a very short time frame, with the added complication of the election campaign swinging into high gear for the home stretch, Politico reports.

This creates a dynamic that is likely to lead to much drama and tension, especially as some Republican senators face very difficult re-election challenges and the entire GOP does not want to raise more doubts in the public about a Donald Trump-led party.

Looming is a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, especially since Congress is scheduled to go back on recess in October.

With so much on the line in November, Republicans say they can't and won't let the government shut down, even though Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has raised that possibility. But Republicans say they won't allow that to happen, especially since it most likely would harm the chances of the GOP retaining control in the Senate and House.

Complicating the budget debate is funding for Zika, especially as the virus has spread, particularly in Florida, while Congress was out on recess. President Barack Obama has warned that money is running out to combat the threat.

The Senate will vote on a $1.1 billion GOP proposal on Tuesday, but is expected to fail over Democratic objections to language restricting health care, such as on Planned Parenthood, and Obamacare cuts.

Many expect the Zika funding to be included in a larger spending bill, without the pet GOP provisions, but the impending elections add to the uncertainty.

Another point of contention this congressional session is within the Republican Party, as the House Freedom Caucus is expected to force a full House vote on whether to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, who has been criticized for his response to congressional investigations of the agency's scrutiny of tea-party groups, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But this does not please more moderate Republicans who say Koskinen is guilty of incompetence but not a crime and fear such a high-profile battle would harm their re-election chances, because a relatively weak case would make the GOP appear to be on a political witch hunt.

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Congress returns on Tuesday with much on its plate to accomplish in a very short time frame, with the added complication of the election campaign swinging into high gear for the home stretch, Politico reports.
congress, recess, government shutdown, zika
362
2016-17-06
Tuesday, 06 Sep 2016 01:17 PM
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